Stop Waiting, Give Now

Stop Waiting, Give Now

“What’s going on with you? You’re radiant!”

Every single one of my cells is vibrating.

“How do you feel?” my wife probes.

“Powerful… alive,” I respond with a kind of depth and certainty that exceeds my normal being.

I’ve just finished a training session with Justin Pierce and my whole body is vibrating.

Pulsing. Electric. Centered.

But in my mind there’s fear.

Not the every day, average, vanilla flavor of fear. My heart is yearning to give more deeply, and at the same time, I’m terrified.

It’s my third session with Justin, personal trainer, coach and mastermind behind Metaphysical Fitness — easily the best work I’ve ever invested in. I met Justin at a David Deida retreat I attended last August in Ojai.

He has one of the facilitators at the retreat and I felt a pull to work with Justin almost immediately. There was a depth about him. An assuredness and presence that I wanted for myself. I wanted to move with direction and purpose the way he seemed to do so effortlessly.

I’ve learned that when I see something in others that I find attractive or magnetic, I’m being called to embody and embrace a quality I possess within myself. A quality that I sometimes think I don’t have, but is waiting underneath the surface to be released.

I’ve also learned to trust my intuition and invest in myself. The more I take the plunge and sign up for the coaching program, the training, the retreat that I feel called to, the more opportunities and deep, soul-satisfying growth happens for me.

So, why all this fear?

Because I’m being called to pursue a new purpose and I’m not yet sure what shape it will take. I don’t have all the answers. I’m not an expert in what I teach now, or what I’m about to consider teaching and leading.

I’m on the path. I’m being called to blaze my own trail, yet again. Just. Like. You.

And my fear, perhaps just like you is that I’ll be found out as a fraud, or I’ll speak my truth and others will think I’m weird. Or I’ll give my gifts and they won’t be received by those I want to reach.

But as I finished this session today, heart beating, body spent and soul alight, I couldn’t keep myself from sharing this message with you.

Creating to impress vs. creating to serve

The truth is that I’ve realized that sometimes (more often than I’d like to admit, if I’m being honest), my desire to create comes first from a sense of wanting to impress. To be liked. I’m afraid of being excluded, “exiled from the tribe” as Steven Pressfield would say.

I’m afraid of what you’ll think if I just create directly from my heart and deeply wanting to serve, without packaging and manicuring my art to have the highest probability of success. I’m afraid of failing and not being liked if I don’t put in all the copywriting techniques, catchy headlines, and social triggers that captivate attention.

Why am I sharing all of this?

Have I always created just from a desire to impress? No, not always. Some creations have poured out unfiltered from my heart to yours.

But I’m tired of impressing and a fear of being “found out” twisting my creations.

“If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love without holding back, then you suffer.” —David Deida

I don’t know if it’s possible to overcome this impulse completely. I think saying it and admitting it out loud helps. At least, I hope it helps you feel less alone.

One thing is certain, I refuse to let myself die with my truest, deepest offerings still inside me.

No more waiting. I’m giving everything.

Will you join me?

Follow a proven framework to earning a living from your passion

photo credit: iNkMan_ via photopin cc

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45 Comments on "Stop Waiting, Give Now"

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I love this Jonathan. I feel this all the time – the tug between wanting to impress, to do it “right”and just saying, “F**k it” and pouring out my heart instead. My biggest fear when starting down this path was being kicked out of the tribe. Turns out, the more I do my thing, my way, the more I find my real tribe. Still terrifies me but I push it every single day. Thanks for being someone who reminds me let go of impressing and just be real.


Constantly. Constantly. Constantly.

You’ve consistently impressed me more than most, Jonathan, so I can’t wait to hear what the next twist is. Thanks for posting this and reminding me that I need to keep track of what *I* want/need to say.


Guess this comes under, if you want the same results as other people then do what other people are doing. We never got ‘real’ jobs because we want better results than other people. I dont want a boring 9-5 existance and the only way to step away from the herd is to serve. Not go after the money for moneys sake.

To step out of your comfort zone and not give a shit about being socially accepted is scary but it is the only way to be truly free.

True freedom is to truly serve


Thanks for your comment Chris. I like the last line: “true freedom is to truly serve.”

Reminds of this quote from Tagore:

I dreamt and saw that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and saw that service was joy.


