A few weeks ago, my brothers & I sang the National Anthem at the Seattle Seahawks game in three-part-harmony, center field at CenturyLink Stadium. IT FELT INCREDIBLE. It was an honor to represent our country and our home team in such a meaningful way, but that's not why I'm writing this post. In case you may feel like amazing things might not be possible for you, let me be the example and a tiny little flashlight of hope for you.
Derik, Dalten and I have received a TON of questions and messages in the last few weeks about how this unique invitation to perform in front of nearly 70,000 people came to be. Since all of us are here in our precious time on Earth to find our path towards CREATING the kinds of experiences we find fulfilling, I really want to share a little "behind-the-scenes" story of our Seahawks opportunity.
A staggering number of people have asked us curiously over the last few weeks in anticipation for this performance: "HOW did you get that opportunity?! Did your agents get that for you!?" and the answer is:
No, I DID.
I searched the Seahawks website nearly a year ago, and found out how to submit for the anthem. My bros & I filmed our version at our kitchen table, made sure the audio was great (even though the lighting was wonky,) and I wrote up a short bio and why we'd be a great fit, and clicked "SUBMIT." A few months ago, out of the blue, we received a response, and an invitation for our family to sing at their Thanksgiving week home game November 20th. I literally SCREAMED when that email came in.
Lucky???? Maybe some would say so. However, I feel convinced more than ever: shit won't happen unless you give the Universe a swift kick to HELP YOU!!! I believe making yourself available for opportunities to approach you is one step, but taking inspired action on those opportunities is another.
Contrary to what many people might believe, the Seahawks head marketing peeps didn't have my number on speed dial, Russell Wilson isn't in my posse (YET! -- *faint*), and this opportunity didn't just "fall into our lap" out of the sky. (That would be awesome and impressive, and also highly unrealistic.) It was an opportunity we strategically, actively, intentionally, and WILLINGLY put ourselves out there to receive.
During my "bucket list" moment standing on that podium beside my brothers— adrenaline coursing through my veins, and my mind, voice + body locked into the moment— I realized: I am teaching MYSELF, through my own action, that ANYTHING is possible in our lives. I also have the power to lead by example; to show others it's possible, if you try. Sounds cheesy. It's so true.
I will fall back on this Seahawks Anthem experience when I feel myself shrinking back or succumbing to my own insecure and unproductive patterns of thinking "well, maybe" or "if only" or "in a perfect world" or "i can't" or "not yet" or "i'm waiting until" or "once _X_ happens, then I'll think about..." I have these thoughts all the time. These excuses are the weird little stories we tell ourselves to convince our brain that safe is better, and uncertainty is scary, and it's best to simply "stay home" today. (side note, speaking of: ten minutes before we had to leave to drive to the stadium on Seahawks Day, I was convinced I'd barf on the way. I didn't. But if you read my "Thoughts on Moving" post, you know that apparently, my anxiety comes in predictable patterns involving puking. So glamorous, I know. Gah.)
This I know. Trust the process. Muster your courage to follow this unknown path. Take inspired action on the things you are passionate about. Ironically, in the midst of uncertainty, you can be certain of a few things. There will always be practice required, perceived failure, re-dedicating yourself, trying again, determination, celebrating the "little wins" so you know how to celebrate the "big wins", reaching out to others, trying harder, getting better, educating yourself more, mistakes you can learn from, trusting in yourself, trusting in the Universe, and hitting that "SUBMIT" button (whatever the equivalent is for YOU right now): no matter where in the process you are, there is only success waiting for you whenever you're ready to receive it.
Sometimes all this will require making yourself more vulnerable than you can emotionally HANDLE or imagine. It will seem impossible. But it requires action. And guess what. It won't kill you.
Through that emotional action and willingness to "be seen," you WILL succeed. It is possible. It is not negotiable. I am proof.