“specialness”

August 2nd, 2011   |   Business AdviceThink About It

When I set out to start MML I did so with a clear purpose in mind; to help people discover their best selves and highest potential underneath all of their ‘stuff.’ I had learned this lesson in college and knew that if I struggled so much, others must feel the same.

At the same time as I started this site, I was also getting my own small business off the ground and I shared that process here as well. People responded to both the business aspects and personal topics on MML and I quickly felt at home in what I was doing. Jess LC and MML over a course of trial and error, became my “jam.”

Over the years, I got more and more extremely kind emails from readers worldwide that supported what I was doing to help people. I was incredibly thankful for their kindness, but what I did not expect was the word that kept bubbling up over and over:

inspiration

Yes, I did set out to help people lead meaningful, fulfilling lives that served their highest purposes. But I never thought that by doing so, I would be considered inspiring.

For a long time I kept myself at bay of that word. It didn’t fit well. After all, I’m just a 20-something woman on my own journey, learning my own lessons. Just. Like. Everyone. Else.

But nevertheless, words like inspiration, unique, and special kept cropping up on conversations with others. As Jess LC grew, people looked at what I have done, and again, labeled me as special or inspirational.

To be quite honest, as I took new risks, new challenges, and pushed myself further, I started to assume that those people’s words about me were true.

I started to think that I must somehow be different than other people if they see me in this way.

Which is a load of crap.

I had an epiphany yesterday that I owe to you: I’m not inspirational nor special, I’ve just gone through a lot of tough stuff and stayed true to my intentions. I am just like everyone else, we all are the same, no one is inherently separate in this world.

On my journey I have gone through a lot of shit, quite frankly. I battled against my ego controlling my weight for almost a decade. I went through therapy in college to face a lot of issues that I needed to work out. I used to hate listening to my own thoughts – I couldn’t stand being around “me.” I went through a tough, but ultimately positive break up. I had a lot of hard times.

The same is true with my business. I have cried myself to sleep after a trade show. I’ve worried about not being able to keep my business going. I had anxiety attacks worrying about cash flow. I flossed because I didn’t have the money to pay for a dental exam for three years.

What made those tough times bearable was what I did about them: I prayed (a lot). I wrote in journals frequently. I had supportive friends (and not-so-supportive friends). I read a lot of books. I worked on improving my business for 12 years. I had a business coach.

And I always asked myself the question: what is my intention?

That’s it. My main differentiator is that I’ve had the guts to constantly ask myself what my intention is, and then design my life around that intention.

Which is something every single person on Earth has the ability to do in their own lives. And every single person that people regard as “special” or “inspiring” simply have had the guts to go towards their intentions and be uncomfortable in the process.

Meaningful intentions often involve risk, faith, and perseverance. We all have those muscles. They simply need to be used.

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  • http://nikkirappaport.com Nikki

    Jess- I love this post. So honest and yes, inspirational. Thanks!

  • http://emilyinprogress.com Emily

    Talk about inspiration. Beautiful, honest post that makes me want to stop everything and figure out my intention. Thanks for reminding me to keep asking myself that question and thanks for leading by example.

  • http://www.acutedesigns.org Gina_AcuteDesigns

    Jess – I love this post – one of my favorite yet!

    I often have the desire to write something inspirational on my blog, but then I don’t because I think “I am not inspirational…I am just a normal person, running a small business….a person that struggles to grow the biz and struggles with cash flow….what do I know?”

    However, reading what you said has inspired me. You might not be Ghandi, but you inspire people and I might do the same. Even if it is just one little person, then it matters.

    Also, it is nice to hear about your struggles to grow your business, cash flow, and even crying yourself to sleep. While I wish it was always easy for everyone, the reality is that this is a HARD thing to do. Seeing someone like you {who I consider to be extremely successful} discuss her own failures/mishaps gives me hope that with perseverance and hard work, the intentions I have for my business will come to fruition.

  • http://www.dismountcreative.com/blog Alicia

    So honest. And yes, inspiring :) thanks Jess.

  • http://inspirationandroughdrafts.blogspot.com/ Melissa

    I’ve been feeling frustrated with starting my own business, but hearing more about your path reminds me not to feel discouraged – it takes time, but ultimately the effort and ups & downs will pay off!

  • http://daisiesanddates.blogspot.com/ Sarah

    Thanks for the inspiration! Love this post.

  • http://smalltimestyle.blogspot.com Lauren

    Beautiful post Jess – like you said, you’ve flexed your muscles and embraced risk, faith, and perservance that we all have inside – your honesty in sharing those travails of flexing those muscles is what makes you inspirational AND accessible and keeps me looking forward to reading MML and seeing what is next with Jess LC.

  • Marguerite/@chicspace

    I agree with you that everyone potentially has this ability. But honestly, it seems that some people just don’t/can’t/won’t use it. The questions isn’t whether you are inspirational/special/unique (I will say you are inspirational because a ton of people look to you to inspire them to live with intention), it’s really whether you think you are better/different/more awesome than other people with their own “abilities”. Don’t minimize your abilities, but don’t rest on them either (you don’t). It is *ok* to be inspirational, live with intention, and use that to help others. That’s what makes you awesome.

  • http://bethdeepintheheartoftexas.blogspot.com Bethany

    For some reason, this post made me bawl like a baby… Thank you for being so honest. It is a good reminder that we are all just ‘regular people’, but by staying true to ourselves we can do extraordinary things! I am even more detirmined to hone my intention now!

  • http://www,.cherryrunway.com Jenipher

    This post is so wonderful!! Thank you so much for posting it!
    It’s so hard trying and trying and watching other people ‘succeed’ wondering what i’m ‘doing wrong’… but knowing everyone is human, and that we’re all on the journey… well, it’s a blessing. :)

  • http://shewritesandrights.blogspot.com bethany

    That’s precisely why you are inspiring and different: because you’ve chosen a different, gutsier path than many people have the will to do. Yes, we all have the capacity, but few have the will. Thank you for this, and don’t refrain from giving yourself a pat on the back and saying a prayer of thanksgiving for the journey you’ve come through. Because of your bravery and hard work, you’ve become a vehicle for change in others, and that’s a pretty unique opportunity. :)