During the blogging conference, Teneshia Jackson Warner (the CEO of Egami Consulting) spoke about defining moments. She told us that defining moments are a combination of destiny, faith, and The Stretch, the distance between your comfort zone and your dream. The Stretch is also a cute acronym: Seek your truth, Test and learn, Run toward your dream, Expand your thinking, Take risks, Commit to your success, and Help people. Warner says we must be willing to stretch when the moment is before us, because defining moments are everywhere, but our willingness to stretch is what makes them apparent.
I could have created a blog where I just talked about my life. But aside from the fact that that would be boring, it would also not be stretching myself. So I made the blog vulnerable, posting about rejection and failure. I could have kept it at that, but I wasn’t being vulnerable about everything, so I expanded into other categories, writing about my insecurities, about boys, about friendships. I could have allowed that vulnerability only to reach a select audience, people I somewhat know and trust. But instead I stretched myself again and started plastering it all over Facebook, all over Instagram, all over blogging websites.
And then Wednesday I took the biggest stretch of all, posting about my faith.
It was a risk. It could have majorly backfired. Yes, I did get some pretty nasty comments. I did anger some people. I did lose some readers. But I also got some great constructive criticism. The post was shared on Facebook more than any other post. Friends texted me to say how much they appreciated my vulnerability, and overall people seemed relieved that I have at least admitted bits and pieces of every facet of my life.
We can’t grow unless we stretch. We can’t change the world unless we stretch. We can’t influence people unless we stretch. Because what people notice are the defining moments, the moments when you took a risk, when you took the path less traveled and it made all the difference, when you chose vulnerability and courage, when you stretched. You are defined by your moments. But will those moments be defining moments?
What are your defining moments? How did you stretch so that you could experience those moments? And how are you stretching RIGHT NOW so that you can experience more?
Last week I stretched by posting something vulnerable. This week I decided to change my major. Who knows what I’ll do next week…
Stretch yourself. Life becomes so much more fun.