Are You Starring In Your Own Life?

Cape Fear by Gary Dee ~ Wikimedia Commons

Thursday is usually the day of the week that y’all get to be privy to whatever thoughts are kicking around in my brain.

This week, we’re doing it on Friday. 🙂

Today I’m thinking about fear, and all the wondrous things it holds us back from.

I bought a book by Marianne Williamson called “A Return To Love” after I watched this Super Soul Sunday interview with Oprah Winfrey over the summer.

Williamson says, “Enlightenment is the unlearning of fear.”

I’d agree with that.

So often, we’re afraid to reach for “more” and it’s senseless. Truly, it makes no sense not to reach for the stars. It’s not like you being more will make someone else less.

But we worry that it will…or that we won’t…or that we can’t…

I like the way Ms. Williamson puts it:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

…Star in your own life. Be the most of who you can be. It will help lift up the others in your life to be the most that they can be.

And finally, in this interview, she explains the difference between magic and miracles:

Magic is when you use your mind to tell the universe what you want. Miracles are when you ask the universe what it wants and how you can serve it.

I’m always saying this is the blog about MORE so Williamson’s message really hits home. I needed this reminder as I embark on a weekend of Fast Draft.

And the question I’ll add to the discussion:

Who do we think we are, not to stretch and grow and create with everything we’ve got dancing in our souls? We wouldn’t have been given the yearning to create if the words and ideas weren’t inside of us, waiting to be born.

[Birth them, people! Birth them.]

Are you starring in your own life? Why or why not? Enquiring minds want to hear ALL about it down in the comments!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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46 Responses to Are You Starring In Your Own Life?

  1. Jenny, this post and Williamson’s quote hit me between the eyes, too. I have to fight my upbringing (still, at my advanced age!) to be a quiet handmaiden for the rest of my family, to subordinate my wishes and dreams.

    When I finally decided to “star in my own life,” I was struck with all the fears imaginable. What if no one likes what I write? What if they like it too much, and I can’t meet their demands with another good book, or take too long to write it? Talk about a Catch-22! I still suffer from impostor syndrome, but I’m slowly working through it.

    I’m still scared, but I can’t go back to the scribbler in the corner, so I might as well inch forward, right? 🙂


  2. emmaburcart says:

    I love the quote and I think it is so true. It is strange, but we really are scared of our own beauty and greatness. And I like the idea of starring in our own lives. I’m going to have to think on that one!


  3. Very inspirational, Jenny! This quote reminds me of the rom-com, “The Holiday” when the older gentleman asks Kate Winslet’s character, “Shouldn’t you at least be the leading lady in your own life?” I’ve thought a lot about that quote in the past few years, and likely one of the reasons I began to follow my dream as a writer. Thanks for the reminder.

    I fear success almost as much as I desire it. More will be expected of me and maybe I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all the demands in my life. Maybe that’s why I’ve taken it slow and steady this past year or so since finishing book 1.

    You’ve given me food for thought. Good luck with FAST DRAFT. Looking forward to hear you went for it! 🙂


  4. I love this Jenny. What inspiration and hope to start a long weekend…yeahhh! I think it’s healthy and empowering to ask yourself “are you starring in your own life?” on a regular basis and to use your answers to guide, challenge and push yourself to honor your passions and love. I’ve been doing a lot of self reflecting as of late, asking myself truly where I want to be in 5 years or 10 years, what are my passions and dreams and what fears are holding me back from truly embracing and going for it…and so far, it’s been enlightening. I think I see change a comin’!! LOL!!
    Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing…


  5. KUDOS, Jenny!

    It took a trip back to my roots for me to remember how I was raised and reacquaint myself with the message drilled into us by our spitfire of a mom who didn’t realize her own dreams. Correction. I didn’t ‘reacquaint’ myself. I stayed long enough to embrace what she taught us.

    Off now to write a book worthy of winning the Golden Heart 2013!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I saw your post on your roots and all I have to say is: IT’S A WONDER YOU SURVIVED. Lol…that outhouse made me shudder.

      I’ll expect to see your name at the top of the Golden Heart nominations, Gloria. You go, girl. 🙂


  6. Zack Kullis says:

    This is another good post, Jenny. 😀
    Being scared is a feeling that the entire human family experiences. It can be something as real as the feeling I get when I am in full tactical gear, standing in a six-man stack, getting ready to storm a house knowing the people inside are just as heavily armed as I am, or the less dramatic feeling of ‘what if…’ as I lean in (trembling) for a first kiss. It can freeze us.

    Fear can steal life and vitality from us and what we do if we allow it. I think the best way to handle fear is to stand up to it, look what we fear in the eye, give it the bird and push through it. I enjoy what I write, but fear that others won’t enjoy or appreciate what I have created. Fortunately for me, I have received plenty of good feedback. But, I did get one bad review, and I let it crush my desire to write for nearly a week. That was silly.

    Many of us fear the unknown, and our own potential is an unknown. Our beauty, our greatness, and our ability to create is hampered only be limits we place on ourselves. The quote is great, Jenny, thanks for sharing it!


  7. Jess Witkins says:

    I’m with you! What a beautiful kick in the pants for Fast Draft! Let’s go show ourselves what stars we are! Thanks for sharing this Jenny!


