fear & failure

Be willing to LOSE so you can WIN


These days, being myself feels like a dream job. But there were times when it was torture. 

I was misunderstood. I was afraid. I was lost.

Being myself required me to walk into the fire. Into places that were uncomfortable & unknown. 

There were many logical reasons to compromise & fit into someone else’s vision of success. 

But I was willing to LOSE in many ways - sometimes for years - so I could ultimately WIN at being myself. 

The ‘real me’ eventually intersected with opportunities that have led to a beautiful place. A place where I am able to share my heart through inspiring films & speeches to audiences across the country. 

But none of that would have happened if I had accepted the typical career, the quick payout, or the simple answers. 

I’m grateful to be me. Even more, I am grateful I chose to stay true to my own process & my own version of success, even when it felt like failure.

It takes time, but eventually the world catches up with you.

It's OK to get your hopes up

I got some criticism on one of my recent posts. 

The post said: “It’s OK to get your hopes up”. 

I understand the criticism.  I realize that this idea sounds emotionally dangerous. 

One of the comments on Instagram allowed me to go a little deeper into this idea.  Here’s the question & my reply:

QUESTION:  “I’m waiting to hear back on a job interview I really care about.  I’m trying not to get my hopes up because I don’t want to be crushed if it doesn’t happen.  If I allow myself to get my hopes up, how do I deal with the hurt?  I wanna be hopeful.  I wanna be excited.  I just don’t want to be hurt by the rejection or feel like I’ve failed myself & my wife.”

MY REPLY:  “Keep your hope that there is good ahead for you.  But let go of your attachment to what the solution will be.  Don’t pin your hope to that specific interview or situation.  Let your hope rest in a deep belief that something good is coming.  Stay with the process, and trust the journey.”

You are NOT a failure when you fail

Here’s my sad Christmas story. But I think it will have a happy ending:

In 2015, our family had annual passes to Disney World. It was a wonderful year of experiences for us. The passes expired right before Christmas, and I decided several weeks in advance that visiting the Osborne Family Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios would be a spectacular finale to our year. I saved this experience for the last night of the last day we could use the passes.

The park closed at 11pm, so I planned for us to finish the day at the lights one hour before closing time. As we turned the corner into the viewing area at 10pm, the lights immediately turned off. I asked an employee and learned they turn off the lights one hour before closing time because of the fireworks. It was printed in the daily schedule, but it never occurred to me to check.

We missed it. And THIS was the final experience of our year at Disney. What I intended to be a joyful wrap-up instead became a discouraging walk to the car.

And it was MY fault.

My family was fine, but I felt terrible. I was so sad. Truly, I felt overwhelmed.

On the car ride home, I processed why this experience was causing me so much pain. Was I really SO miserable because we didn’t get to see dancing lights? No, this wasn’t about how I felt about the lights. This was about how I felt about ME. I was converting my pain into self-rejection… self-hatred. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to succeed at everything, but, in this moment, I failed.

I wasn’t sad because we missed the lights. I was hurting because I was the cause of it. And I was having trouble dealing with my imperfection.

I started wondering how often I was unconsciously doing this to myself. I quickly realized that it was TOO often. And I am convinced that I won’t be able to grow into the person I want to be if I am battling an unhealthy sense of inadequacy when I fail.

I want to be a person that can set off on bold, risky journeys without being destroyed by the adventures that don’t work out. I want to release the fear of failure, knowing there is grace for me when my plans and performance aren’t perfect. I want to know even deeper in my heart that I am NOT a failure when I fail. I am committed to growth, but I want a more abiding sense that where I am today is enough.

This is my spiritual quest for 2016. I believe God and the people who love me will walk through it with me. And I believe this sad story will be redeemed into a happy ending. I look forward to sharing THAT tale of victory with you in the days ahead.

Sending love & hugs to you and to everyone on the heroic journey with you.


When you feel scared

On last night's flight, I sat across the aisle from a precious 3-year-old girl. It was her first plane ride.

She told me, "I heard that a plane crashed one time. That makes me a little scared."

I replied, "Yeah, things like that can happen. But that shouldn't stop us from visiting the places we dream of going & seeing the people we want to see. We can't be afraid to go on the journey."

She agreed. And we flew to Knoxville, TN together. 

Life Is Tough For Everyone

tough stuff.jpg

I am blessed to post lots of fabulous stuff. But - for all of us - there's a lot of messy, frustrating, unglamorous stuff that fills in the spaces between our posts.

I will keep cheering on your successes. And I hope you will cheer me on. But, you can always assume that there are plenty of difficulties, challenges, & uncomfortable things you don't see. 

So, please don't compare your journey to what you see here. Let's just enjoy sharing our adventures with each other & pursuing our own dreams.

You are doing great! Keep going!

Redeeming Tragedy

I was 6 months into production on Legends of the Knight when tragedy struck in Aurora, CO. Many people were killed & injured at a theatrical screening of a Batman movie by a man dressed as the Joker. I was heartbroken for the families affected by this horrific event. And I was extremely insecure about the future of this project, which had become so important to me.

For the months following this tragedy, many of my conversations about Legends of the Knight received negative feedback. In light of Aurora, some people I spoke to felt our subject matter was insensitive to those affected & would be poorly received by the general public.

I am an highly sensitive person, & this was a very discouraging period for me. My dream to do good seemed destined to fail. But time has shown that these fears were empty, & I am grateful for those who encouraged me to press on.

You can imagine my joy in learning that a theatrical screening has been requested near Aurora, CO. Proceeds from the screening will benefit Aurora Rise, which continues to assist families who were affected by this tragedy.

I am overwhelmed that our film has the opportunity to help their community. It is a reminder to me that even when everything seems ruined, your story is NEVER over. Your struggle can become a blessing to someone else.

If you are near the Denver, CO area – or you know someone who is – please help this screening become a reality. Share this event. Use the comments to tag friends in the Denver-area. Purchase a few $12 tickets. They need to pre-sell 66 tickets in the next few days to confirm the showing. All the info is here: www.tugg.com/events/8437

As always, THANK YOU for being part of this adventure with me!