Just begin. You’ve got this. It’s okay to fail. You are enough. You belong. I spend so much time preaching these messages, but I think I forget what they really mean. I somehow manage to think that they don’t apply to me and to Belong.

I began. I took the next steps. But you know something?

I don’t have this.

i don't know what I'm doing belong magazine blog post

I’m kind of freaking out. I’m having a really hard time dealing with the fact that I don’t have it all under control. I can’t seem to believe that it’s okay to fail, that I should use my failures as stepping stones to pave the path ahead of me. When things get hard, I quickly forget. I forget that even though it’s okay to fail, there still may be repercussions. And that’s okay too. That is how we learn and grow and how we keep from getting it wrong next time.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

I can tell you what the regulation is for the width of a doorway in a skilled nursing facility built before 1980 in the state of Illinois. I can manage accounts receivables for a multi-million dollar organization. Unfortunately, those are not necessary or even helpful skills for publishing a magazine. I don’t know what I’m doing. This industry is a foreign country to me where a different language is spoken. I’m learning as I go but that means I’m tripping up along the way.

I’m writing this to remind myself and to remind you that messing up and making mistakes are reality.

We are not going to get it all right.

Just beginning, taking the next step, it’s not always pretty. It’s hard and dirty and you will want to quit. Trust me! I’m feeling my way through each step. Is this the best way to do things? Probably not. Is it the only way I’m going to forge ahead with Belong? Probably. And so it goes dragging my fear right along behind me.

I saw an instagram post the other day: Just love.

This is how I want to be treated so this is the way I’m trying to treat others. We will all mess up. It’s not “if” but “when.” But if we can be gracious and loving, we can build one another up, encourage one another and grow with one another so that these mess-ups, mistakes, mishaps (aka failures) can be turned into stones to build the path ahead.

I’m hopeful that the space we’ve created with The Belong Collective on Facebook can be a loving community, a gracious community and one where we support one another through the inevitable failures. Let’s turn “you’ve got this” into “we’ve got this.”