  8. amyshojai says:

    Like Like Like! For all my life I’ve had this niggling suspicion that someone would find out what a great imposter I was…so in a way the “sparkles” are over-compensating, to shine so brightly nobody sees past the glare to the real, inadequacies beneath. Oh dang, did I just say that out loud? *weak smile* Well, the critters see the “real me” and like me well enough and so that’s enough for me.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      See, and I’d have never guessed that because you really, really sparkle bright. With PLENTY of knowledge to back it up, I might add. I’m thinking we want to banish that over-compensating gene of yours, missy. YOU ROCK!


  9. K.B. Owen says:

    Good luck with Fast Draft, Jenny! I know you’ll kick butt!

    Great post; thanks for the inspiration. The timing is interesting: I just sent an email to my son’s teacher, proposing a creative writing project (she’s asked me to talk with her class about mystery writing), volunteering to work with her students on a year-long project for them to write/edit/format/artwork/self-pub a short story anthology.

    Umm…what the heck am I thinking?! I don’t know what I’m doing, and yet I’m proposing to guide 30+ 6th-graders in this endeavor? If she has any sense, she’ll run screaming in the other direction.

    And then I read your post.

    We’ll see what she says…I’ll let you know. :O

    Have a great weekend,


    • amyskennedy says:

      Kathy! I love it — think what you’ll learn as you guide these kids. What a terrific leap of faith (I actually think somewhere in your brain you know you can do this) once you start this everything you need will be there for you.


      • K.B. Owen says:

        Gack! The teacher has just thanked me and thinks it’s a great idea! Looks like I’m doing it for real. *gulp*

        Thanks, Amy, for the fab vote of confidence! 😀


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Kathy, that’s WONDERFUL! And of course you’re going to do an amazing job. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Plus, you’ll have so many posts on these kids and what you learn from them. *starry eyes*


  10. amyskennedy says:

    Jenny, I have the Marianne Williamson plastered all over. I need it as a daily reminder that it is okay to be the best shining me I can be — and to give all I can to the world.

    Here’s a revelation: I always thought I would be discovered, (crazy 17 year old still lives inside me) so isn’t it fitting to be discovered by myself and “star” in my own life? Wow. Thanks Jenny!


  11. Marie Trout says:

    I have found that having inspirational people and quotes is great. And it takes know-how to figure out how to not just “know” it is so – but to “live” it so. This is where we succeed. Bringing the thoughts and feelings into action.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      The living it is the hard part, I agree. 🙂 I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who remind you of what’s important and see the superstar in you. It helps you believe it when *they* believe it.


  12. Jami Gold says:

    This is great, Jenny! And we must have been on the same wavelength. My post yesterday was about being the hero of your life and differentiating between things we don’t want to do vs. things we’re afraid of. Good luck with Fast Draft–let me know how it goes!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Really?? I haven’t caught up from the week yet…I’m gonna go look. I love posts like that (obviously). 🙂 Yep, I’m determined to finish my memoir so I can get back to my fiction.

      I’ve got to go seek you out on Twitter – I’m having withdrawals from you and Janice!


  13. Catie Rhodes says:

    Thanks for posting this, Jenny. I have a short story coming out this fall in an indie anthology. Just yesterday, I asked myself what I think I’m doing. I told myself that nobody could possibly want to read what I read, that it isn’t good enough. But if I don’t try, I’ll never know. Right?


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      WOW, Catie! I heard you mention this on your blog but I can’t wait to read it. Short stories are always such perfect slices of fiction for me. I really love the form. Good for you.

      And of course we want to read it, silly girl…


  14. What an inspiration. Thanks for sharing, Jenny. One big cause of writer’s block for me is stressing what will happen with the book when I’m done with it. Like Elizabeth Anne, I let the future worries stiffle my creativity now. I’ll bookmark this video for those moments. And remember Zack’s quote about fearing our unknown potential.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I agree with you that it’s a circular, stifling thought. I worry about getting it done. It’s never occurred to me to worry what happens after that because I’m not in charge of that part. I don’t know if that helps, but that’s why I don’t worry about that. Especially with self-publishing as an option, it’s a really great time to be a writer. 🙂

      Embrace those shiny dreams, Reetta!


  15. If I’m not starring in my own life, who is? For me it’s all the doubts and negativites that were planted long before I knew what was going on. I keep weeding that garden, but it’s a long process. Best I can do is know those aren’t my thoughts and fears but rather old stuff, that’s long outlived it’s usefulness. Now i’m off to edit book 2 in my series, so it can go up on amazon this weekend.


  16. Julie Glover says:

    I read one of Williamson’s books in college, and parts of it were eye-opening. One of the things that stuck with me is that we get angry about negative messages that others say about us, but we don’t realize that we self-criticize so much. We need to learn to be our own cheerleaders. Thanks, Jenny!


  17. Karen McFarland says:

    “Our beauty, our greatness, and our ability to create is hampered only be limits we place on ourselves.” How very true. We are our worst enemy. My father always liked to quote President Roosevelt, “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.” This is very timely. I have not been able to write lately. As you know, Gene and I are Fast Plotters this round. Maybe this will get the ball rolling. But I do fear that my writing will not be good enough for the story. That my writing will not do the story justice. Maybe, that’s a more common fear than I realize. Yet, I’m trying to push through it. Thanks Jenny for the encouragement! 🙂


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      If anyone can get a body motivated and excited about a project, it’s our pal Gene. You’re in fabulous company, Karen. I predict great things for you this round!


  18. Not too long ago I have finally realized that my own fears are my worse enemies. Conquering and prevailing over them feels to me not only like just winning a small battle. It is winning a whole huge war against some realistic odds. That’s exactly how I have decided to start writing professionally and not just as a hobby. I have conquered my fear. And I won 🙂


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