Most of the of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you are called to be a Messenger, saying “Yes” is the easy part. Getting your message out and sharing it with others is where most people encounter difficulties. The signposts of the Messenger’s Journey may vary slightly from one person to another, but there are several points that consistently appear. The following is a thumbnail sketch of significant markers on the Messenger’s road.
Signpost 1 – Where are You Going?
When you begin your Journey as a Messenger, your passion about your message is the fuel that drives you forward. But you need a destination or you will never go anywhere. On the metaphorical Journey, a Messenger has to know why she is sharing her message and with whom.
Your message sprung from some deep or painful experience which you survived. Now you want to share it with others. But why do you want to share it? What is your purpose? How does your message help? Your message will not resonate with the 7 billion people on the plant. Who is your audience?
Taking time to inquire about your motives and purpose will serve you well, now and later in your journey. Keep your purpose – your why – in front of you and the obstacles or detours you encounter will become opportunities. As your purpose becomes solidified, it will create a vision that pulls you forward, no matter what may fall in your path.
Signpost 2 – Refine and Clarify
Start sharing your message and teachings with others and notice when they are engaged. Ask them what they found most intriguing and exciting about your material. What did they find confusing or unclear?
Spending time refining your message and materials supporting is like correcting your path as you move forward. The core of your message will probably stay the same; it’s how you express it and connect with your audience that may need some adjustment.
Signpost 3 – What Vehicle Will you Drive?
There are so many different ways to share your message. Online is the easiest, but this is where a lot of people get stuck in the quagmire of choices. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, Snap Chat and Tumbler are some of the more popular choices. You also can use Blab or Periscope if you love to be on video. Podcasting is very popular and blogging is an easy way to get started.
My advice is to try the ones that attract you. Play around with them and share with friends whose opinions you trust. Learn more about each platform and if it becomes overwhelming, choose one and move forward.
Signpost 4 – Get in the Car and Go
Many people get stuck at Signpost 3 because there are so many choices. When you find a vehicle that fits in with your vision and your destination (Step 1), push on the gas and get going. At this point in your Messenger Journey, inaction or indecision is just like standing in your own shadow.
Create a strategy and follow it consistently. Small steps taken every day are the secret of success. Commit to an action plan and remember your vision as you move forward. The power of your passionate “why” will pull you through when it is too easy to say, “I will do it tomorrow.”
Signpost 5 – Beware the Swamp of Comparison
As you move forward on the Messenger road, you will encounter events, people or situations that distract, detract or detour you from your purpose. This article is too short to cover all of the possible obstacles you may encounter, but one of the most deadly is the Swamp of Comparison.
As you begin to go online or in person sharing your message, you will notice other people doing the same. Many will be further along the Messenger Road than you seem to be; a few will still be at the beginning. The swamp appears when you begin to dismiss or judge your own efforts as compared to others.
Comparison is deadly and will stop you in your tracks. You may need to take a break from social media and continue to work on your message if you find yourself drowning from feelings of insecurity or inadequacy. Write out this quote and display it where you can remind yourself to avoid the Swamp of Comparison:
The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. ~Steve Furtick
The Mesenger’s Journey is yours to claim, define and execute. Stay aware of the Signposts along the way and your message will be shared, seen and heard. As you move forward, you will know the difference between your shadows and your own sunshine.
Choose the sunshine – it’s way more fun than the shadows! <3