On July 11th 1998 I had a life-altering conversation with my Uncle Steve. I was in an incredibly vulnerable, open, and confused place in my life. With my baseball career over at the age of 24, I was terrified about the future and not sure what to do next. In my heart, I knew I had something to say, something to write, and something to teach. That day I called Steve in Texas, who had always been an incredible beam of light in my life – a male force of love, belief in me, and inspiration. I loved, trusted, and admired him. In the course of the conversation with Steve that day, I shared lots of my insecure feelings and fears about the future. I also shared this “far-fetched” dream of wanting to be an author and a teacher, even though at the time I had no real idea about that that meant or how I would do that. As we got further into the conversation, Steve pointed out that it didn’t sound like I really wanted to write, per se, it sounded more like I wanted to speak my truth and share my ideas, stories, and insights in a way that might help others. He said, “you don’t want to be a writer, you want to be a speaker.” I had never thought about that until he said it…and it resonated with me to my core.
Then Steve said the words that changed my life…he said, “Michael, it is time for you to STEP OUT. What can you do today to ‘step out’ into your life and into your truth?”
I was both inspired and terrified by his comment and question. But, what he said touched a deep place within my heart and soul. I felt alive, I felt seen, I felt supported, and I felt almost possessed by this notion of me truly “stepping out.”
Steve and I have grown even closer over the past nine years. He continues to love, support, and celebrate me. I appreciate him and am so grateful for his loving presence in my life. And, while my path to this moment has been somewhat hap-hazard, that conversation and the concept of me “stepping out” has been the motivation and inspiration for all of my work as a speaker, coach, and now author…and for my life these past nine years. It is not to say that I “step out” all the time. I don’t and sometimes it is painful for me to see and feel myself retreat, withhold, and not do or say what is true in my heart. But, this awareness and Steve’s influence have allowed me to understand this important phenomenon in my life and in life in general.
Enough about me…how does this relate to you and your life? Are you willing to step out, speak your truth, go for what you want, and be yourself? As Oscar Wilde so brilliantly said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
What would “stepping out” look like for you? What can you do today as a way to “step out?” When we do this, whatever it looks like for each of us, we are truly alive, in touch with our passion and purpose, and living life on our edge. In my opinion, that is what it is all about.
Now…go STEP OUT in your life today and everyday. Otherwise, what’s the point?!?
With Love, Passion, and Truth,