Last week we talked about holding onto a dream when it no longer serves you because you feel you owe it to yourself or to the dream.
But I’ve also had people say things like, “Well, I don’t want to disappoint anyone.”
There’s some idea that because we dreamed something once a long time, and held onto it for a while, and said it out loud to everyone they knew, that we’ve written some contract in blood that says we have to go through with it. There’s no turning back.
Just because we say something out loud, or think it for a while, or even implement it, doesn’t mean we can’t change our mind.
Even if we think it means letting someone (or many someones) down.
When I decided to leave Creative Central (a group for fiction writers I built from the ground up), I hung on for over a year. At first, that was because I felt like a failure. This was my dream, wasn’t it?! I loved my work with fiction writers. I loved seeing them succeed! How could I possibly move on?!
Then, it became about not wanting to let my tribe down. I had cultivated this community that loved Creative Central as much as I did. I couldn’t just burn it down and walk away from it.
What was a girl to do? So I kept holding on, even as my health declined and my soul cried louder for next-level impact.
I had seen too many other businesses go sideways when they burnt everything to the ground, leaving their people high and dry. In their need to pursue what was next, they didn’t think about their people at all. That didn’t align with me.
I’d also watched businesses hang on for so long to dreams and creations that were no longer theirs that their passion died out. Income dried up. People, again, stopped being served.
There had to be a better way.
So I worked on finding new hands to take it over. People who loved this group as much as I did and who were as dedicated to the writers’ success as much as I was.
And I found them—a powerful duo who have gone on to open a small press and help writers’ publishing dreams come true.
Since I left, Creative Central has changed leadership three more times…each leader handing off the reins to the next. Each leader ensuring the legacy and power of Creative Central survives.
During that transition from my leadership to someone else’s, I had to learn to let other people’s disappointment be theirs. It’s okay that people were sad over my leaving. Some may have even felt abandoned or (in its extreme) betrayed. I have to let that be okay.
Because we can’t follow our magic if we are allowing our magic to be dictated by anyone else.
There has to be room for new awakenings and renegotiating old creations.
If we are worried about letting people down then we have to hand those emotions back over and let them feel it. It’s theirs to feel, but not ours to carry.
I wasn’t giving up or quitting on my people. I was releasing that original dream (Creative Central).
I was kissing it on the forehead and waving it goodbye like I had dropped it off at college and it was now ready to become its next best self under the tutelage of others.
It wasn’t that the dream was no longer good enough…
Or that the people were no longer good enough…
Or that they (the dream or the people) no longer mattered…
It was simply about that creation, that dream, no longer being the thing that called my name.
There was something else I had to answer to and there were plenty of others to care for the original thing I had created.
In that way, Creative Central became something that belonged to many people instead of just me, and now it’s a part of my legacy. It’s a tiny piece of Deb that I get to leave behind.
Your choosing into your next level of creation isn’t abandoning what once was, it’s choosing to walk toward what now is.
That’s okay. You can. You must.
Loves & hugs,