Well said. I find it to be a constant struggle…checking and questioning my motivations all the time, even when I want to give my time, myself, my money, etc. I share your desire to not leave anything on the table. One of my biggest challenges right lies in determining what it is that I can do, that will allow me to support my family and, at the same time, give all that I have. In other words, “why am I here?!” and “am I doing what I was put here to do?.”


It sounds like you’re on the right path. Keep questioning, stay hungry. You’ll find the answers within yourself.

Guilherme Franco

For sure, man! You are totally right. You are inspiring

Kevin Conor Keller
The creating to impress vs creating to serve reminds of an interview I watched with David Foster Wallace when he spoke about reading the writing of others and thinking that they only write a certain way for the purpose of saying “Look how clever I am”. It becomes very easy to translate that message to graphic design, photography, or other creative industries. I often have to stop and ask myself if the sole purpose of creating my next image is to impress someone. I’ve actually deleted my Facebook, Instagram, and other social network accounts for that fear of trying to… Read more »

This was perfect, thank you! I, too, have been partially living in a space of seeking recognition from others for validation, and was working with intentions around changing this pattern moments before I opened your email! I now pledge to own, appreciate, know and trust my gifts, talents and value at a deep and profound level — and to share these gifts with the world out of love, service and gratitude. Thanks for your inspiration! Sending love and gratitude from LA. :)

Agril Sezz
Hey there! I have been getting your emails for a few months now and I don’t even remember HOW I got on your mailing list…but I’m glad I did because you have inspired me greatly to give my gifts! I am currently in the process of putting together my website and launching once I finish the storefront aspect of it…I really took to heart what you said about letting people know right away that you will be selling a product instead of springing it on them later…I have to be honest and say that I am not thrilled with how… Read more »

Very inspiring Jonathon! This message keeps coming to me lately so it must be important. We all crave positive feedback (ego) but it’s a rare person who truly just does their thing no matter what others think of it or the rewards it will yield. I love this line: “I refuse to let myself die with my truest, deepest offerings still inside me.” Yes! I feel that inside me too. Much to do.

Brenda Knowles
I recently saw a quote from Hugh MacLeod that said, The best way to get approval is to not need it. I have noticed lately my truest happiness comes when I receive a message from a reader that says my writing has helped them in some way. If we give to others, we feel good. We don’t need approval or to be impressive. We just need to serve and know our purpose. Thank you for the inspiring post. I’ve been listening to and acknowledging my intuition more. I just finished Deida’s book, The Way of the Superior Man, so your… Read more »
I am inspired by your words and thank you so very much for sharing this with me and all others. I too am sick of trying to impress. I’ve been on this particular path for a while and have been painfully slowly finding out who’s my real tribe or not. Its got a few people confused and even turn bitter towards me for not doing things just to “make them happy” or entertain them and impress them. I tell people “I’m hard to impress ” because, first of all its the truth, but also I find it helps me to… Read more »
Ahmad Jenkins

Great post Jonathan! It falls under a theme that for some reason has been coming across my mind from many other great writers, using your gifts to fulfill a purpose greater than yourself ( and the sense of just being noticed by others), something I’m afraid I’ve neglected for a long time. It’s a great reminder of why I truly do what I do… Thanks, I needed the awesome reminder! :)


I became a coach because I felt that the job I had (project manager at a tech firm, building entertainment devices) wasn’t serving anyone except the owners of the company. I’ve let my need to serve drive me for the last year, and it’s been amazing. Even with the stress of starting a business in a depressed economy, I am so much happier than I was before.

And thanks for sharing the Tagore quote in the comments section, I’d never heard it before and it’s astounding!

When I stopped trying to win “friends” by impressing people I stopped being dissapointed. I understand that I do not need people to give we awards or compliments. I do get them, but I do not expect them. I genuinely try to serve because I enjoy helping people. If they do not want to be buddies it is fine with me. I know what My intention is and that is awesome for me… is to difficult to be fake with people. Be yourself and let the real chips fall where they should. Some people will ignore you, some will not… Read more »
Maria Mar
I love it, Jonathan, I’m so happy for you. You truly deserve this beautiful sacred gift, and I’m so proud of you for choosing this path of freedom through service. Fear is our constant challenger and at the same time, the flag that lets us find the wound so that we can find where our power is buried. But I know from painful experience that the fear of rejection, exile and judgment can hold us back for a long, long time. Like Sleeping Beauty, we wait, procrastinate and avoid. It weakens and scrambles the signal we are broadcasting to the… Read more »
Jeanine @ Faerietale Coach

“…or I’ll speak my truth and others will think I’m weird.” This!!! That’s the one that holds me back.


