I am such a sucker for talent shows. My DVR is full of recorded episodes of the new X-Factor and The Voice. I’m just amazed by the courage it takes for people to put their hopes and dreams on the line, to sing their hearts out or dance their booties off, in front of strangers and in competition with other talented folks. Just sitting in the audience, whether in person or on TV, I can feel my heart thumping inside my chest for each brave soul.

Holy smokes – did you see the bullying victim who appeared on last night’s X-Factor? 19-year-old Jillian Jensen sang through tears after sharing how she’d been bullied through middle school and high school, much like judge Demi Lovato had. By the time the judges all gave her “yes” votes, I had tears streaming down my face. It was really moving. I mean, how does a girl who’s been so emotionally bruised by cruelty from her peers muster up enough confidence to make her mark on the world?

I was compelled by her story and did a little digging. I found this online letter Jillian Jensen wrote to other bullying victims, detailing her own experience and the dark depression she went through as a result. Music was her lifeline – her spark – and it’s clear she had family and friends to both get her help and support her dreams. I know a little bit about finding your inner song and am so glad Jillian found hers. I hope she soars on X-Factor – for her sake and to inspire all the kids watching – the bullied and the bullies – and prove it’s possible to find the courage to shine.

P.S. Check out Jillian Jensen’s Facebook page, full of comments and gratitude from people who relate to her story.


Giveaway: Win a Spot in BuzzWorthy!

Speaking of sharing your brilliance, don’t forget – you’ve got until Friday at 11:59pm central to enter my giveaway: you could win 1 of 3 spots in my BuzzWorthy ecourse, which starts Oct. 1.