Have you ever had that feeling that “Yes, I know I am meant to do great things…but I’m terrified out of my mind to do them?!” Or maybe you say, “After the kids are in middle school I will finally start trying to lose this baby weight,” or “I will learn to cook after the New Year…my fiancé won’t mind eating Hot Pockets a few nights a week for the next six months.” I think we all have had issues with procrastination but where does it come from? My experience has been an extreme case of “Fear of Success”and I’m sure fear of failure sneaks in there from time to time. If you have ever looked at your current surroundings and thought to yourself “I’m better than this” then let me introduce myself, my name is Audra Bryant and I know what it’s like! I know that I am incredibly talented (it took me years to even have the guts to admit that) but I have been sabotaging my own success.
“It’s easier to have low self-esteem and not believe in yourself and your abilities because having high self-esteem holds you accountable to actually achieving your own greatness.” -Audra Bryant
Let me just give you a quick rundown of my story. I moved to LA from Detroit when I was 19, worked for a record label (of one of my favorite artists), was featured on a few records (as a singer) but no mainstream success. Then I began working behind the scenes in TV as a Casting Producer (you can check out my bio here). I was privy to successful business people and celebrities and heard them share some of their own personal industry stories and celebrity tales. I even performed as a backup singer for one of the shows I worked on and that is when I met one of the most sought after music directors in the industry and we had a good rapport. You might ask yourself well, “Audra, why in the heck aren’t you topping the charts and traveling the world singing and performing…what’s up?” First, I would say, “Yeah I know right?!” Especially when I have seen people’s careers explode and I remembered them at the same show I was performing at back in the day. After much contemplation, prayer, meditation and walks around my office building at my regular J-O-B it all hit me and it has been a few things:
- Fear of Success (as I mentioned)
- Lack of pure belief in my abilities
- Lack of discipline
- Being double-minded (a.k.a wishy washy). I cannot say that I want one thing and then focus on another. I must be honest and fervent in my intentions.
- I was also a HUGE “people pleaser” and we all know that is a recipe for disaster!
So long story short, I wasn’t ready! Plain and simple. No need to put rims on it and tint the windows…it’s still an ’87 Oldsmobile sitting on blocks in your Auntie’s driveway! We’ve all heard success stories from how Steve Harvey used to sleep in his car to J.K. Rowling being on public assistance and barely being able to feed her baby to Colonel Sanders who was rejected over 1,000 times before he found his first business partner. Well, I think the main idea behind those success stories is quite simply pure unadulterated focus, solid work ethic, and faith (belief in the vision that God has given you and your ability to achieve your goal). Welp! My darlings I must confess that I indeed did NOT follow that formula as I could have. Yet, there comes a time when you must just acknowledge that “if you knew better you would do better.” Who knows maybe I experienced all of that fear, self-doubt and those missed opportunities in order for me to be here right at this moment writing this message so that someone else may be encouraged and if that is the case then so be it. This is also where I choose to fall in line. This is where I choose to do the work. This is my “Before” picture and I choose my “After” picture to look something like this in 2017:
- Traveling the world doing what I love! (Encouraging others with my music)
- Performing at the 2017 Essence Music Festival (at the very least in 2018)
- 1,000,000+ music video hits
- Peace of mind because I am truly walking in my calling
- Earning a fabulous living from doing my passion
You gotta put it in the Universe right? “Write it Down and Make it Plain.” So there it goes.
You may ask why I chose to put all of my business online like this and well no it’s not just because this is what social media is about. Here is why:
- I would like accountability in this process because it is oh too easy for me to just let this fall by the wayside and make other excuses as to why I have not achieved my dreams. I have to light a fire under myself so to speak and what better way than in a format wherein I cannot hide!
- I used to think that I was the only person struggling with self-doubt and yet I would hear stories from people after they’ve reached a certain level of success and hear about all they have gone through. I see now that I’m not so different…we all have obstacles. My obstacles may not have been extreme poverty or abuse but I think that others may relate to my journey and can hopefully find comfort in knowing they are not alone.
- If I can encourage someone during this process that would bring me joy!
- Because it scares me! I have learned that being outside of your comfort zone is exactly what brings you closer to where you truly desire to be!
“Connection is why we are here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.” -Brene’ Brown
I used to think that it really didn’t matter if I sang or wrote songs, I felt like this “hobby” was merely for my own satisfaction but then as I had performances here and there I could see that people responded well and they would encourage me to keep going then I started thinking about how much we all rely on each other’s dreams, visions, “hobbies.” What if Martin Luther King Jr kept his dream to himself or what if the Wright Brothers said “Hey, I don’t feel like persevering to get that flying machine up in the air” or if Harriet Tubman said “Free who…no thanks, I don’t feel like helping anyone” or if Mother Theresa said “Poverty is such a downer…any car wash fundraisers I can help coordinate?.” My Mother had several miscarriages before me…what if she just said to herself, “I guess I just won’t be a Mom.”
So here goes…I can’t believe I am putting myself out there like this…it feels weird and uncomfortable but being “on the clock” at someone else’s dream is much more uncomfortable. So here goes.
-Create a list of monthly, weekly and daily goals
-Find my daily inspirational tools
*Please feel free to share YOUR goals and maybe we can take this journey together!