Very much so. It’s always a struggle because this feeling, this fear of being rejected, comes from experience. We’ve all been rejected at some point when we were feeling very vulnerable, and it’s often an arduous process to understand the reasons (or lack thereof!) behind that. So over time we have to learn how to weigh the risks, and how to find the courage to meet them.

Good subject! I like this quote as a reminder: There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to… Read more »
Jan-thanks for sharing this awesome quote! Jonathan’s writing continues to be delightful revelation. I resonate with the often times teetering scale of wanting to impress and wanting to be unapologetically authentic…but if I can get a bit metaphysical :) What if neither the aspect of wanting to impress and be authentic were separate or diametrically opposing ideals…but different degrees of the same expression? If we all are apart of each other, on a subatomic particle level…., If my capacity to change my perception of you, has the capacity to change your perception of yourself….then maybe the greatest freedom is in… Read more »

Thank you! I thought it was just me.

Stephanie Blackbird

This post so resonates with me! It’s as if you heard the whispers stirring in my heart – the whispers to step up and step out. To play a bigger game. To help others do the same. Thank you for your transparency.

Great article! I’ve been dealing with this recently in regards to my art and showing art that is “likable and popular” instead art that comes from my soul. I finally decided to show people I’m an artist recently but I’ve been afraid of everyone else thinking I’m strange or weird so I try to tone myself and my art down to be less “freaky.” I want to create the art that lives inside of me and not the art that will have the most likes on Facebook. I’ve come to accept I’m not going to be liked by everyone and… Read more »

“…this, above all else, to thine own self be true.”

Excellent topic. Thank you for the food for thought.

Thank you for that. I feel this all the time, especially since I’m new to the scene and don’t want to be just the weird new kid. I know that my ideas are sometimes the opposite of conventional wisdom, because the people at my current job tend to think that my ideas are “nice, but silly”. Every time I created content, I would worry that someone I know would end up teasing me for it later. That hasn’t happened yet, and now I gain more confidence with each post that I made. BTW: Your articles have inspired me to set… Read more »

Being a Chinese, the idea that you must impress is wired in the core. It is survival.

Before we can live, we firstly need to survive. Is this really true?

I am not sure, there is probably no answer.

Michael Alvin
Hi Jonathan, I have felt this way also. It’s paradoxical. You just want people to benefit by what you are inspired to say, but then, you wonder how they will listen to you unless you are impressing them. Then you start to rewrite and add all those little bells and whistles to what you’ve said, which only detracts from the original message. I like your idea about creating a space (a site?) where we could encourage each other to express our “being” without embarrassment. Let’s go; I’m ready, are you? Just reply and let me know! Michael

Ooooooh,my GOD. YES. I’m constantly fighting with myself in impressing vs being myself. I think the fear of impressing is more about not offending the people that I hold close to my heart — whether they agree with my politics or not. Ugh. Everything about this article resonates.

Thank you so much for this ! Our current society appears to me to be obsessed with the goal of THE IMPRESSION. I am of the opinion that a huge segment of consumer debt can be traced to the purchase of things that will assist us in making the right impression. What has happened to making an impression based on who I am rather than what image I want to project? Personally I find I have so much more energy to be who I am and want to work towards being and doing the things I want to do when… Read more »

Thank you for this. I always have a problem with this, the trying to impress people part. I always think about what other people will say about me when they see my work, will they think I’m dumb or something. It’s very hard to overcome but I have to and this article helped in a way. As what you said I have to learn to create deeply from my heart and to wanting to genuinely serve and not to give a damn about what other people might say, may it be good or bad. Thanks again.

