The Loudest Voice

My heart is pounding as I sit down to write this post. Truth be told my heart has been pounding a lot this week as I fill my days with new pursuits I have not tackled before—building a website, navigating technological snafus, researching best business practices and bascially wrapping my mind around the idea that I am starting a business. 


I am starting a business.


That was not something I really ever signed up to do. Not intentionally at least. But here I am, considering pricing packages and writing website copy. And I’ll tell you a little something about it all: This scares me. 


But I’ll tell you something else too: Not helping families scares me more. And so I’ll go ahead and start this business, and I’ll launch this website, and I’ll coach and I’ll teach parenting classes and I’ll speak to moms groups. I’ll do these things because, secret number three: You have what it takes to be the parent you want to be, and if something I share gives you the inspiration, the motivation or the tools to do it, it’ll all be worth it.


You see there are competing voices in my head. There are voices that say I can help people and voices that ask But what if I don’t? There are voices that say I have an important message to share and voices that say Why bother because someone else has probably already shared it in a more artful, articulate, or powerful way. Here’s the thing I’m pretty confident about when it comes to those voices—they will never stop competing for my attention.


This reminds me of a moment I had with one of my daughters this summer at the swimming pool. Amelia had been improving her swimming skills and building her confidence in the water all summer, but she remained fearful of jumping into the water. She would slide in, step in, scoot in from the side or walk in from the shore, but standing on the edge and jumping in remained too frightening. One day I was in the water with her, coaching her and encouraging her to take the plunge she clearly longed to take. 


“Do you want to jump in?” I asked?




“Do you believe I’ll be here to keep you safe?”




“So why don’t you jump?”


“Because I’m scared!”


I looked at my daughter and thought how these two realities had been battling in her all summer—the desire to jump and the fear of the very same thing. The fear was winning, but I wasn’t sure she even realized a conflict was going on.


“Amelia,” I said, “You just said two things that are true. It’s true that you want to jump in the water. It's also true that you’re scared." I looked her in the eye to make sure she was listening. "Amelia, now you need to decide which of those things you want to be more true. Which voice in your head is going to be louder:“I’m scared” or “I want to?”


She seemed to take in what I said and I turned away for a moment to speak to a nearby friend. Not two seconds later there was a big splash next to me, and I turned back to see Amelia’s exuberant smile pop up from the surface of the water. 


“Mommy, I decided ‘I want to’ was louder! And I jumped!” The smile on her face and the pride in her voice was unmistakable. Wonder surged in my own mind at the power of taking charge of our own fears and daring to let “I want to” speak louder than fear. Amelia dared to want to, and to act in accordance with that desire. I endeavor to do the same as I launch my business. 


What about you? Which voices in your mind are the loudest? The ones that encourage you to step out in faith, or the ones that spread doubt and fear? Dare to wake up each morning with a “want to” mindset. Do you want to be a better parent? Do you want to see your family thrive? Let that voice have a microphone, and walk with me as we face the adventure head on.