As a little girl my mum always used to say to me “Danielle my darling girl… you belong on the stage and one day you will be an actress, I’m sure of it!” Now, I did perform as a young girl but only in a dancing capacity. I’ll be honest, I sucked at acting. Looking back, I think what mum was trying to convey for all of those years was my ability to express myself with words and through my personality.
Some of it was true, I loved the written world as a child. I loved how I could write feelings far easier than I could say them in many circumstances. The way I could use words to take you on a journey and share the deepest inner feelings inspired me. I loved how I could read it back to myself and feel proud of the story I had just told or explored. I used to write poetry like it was going out of style. I had books of it and then one day, somewhere along the lines I stopped writing. I stopped sharing thoughts and my love of the written word. Maybe I got too busy?Who hasn’t done that?
It started with Watts
Recently at HTG, we had the pleasure of Sel Watts from Watts Next present to our leadership team, to take us through her digital media journey and the success story that followed. Boy oh boy were there successes to share, it was inspiring to say the least. The one thing that really stood out to me was this need to blog and to blog consistently, I immediately felt a sense of terror.
What could I write about?
Who would care?
What on earth would I have to say that people would be interested in reading. “I can’t write” I told myself! I was filled with doubt, but why?
Suddenly I remembered back to being that little girl trying to ask her what the difference was between then and now? Then it came to me, as a little girl my only judge was my beautiful mum and let’s be honest, mums love you unconditionally,or at least my beautiful mum did so of course she loved everything I wrote! As a mum now, I have to agree I love EVERYTHING our angels write. So what was it then?
Judgment held me back
After some searching it came to me, I was completely paralysed by the fear of judgement. But fear is a funny thing. I hid behind many reasons not to start this blog and every single one of them was a really reasonable excuse for fear. After hearing Sel for a second time it dawned on me, it is and will always be ok for others to have a view of you. We are human, it’s what we do.
Although, at the end the only person that really matters, the true judge I need to really listen to is ME! I remembered something my mum would say to me often from the time I was very young and what I have said to our daughter since she could understand it.
“Danielle you can do anything that you put your mind to. You are creative in every way and people love enjoying watching that come to life in so many ways”.
I wanted to make a stand and live my purpose, which I will share in my future blogs. I,Danielle Norton-Smith am going to share with the world. It may not be relevant, it may not cure the world of anything at all but it will include heartfelt experiences, life stories, business stories, key learnings, shared creativity and more. It will be me.
You see I have spent time over the last few weeks remembering all of the things I love so much in the world and I’ve decided to gift myself more of them. One of these things is to write. So write I will.
Now for some feedback
I look forward to feedback both positive (hopefully) and constructive! How else can we grow? And, that’s my aim. To continually grow through writing and on the way, share some fun, some humor and some real authentic stories of learning. I’m excited about the journey to come and would encourage anyone who has a ‘love’ for anything to reconnect with it, give it a go.
In your moment of truth, when you rock on your porch in your 90’s will you say to your loved ones, to your grandchildren, to your own children, to your friends and family, I gave it my all, I didn’t get it right all of the time but I damn well gave it a good crack?
That’s what I want to tell our children and for them to share with their children, GIVE IT A GO! Don’t let others or reasonable excuses hold you back. You are here for a short time, make your impact by doing what you love and that will go on to inspire others.
Who doesn’t like a story to finish?
I will end this first blog with a quick story, a few years back I had created an initiative where we invited young people to be creative and bring innovative ideas to life for a chance to win a number of awesome prizes. In one of the mentoring sessions with the kids we were talking about learning and failing and the room seemed to go quiet when the subject of failing came up.
It was like a thick cloud of fear and yet we fail and make mistakes every single day. To my complete surprise the leader of the session said
“You do realise that we don’t use the term ‘fail’ anymore do you?”
The students stopped in their tracks with a look of ‘what?’ on their face and the leader went on to say:
“We call it Flearn”.
I found myself thinking ‘what?’ with all the kids around me. She went on to explain that to Fail is to Learn – to “Flearn”. She said:
“Look it up, it’s in the dictionary”
I had to look for myself thinking she may have lost it in some little way. Although to my complete surprise, there is was: Flearn
Flearn… To learn through failure. I flearnt something recently when I tried and failed. To try is to learn. If you fail, you didn’t fail… you learned about taking a new approach. A new journey in a different way. A better way. A stronger way.
Anyway, the next time you feel that you failed, remember this: you didn’t fail, you FLEARNED!!!!
Please share that with the people you care about and trust yourself to learn a new way, to be stronger, to think differently… to give it a bloody go!