If you are stretching yourself, let’s face it you’re going to get scared. You’re going to be doing things that don’t feel comfortable doing, you’re going to be following advice that doesn’t seem logical, and you’re gonna leave yourself open to more opportunities of embarrassing yourself.
But you know something? It’s only by being open to all these things that you’re ever going to get further in your writing career. Or any career for that matter. To go from where you are, to where you want to be, is a different part of town. Because of that, the you now, can’t be the same you that reaches that destination. You’re going to have to change and grow. You’re going to have to be willing to take risks, some will pay off and some won’t.
In my own case writing my first children’s book, I was paranoid about how that book was going to be received, I was worried about friends and family finding it online and reading it, and I was worried about what complete strangers would think of it. The same is true for the first video course I put together. Would people like it? Would people pay money for it? And who was I to think that I could sell a course to anyone?
The person that’s writing this blog post today, is a completely different person than the one that was going through those situations months and years ago. Now I have more confidence in my writing, and my ability to give people content that can make a difference in their lives. It also became second nature to me. But I would never have got this far if I didn’t put my myself through the discomfort of those early stages to get to this point.
Going through those uncomfortable times taught me the next four points….
1 – No Ones Care As Much As You Think. – Yes, it’s true. People are too wound up in their own dramas like, did I pay the phone bill this month, I hope Tommy is going to be OK at school today, to that neighbor of mine is a real pain in the ass. Unless you’re in a person’s face, are causing them any heartache, whatever you do will probably be forgotten in the next five minutes. Let’s face it, you’re not that important.
2 – No One Remembers Your Mistakes – You might remember that goof up you made today in an email to your readers list. You might never forget that mistake you made, when your main character suddenly changed name halfway through the book. Or the fact that there’s a typo mistake on page ninety five, paragraph three. But no one else does. If you stopped anyone in the general population and asked them what they did at 1:45 p.m. yesterday, I doubt there’s many that could tell you. Again like point one, no one cares as much as you think, and for the people that do make a big deal of your mistakes, honestly, they’ve got too much time on their hands.
3 – The World Keeps Spinning – John Lennon, Elvis, Steve Jobs, did the world suddenly stopped spinning because of them? Society might have slowed down, paid attention to what was going on, like someone that’s rubbernecking at a car crash, but that distraction passes and they carry on with their journey. No matter what mistakes you make, whether your book flops, you lose 100 subscribers off your email list, none of it matters in the large scheme of things. Like I said, the world keeps spinning and no one’s paying attention to you. If all those celebrities only got a few days or weeks of attention, do you really think anything you do wrong is going to last any longer? If you do, you’ve got a big ego my friend.
4 – Face It You’re Going To Screw Up – Unless you’ve got a mentor who’s taking your hand and walking you through the whole process of what you doing, you’re going to screw up. You’re going to do things wrong, you going to say the wrong thing in an email, you’re going to write the wrong book, not backup your blog, and sell your services for too cheap a price. And these are only a handful of mistakes that you could make, believe me you’ll probably make mistakes that neither of us knew were possible. If you’ve got a fear of making mistakes from childhood, it’s something you’re going to have to get over to be successful with your writing career, or anything in life. If you’re still worried, read points 1 and 2 again.
And there you have it. Yes there are scary times ahead if you chose to be an author or do anything online that’s going to come under scrutiny, but the success you get for going through those uncomfortable times is worth it. Joe Vitale said it well when he said that he had his greatest success when he did things that took him out of his comfort zone. At the time when I read those words I nodded along, but didn’t get the message fully until I did it myself.
Remember things may get uncomfortable, but once you get through them they become comfortable once more. Riding a bike, asking a girl out, or becoming a parent for the first time were all points of great discomfort for me. Now I’m comfortable with all those things. And the same is going to be true for you. Becoming a writer and earning money from your words may seem the biggest hill you’ll ever climb. But once you get to that point, you’ll wonder what all the fear was about.
Now go get uncomfortable.