I spent a few hours today going through old emails yet again, mostly of entrepreneurs, college students, and fellow creatives emailing through my contact form and asking for advice. If I picked up anything from sorting through almost 100 of these kinds of emails, it's this theme: man oh man are we all scared!
We're scared of being wrong, of choosing the wrong thing, of what people will think, of how we might fail, of never trying at all, of not knowing what's to come. And as I wrote response after response of what I hoped to be helpful replies, it quickly became clear to me that I wanted my role to be that of Master Encourager.
While I certainly never want to imply that chasing your dreams and overcoming your fears and choosing work that is deeply satisfying is easy, it also occurred to me as I tried to muster up my best advice that we are all confronted with such cynicism, skepticism and doubt on a daily basis (sometimes even in our own heads!) that I'd like to risk being the small voice in these friends' ears saying "YES, I really think you CAN. And YES, it's okay if you're scared too."
There's a lot of negativity in this world and I'll happily let someone else play Bad-Cop-Reality-Check-Tough-Love Magee so that I can be generous with my encouragement. To others, and to myself.