I rarely sit in the far back of an airplane. But sometimes, the plane is so full when I make my reservation that I don’t have a choice.

That happened when I returned from West Palm Beach in April. I was stuck back in row 25 with an aisle seat. I watched as passengers boarded wondering if a big husky guy would occupy the middle seat and part of mine.

Near the end of boarding I looked up and saw a very pretty young woman who was young enough to be my granddaughter.

I’m not sure how we struck up a conversation, but when we did, I learned her name was Jessica Rachel Clonmell. She had visited her grandparents in West Palm Beach and was traveling back to London, England via of DFW, after her original flight was canceled.

I learned Jessica is a writer, a photographer, a model, fashion designer and an artist. She also especially enjoys writing in ways to empower young women like herself.

While we were together I looked at her blog and website and was blown away by her writing and art. I have since become a follower of her Instagram page.

During our flight together I wanted to know how she had become so creative. After listening, I asked Jessica to write a guest post for me on developing self confidence in 2016.

She not only wrote a guest post, but also included a poem. I am really happy to be able to share her thoughts on her own life journey.

Jessica 2

On the plane, Cordell asked me to write about how I built my self confidence to be creative and get comfortable outside of my comfort zone. He showed me a blog post by Seth Godin titled: Quieting the lizard brain. I guess what I have been working on is “Quieting the lizard brain.”

What prompted me to start? I came to a point where I desperately wanted to see a change in my life. I wanted some answers to big questions and ultimately I wanted to know who I was.

I realised at that point I feared getting outside my comfort zone because I didn’t want to experience rejection. Now, my best moments are when I seek out creative things to do.

What held me back?  Like many of you, I was striving for perfection. If I couldn’t do it perfectly, I didn’t try. When I finally realised  that ‘I’m not perfect and never will be’ I began to embrace my weaknesses and imperfections and even use them to create some really beautiful things.

That meant getting over my own pride and security and facing the fact that I am enough as me…all my imperfections, failings and fears. I have no need to feel ashamed.

As this sunk in more and more, I started to consciously face my fears and the freedom I discovered was truly revolutionary.

Simply telling myself  “when I am me I have liberty” broke many fears within me and helped me face the voices telling me to back away.

Instead, I experienced a new sense of passion and realised  I have a place, a part to play and that I can have an influence and make an impact without being perfect.

When I started to challenge myself to do things without being concerned with what others would think, I saw a huge change in my outlook on life, people, opportunities and ultimately on myself.

This is still very much a journey I am on. But I feel blessed to now know these truths and to have the ability to keep facing and pursuing more freedom through childlike creativity of spontaneity and fun. The realisations my artwork have shown me have been life changing (not only for me but others too).

Jessica

My Poem:
Often in life we aim to be perfect.
As we think that’s how we will gain respect.
Yet I’ve come to realise that’s simply not the case.
Because to be that, we’d have to be two faced.

And the importance lies within authenticity.
Because trust is vital in order to feel free.
So get messy and embrace your imperfection.
As creativity is a good way to see your own reflection.

For me this was the case as things crumbled to pieces.
I started to see the beauty that could come through the creases.
There was no need for shame for the things in the past.
I just needed to forgive and not let them last.

In letting go and seeing myself anew.
It was through drawing out my thoughts I saw my breakthrough.
I honestly can’t express the freedom that I felt.
When I confronted my fears and the thoughts that I was dealt.

Hope started to arise and my horizon seemed bright.
That out of the ashes I found I was a delight.
All the shame had no power, and the words had run dry.
I realised who I was, no need to be shy!

I confronted my fears of what others might think.
But realised I couldn’t be held back or simply just shrink.
I wanted to be bold. To be all that I am.
And in order to be so, I went out with a bam!

All dressed in yellow I confronted my fears.
“It doesn’t matter what they think my dear”.
Just be yourself and embrace this time.
Because when you are free, is when you will shine.

I feel blessed to have run into a young woman who is on such a wonderful life journey. Keep an eye on Jessica as she successfully quiets the lizard brain and creates wonderful art.

Want to read more on getting outside your comfort zone? Check out: Why Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Is Worth It—Even When It’s Uncomfortable