This past weekend, I attended a seminar in which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was for future authors, discussing the many aspects of writing a book and how authors can market themselves once published. Being a public speaker myself, I can appreciate the talent of engaging an audience. Believe me when I say the man speaking at this seminar had it. When I found out he was one of the top 20 highest paid speakers in the world, I knew I wasn’t wrong in my belief. Have you heard of Tony Robbins? He’s the speaker that’s usually up right before him. That alone pretty well puts him on top of the pile!
There is a heck of a lot of work that goes into writing a book (I can attest to this first hand!), but the seminar was not so much focused on strategy and writing. It addressed the largest obstacle that any writer faces—their own minds and confidence. It’s not just writers who face this, either. The number one thing that holds us back from reaching our potential is the fear of the unknown.
Think about it for a minute—what did you skip over in life because you were too scared to do it? And what was it that you were so afraid of? Nine times out of ten, we can all agree that it’s failure. There have been several times where I would stop writing for weeks, even a month, because my fear got the best of me and I was ready to quit. Fortunately, I have a build-in fan club with my hubby and son. They always keep me on track (if for no other reason but to get them off my back)! I’ll be honest, that fear never goes away. How we deal with it is the only way to change your own story. Feel the fear, but do it anyway.
I’ll admit it, I’m guilty of putting stuff off with the excuse that I’ll start it at a “better” time. Currently, as we approach the end of the year, my favourite excuse is “I’ll do it in the New Year”. I always love November and December because that excuse seems acceptable to everyone. Of course, Christmas time is too busy, so it only makes sense to do it after! Unfortunately, my logic is wrong! If you want a signed affidavit that this is true, let me know, but I guarantee that if you wait for the “right time”, you will still be waiting after they bury you. If you decide to wait until you are no longer wrought with fear about it, it’s not going to happen either. You feel the fear and then you say, f*** it, I’m doing it anyway!
When taking on a new project, our greatest nemesis is ourselves! If we were to let others beat us up as badly as we do ourselves, we would live in the boxing ring and spend most of our lives either unconscious or in prison for assaulting someone. If only we could build up an intolerance for the abuse we inflict on ourselves. We can start a new job, move to a new place, find a new partner, or get a boob job—but our lives are not going to really change until we adjust one major thing: our mindset!
Now as far as I am concerned, the people who say “money cannot buy happiness” obviously have no idea how to spend it. However, you can have all the material possessions you desire and still feel empty in life or see yourself as a failure because of your mindset. I look at Gerry (the speaker at the seminar)—he was in his twenties when his income starting rolling in the millions. You look at all those top name motivational speakers and they all have one thing in common: they are rich! Is it because they are so much smarter than everyone else? No. It’s because they didn’t let fear cripple them.
Both Tony Robbins and Gerry have their own jets. Who says we, me and you, can’t have our own jets too? Taking chances is not something we can be easily convinced to do, but we miss so much of our life’s potential when we don’t. I spent most of my life stuck in a place where I believed I could not do anything because of my mental illness. I preach about living with mental illness and knowing our limits, but that doesn’t mean we cocoon ourselves. We have dreams, and whether we have a mental illness or not should not be the deciding factor as to whether we live that life we dream of.
I can’t stress it enough, we have to change the way we think! Believing in yourself is probably the hardest thing one does throughout their life. Our default thinking is that we will fail, but what would happen if we changed our focus to what would happen if we succeeded? Instead of visualizing disaster, we should focus on achieving our goals. Our mind is the map maker. God did not give us a brain to continuously remind ourselves everything that is wrong. Amazingly, our brains do have the ability to think positive thoughts!
I know in the past, my default thinking was all about how terrible my life was, how powerless I was, how doomed I was. I never believed anything could change. I had to start from scratch when it came to believing I could do anything, as if I was learning it for the first time. I had positive writings and scriptures taped all over the house, forcing myself to have at least one positive thought throughout the day. Over time it became easier. Now I have some faith in myself even when I am not manic. Mind you, I still question if I’m doing a good job with every word I write. But I don’t let it stop me. And as far as fear goes, I have enough some days to fill the room. The difference now is that fear may bring a yield sign but it no longer brings a stop sign.