*lub-DUB* *lub-DUB* *lub-DUB*
My heart was beating so hard I thought the people around me could actually see and hear it. Fifteen year old Ainsley felt like a cartoon character that fell in love and their heart was 3 feet in front of them as beads of sweat started to form on my forehead. “They will laugh at me,” I thought. “They will think I’m stupid.” Anxious and trying to grasp every ounce of self control I could find to stay in my seat, I lost it. It was 2 seconds of bravery that led my feet down the bleachers and into the arms of a girl named Sarah who prayed over me at the altar call of my high school chapel. I already had accepted Christ, but I wasn’t living a passionate life with Him in the driver’s seat, so I decided I would that day.
At that point in my life, I had been in church most of the days of my life. As in, every Wednesday, Sunday and depending on the youth group event, possibly all weekend. So, what was different about the response I had to this specific message? The medium.
Acting, singing and anything on screen were my language. I could listen to a lecture, but I could LIVE through a performance or video. That’s when I realized what my passion was. When I felt a reaction different than I’ve ever felt before. I felt so alive and so connected.
Even though I knew then that I wanted to relay God’s love in an entertainment medium, I didn’t realize that it was actually possible. Sometimes when things come easy to us, we don’t recognize them as gifts from the Lord. Often, we think our passion should fit in a box and we limit ourselves. That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t pursue this passion until I was 22 years old!!!
Here are the steps I took at 22 to get right back to where I was at 15.
- Brain Spill - When I was trying to discover my passion, I got a poster board and some markers. I started writing down things I loved or just enjoyed doing in my free time. Making videos and Powerpoints, film and television production, acting, PSA messages, teaching teens about their self worth and how to handle the social media world, writing, etc. My list went on and on for about three giant poster boards covering my door.
- Categorize - Do things you’ve written down have common link or theme? Could the skills you have and passions you’ve written fall into a job description that already exists? Could you make a job out of your brain spills?
- Action Items - Make a list of things you need for STEP ONE of your passion, NOT step 12. You’ll get there, but thinking too far ahead is overwhelming and discouraging. Just Step One for now.
- Fight Fear - As I went through this process it dawned on me that I hadn’t pursued these passions because I was scared. “They will laugh at me,” I thought. “They will think I’m stupid.” The lies of my 15 year old self were resurfacing, so I went into battle. My Bible and I were BFFS and I’ve never prayed harder than when I was starting to pick my passion.
- Lastly, Start. Then fail. Then, start again. Failure is inevitable. It’s going to happen. Ah, feel better? No? Oh. Well, the sooner you fail, the sooner you succeed. Like, when you go to the grocery store and there’s a million speed bumps before you can actually park and walk in to get 50 items that you don’t need when you just went in for toilet paper? Sorry, the wound is still fresh. The sooner you get over the speed bumps, the sooner you’ll reach your goal AND THEN SOME because of the lessons you learned along the way!
I’m on year 4 of UnveiledCampaign.com, still failing and succeeding at the same time. Unveiled is an online community providing positive media for teens and young adults aiming to unveil the lies we believe about ourselves and replace them with truth. We use media to relay these messages and teach teens their self worth while equipping them with life skills at pop up events. One thing remains the same. My passion has not died and more ideas and inspirations flood my heart during my time with the Lord than ever before.
Side note, I wanted this blog to be super catchy like “The 4 P’s to Picking Your Passion!” But guess what, things don’t always turn out like you originally planned.
I would love to see your Brain Spills and hear about your passions at @AinsleyB on social media!
Hearts & Rockets,
Ainsley B. is an Author, Executive Director of UnveiledCampaign.com and Speaker who loves adventure and a fresh, hot donut. She and her husband currently live in Houston, TX with their rescue dog Magnolia. She’d love to hang with you on social media at @AinsleyB or in her corner of the internet at AinsleyBritain.com