Over the past few years, anyone who knows me has heard me talk about the book I was going to write. I’ve been writing my book for years, and yet, nothing has come to fruition.

Words usually flow out of me like a river, but every time I attempted to write this book, I was dry. Nothing of significance got put on paper.

I completed a few chapters only to realize that they were terrible. I wrote about my journey, my life, like I was an objective observer, a newspaper reporter stating the facts of an event; not as someone who was thrust into darkness and climbed out of it to share the story.

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I admit, the thought of actually writing a book terrifies me. The negative voices swirl round and round in my head: What if the readers don’t like it? Who am I to write a book? Who would care about what I have to say? What if people laugh at me?

But, I understand the importance of releasing such thoughts, and I have never let fear keep me from trying something new. It is my philosophy to push aside what others think, throw caution to the wind, and “go for it.” So, what is different this time? What is stopping me?

I have racked my brain for years trying to put my finger on the problem, and then it dawned on me that it isn’t the fear of failure that has been blocking me, but rather my unwillingness to reveal a deep part of myself; my unwillingness to be vulnerable; my unwillingness to step out from the pack.

For most of my life, my identity has been based on my strength, my dependability and control. I take care of others. I handle situations with nerves of steel. If I reveal my vulnerability, as this book challenges me to do, I will show a part of myself with which I am uncomfortable. I will be flawed … exposed … human. Am I ready for that?

Writing this book presents me with the chance to make a difference in someone’s life, but in order to do so, I must be willing to be authentic, open, and rise above the mediocrity. A true challenge … but a worthy endeavor.

So, after much self-examination, I’m writing again. This time with a very different approach – I’m writing from a place of truth and humility. Who knows where this challenge will lead me but it will definitely be an interesting ride.

The moral of the story: If you want to achieve something worthwhile in life, if you want to fulfill a dream or reach for the stars, you must be willing to go to place that makes you uncomfortable. You must be willing to expose a part of yourself, stand out from the crowd.

As Jack Canfield said,” Most everything that you want is just outside your comfort zone.” Are you willing to take the first step?