Loyal Butterfly
Wow, I really do not get the “impress” concept! I never figured anyone would understand me at all. I never conformed, except to not cause a needless conflict. I can’t change anyone’s mind, or influence them in any way. But I do have a unique perspective, as a Hetaira Archetype personality. I must give, even if it costs me everything. I already gave everything, to create a place where people could find help and recenter themselves. When I had nothing left, I had to leave. Then I moved on beyond a sense of self, to what I call Neo, the… Read more »

I think this is so important more now than ever with all the ways we find approval through social media. I find I have a tough time with it… over-analyzing everything I share. A relevant quote I keep returning to is: “Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing.” ? Leo Babauta

I’m hoping daily meditation will help to quiet the self judgement and fear of judgement from others… please keep us updated on what works for you! :) Thank you for sharing!


Hi Jonathan, what you have written meets the kind of leadership I want from you and for myself.
The paths you and I are traversing now are very similar. I believe that everything has evolved and what is manifesting inside of you is a representation of what is now required. You are a naturally bold and inspirational warrior of the truth and a person that is constantly delivering greatness. Thanks for sharing, your message resonates at the deepest level.
Alongside you from London.


Serving and giving isn’t always the way to go. I served and followed my passion and ended up deeply in debt. I kept on because I was so inspired, poured my heart and soul into the next project and got very publicly and humiliatingly kicked out of the tribe. Now, I work 9 to 5 and I know the rent and bills will get paid. And I keep myself to myself. It’s much more peaceful. I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but not everyone can blaze a trail. Sometimes it’s just enough to appreciate what you have.
Jonathan Thanks so much for being so honest. I often think it’s just me that feels an overwhelming and often (sadly) paralysing fear of what others will think and of not being good enough. I love what I do, but I don’t want to tell anyone about it because then I might be exposed as a fraud. Rationally I understand that this is not at all true, but something in me says this and unfortunately I frequently listen both consciously and subconsciously. What I think helps with this, is know that other people feel exactly the same thing too. It… Read more »

Yes, this. This is so right, so timely, so powerful. Thank you for writing and sharing this. I feel like I just started the day with full permission to be myself …and not apologize. You have no idea how much I, (we all) need this. Thank you!

Love. I’ve experienced this plenty of times- I think it’s why I can write sales pages and marketing funnels for other people, but it’s so hard to do for me. With every person I get to work with, my offerings shift ever so slightly. When I left my fitness teaching position, I didn’t know how my work would show up anymore. I just knew I was called to change it and show up in a bigger way. It’s still being revealed, and it can be scary to not be able to rely on my elevator pitch or the perfectly articulated… Read more »

“The truth is that I’ve realized that sometimes (more often than I’d like to admit, if I’m being honest), my desire to create comes first from a sense of wanting to impress. To be liked. I’m afraid of being excluded, “exiled from the tribe” as Steven Pressfield would say.”
Very well said, Jonathan. Exactly what I felt when I try to write or create something.

Drew Downs

This resonates deeply with me. As I’m struggling with work that severely limits my voice for reasons of safety under the guise of being respectful, I don’t feel able to express myself fully. But boy do I still write to impress. Thank you!


I found myself nodding along through the whole article. I’m so completely guilty of creating with the goal of impressing people.

You’re not alone!! I really like this article because you’re saying that it’s about trying to focus on doing something for others as a FIRST priority. It’s truly hard, and I pray that God will continue to help me get better at doing this. One way that I try to get out of my own self-ishness is to do something good for someone in close proximity (hold the door open for someone, etc) because it allows me to focus on someone else! As for the “trying to impress thing” I noticed the more you focus on others, the “need to… Read more »

Wow, this resonates deeply with me. Until this year, I never realized how much of my life I dedicated to impressing people…even imaginary ones. Even if I didn’t have a real-life crowd in front of me to impress, I would somehow make up these ideals to conform to. Now, I’m trying hard to be the true me and express that. At this point, I don’t even know what that is, but intend to find out. Love, love, love PtE.

I used to feel this way as well Jonathan. Especially with regards to building a successful website, amongst other things. Some of my writings were about pleasing the search engines so I can get the most exposure. Pleasing my friends and family, so they wouldn’t think negatively of me, and even pleasing society at large to a certain extent, because in the past I didn’t genuinely believe in what I was doing. Nowadays, I’ve come to the conclusion that unless I give it my all, and really share with the world exactly what I’m trying to offer – from the… Read more »

Amazing article. I feel better and more motivated now =) Very important to live the moment and not wait for the heaven

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