Please proceed to step out of the woods.


You are more than the things you tell yourself on repeat. 

My god, you have no idea how badly I want to believe in those words. I want to say them on repeat. I want to grab people in public places and just shake them real good while those words shoot out of my mouth like promises I know I can keep.

You are more than the things you tell yourself on repeat. 

I wrote them in my palm. I kept opening and closing up my hand just so I could see those words, suck them in, believing for longer than a second that the words are true. They’re written in ink. I never want to stop reading them. I keep thinking they’ll act like a cloak that hangs over my shoulders and keeps me protected from the doubt and the insecurity that try to come crawling beneath my door at night.

You are more than the things you tell yourself on repeat. 

A friend of mine sent me a text the other day. She told me she’d had a dream about me. In thedream she saw me standing in the middle of a dark alleyway. I was hesitant. I was scared. I was unable to put one foot in front of the other. I could see the light that was waiting for me just outside the alleyway– so much light just waiting for me– but I couldn’t step out. And she told me, after she had that dream, that I needed to step out. Whatever was holding me back, I had to let it go. Whatever fears were burrowing themselves into my spirit, I had to find a way to let them go. She found me out. She found me out in that dream and she was telling me straight: you need to stop holding yourself back. The pity party must cease and you must de-invite everyone to your darkest parts. You need to stop thinking you have never deserved good things for your life. 


Just typing those words– you need to stop thinking you have never deserved good things for your life— makes me feel like I am the one punching my own self in the stomach. Again. Again. Again. But they’re true. They’re true on Monday mornings. They’re true on Wednesday afternoons and Friday nights and weekends that are packed with plans. We all, at some point or another, live with the lie that we don’t deserve good things. And it makes us hostile little creatures who don’t know to love things with our whole bodies.

You are more than the things you tell yourself on repeat.

Someone needs to read that today. Just that. Maybe it’s you. Someone needs to know they are not the lies they’ve told themselves.

You aren’t the sob story. You’re not the victim. You’re not the one who always gets left behind. You’re not forgotten. You’re not second-string. You’re needed. Can’t you just accept that? You are needed. 



This world needs you. It’s scary, crazy-broken and it needs you. And let me be clear– it needs all of you. And that means you must be willing to backburner your own insecurities so that you can become who this world so desperately needs right now. It needs the strongest version of you. The kindest version. The most refined version who is willing to go through the woods and out of the woods to ensure that someone else, someday, will be able to come out of the woods too. 

We all want to be out of the woods— have we forgotten that we were supposed to help one another find the way out

The world needs all of you– in your bravest skin. Please don’t let the doubt that’s falling on your shoulders keep you from your purpose. Maybe it’s been a while… maybe it’s been a while since someone came up to you and told you that you count. That you matter. That you play a role. We all play a role. And the point of this lifetime is not to look at other people and wonder why they got what you wanted.

The point of this lifetime isn’t to belittle yourself. It’s not to wait for the day when you feel worthy and good enough. It’s not to mark some date on a calendar when you’ll be a better version of yourself or a time when you think you’ll actually be able to look in the mirror without wishing someone else would stare back.

No offense, and not to be harsh, but we all need to step up and set expiration dates for ourselves. Expiration dates for the fear. For the doubt. For the lies we tell ourselves to convince ourselves that someone else is always going to have it better than us.

You’re here. You are here right now. And do you know how much that matters? Do you know how much that counts? Please– for the love of lovelier things– do not fling away your life and feed it to the lions in your head that tell you you don’t add up. You do. And the sooner you tell yourself that– whether you believe the words or not– the sooner you will find the backburner for yourself. And the sooner you find the backburner for yourself, the sooner you’ll understand what this life is really all about: helping others come out of the woods.
The stories you tell yourself– they’re lies. Lies meant to keep you in one place. Never moving. Never making the impact you said you wanted to. Those lies don’t have an expiration date… That should terrify you.

No one is going to change a thing for you if you don’t do it first.

29 thoughts on “Please proceed to step out of the woods.

  1. Just yesterday I made the decision to set a date for myself and plunge into a land that frightens me. This post comes serendipitously, saying to me, “you were right. That was the right decision.” Thank you.

    I’ve been wanting to start my own business desperately, but those words I tell myself repeatedly were holding me back. Yesterday I got brave. I hope my crafts that I am planning on selling can help others, as you say, step out of the woods. Thank you, again.

  2. Thanks for this, Hannah. I have a disability, and the best words I ever heard were from a doctor who told me “You have an illness, but you are not an invalid.” These are words I keep repeating on my toughest days. I am not an invalid. My life is no less valid than anyone else’s. My life matters. And so does yours.

  3. I have been going through a phase in life where I am contemplating a lot about this very thing. Your post gave me a lot of answers that I had been looking for since months! Thank you. ^_^

  4. Hannah love, I really needed to hear that today. Thank you so much for helping me a little further out the woods. See you on the other side.

  5. Beautifully written. Incredibly true words. Thank you for sharing. Making the choice to not listen to the lies, and they are lies, is the best thing that you can do for yourself!

  6. I admitted that I`ve been living in those lies. Thanks for your kind and inspirational words, everybody in this bloody world should read this to lead them out of the woods.

  7. Oh HB, you’re such a beautiful light in this world, even if you feel like you’re in a dark alleyway. I’ll be praying for you to step out into the light – you’ve got an army rooting for you!

  8. Reblogged this on Beautiful as Fire and commented:
    And maybe you need this, too. Today, I know I did.
    “This world needs you. It’s scary, crazy-broken and it needs you. And let me be clear– it needs all of you. And that means you must be willing to backburner your own insecurities so that you can become who this world so desperately needs right now. It needs the strongest version of you. The kindest version.”

  9. I was thinking of how difficult this battle is as a mid-twenty year old who is struggling to wait on God and feeling discouraged all the while because life continues to be unclear. But then I started thinking about how how difficult this battle must be for single mothers and single fathers and men who are trying to support their families and children who have been abused and women who have been broken. We are all having war waged upon us. How lovely that God our father does not waver. How remarkable that the only one who will never thinks of us as less is the one who knows all the things we tell ourselves on repeat.

  10. So, so, SO what I needed today and yesterday and probably tomorrow. I am reading the book, “A Confident Heart” and it is all about this. It can be so difficult to shut out the harsh words and feelings sometimes but we all deserve better than what we put on ourselves. Thanks for writing and sharing. 🙂

  11. I read this before, and it was good then. But, I re-read it today, and it hit me so strong. I needed the reminder. Thank you so much for your own willingness to step out from the woods. Your words inspire me.

  12. Reblogged this on theletterorange and commented:
    I’ve been silent, not sure of how to begin. I love writing, but none of my written words have made it up here (they’ll make it one day [soonish]).
    But then I came across these written words, and they were words that I needed to hear, and I’m hoping that even just one more person who needs these words finds them here, because the world needs more love, hope, and light. Even if I can’t be the flame, I can be a reflector for that flame.

    From one of the most inspirational young women I know..

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