Have you struggled with belonging? With feeling alone? Diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, OCD, and anxiety at the age of 11, Jamie Grace navigated life on her own terms with resilience and dedication, building a platform to help others navigate the most challenging facets of life through her music and words.
When she was 14, she created YouTube channels for her music and her platform, “ImAFighter” that captured the attention of record labels and producers. At 19, she was nominated for a Grammy Award, Billboard Award and was recognized at the Dove Awards as New Artist of the Year. At just 26-years old, now independent artist Jamie Grace has four number 1 radio singles, many nominations as a singer-songwriter, and millions of views on her weekly Youtube videos.
Jamie Grace encourages millions who struggle with belonging, mental illness, feeling alone, and the most difficult aspects of life to find joy amidst their pain. She is a voice that speaks truth and vulnerably, and creates community in one of the most pure ways I’ve ever seen. Today, Jamie is going to teach us how to speak authentically, share our struggles with others, embrace our own stories, and ultimately, move forward into our best selves.
HER EARLY CAREER
Jamie Grace started her YouTube channel as a way to connect with people. She laughed about it, “I was a teen with no friends. Can someone please talk to me!” Her very first video was an improvised monologue about escaping homeschool. Her second video was titled “What is Tourettes Syndrome?” and the third video was a Jonas Brothers cover. The line-up sounds random, but Jamie Grace says she recognizes now that her intention was just to share joy with people.
In her 20s, music became a bigger focus for Jamie. She used music as a way to express herself, and the more she put her voice out into the world, the more support she got… But the critics were there, too. Some called her out for her music sounding like love songs, which contradicted the image she had of being a woman of faith. The criticism was tough on her, because she viewed her faith as being all about love and though it sounded like she was singing about a boy or a boyfriend, she was celebrating what her faith meant to her: Love. With her music reaching the masses her dating life became everyone else’s business.
In response to all attention her love life was getting, Jamie Grace shared a YouTube video called Boys, Boys, Boys and addressed the questions about why she is single. The simple answer: Because she wanted to be. Jamie wanted to wait until she was older to make the decision to date. The video went viral and she received e-mails from pastors saying they were using it in their girls bible study classes. Now, most of what she talks about on her YouTube channel is about dating, relationships, and love.
Jamie Grace says she wakes up every day with the goal to share joy. Her full time job is writing, recording, and performing music, but she’s also a podcaster, a YouTuber, a blogger, and a speaker… It’s all part of her mission to share joy with people and connect and serve her audience.
WHY YOU NEED TO TALK ABOUT WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT
People don’t connect with perfect because our lives look so far from it. For Jamie Grace, she could not hide what made her different. The symptoms of her Tourettes Syndrome diagnosis were not easy to hide. At a very early age she knew she was faced with two decisions: She could be insecure about it OR she could be bold about it. Jamie Grace decided to own who she is and what makes her unique.
Hearing other people’s stories through music and relating to the vulnerable lyrics made her feel like she was not alone. Jamie Grace realized that her story could impact others in a positive way, too. It wasn’t about how many people she could reach… It was just about reaching someone.
In this episode of the podcast, Jame Grace shares why she believes everything you say has power, no matter the size of your audience. Despite small beginnings, all of us have the power to make an impact on someone’s life with an encouraging word or gesture. You gotta tune in!
IF YOU’RE FEELING ALONE…
“You are not an island unto yourself.” Jamie Grace’s father instilled this into her heart and mind. To her, it means two things. First, it means that everything she creates, the content, music, and words she shares, is an act of service for someone else. It’s not all about her, and this helps her stay positive and find joy, even in low moments.
It also means that when you face a low moment and your instinct is to hide away and isolate yourself, resist it. Recognize in those moments that being alone may not be the healthiest or best choice for what you are going through. Surround yourself with family, mentors, a counselor, a therapist, a pastor, or anyone you can lean on to talk about the struggles you are facing.
THE BIG MESSAGE: JOY AND PAIN CAN COEXIST
It’s easy to think that once the pain is over, you’ll find joy. It’s easy to lead with the mindset that once you get what you’re reaching for, or overcome the obstacle you’re facing, then you will be happy. It’s a lot harder to choose joy and process joy as something ever-present. It requires work, but joy and pain can coexist. Jamie Grace lives her life according to this rule.
Jamie Grace’s story is filled with inspiration, and her ability to speak so openly about challenging topics made for such a special episode of The Goal Digger Podcast. If you want to hear more about her journey to finding joy in her most painful moments and the three words that describe her personal mission for changing the world, you don’t want to miss this episode.
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Photo Credit: Cat Harper Photography