“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us”. ~Marianne Williamson
I’m not a big fan of putting myself out there. Being introverted in nature, I just don’t feel I belong out there. That’s the place successful, cool people hang out. It feels unusual and horribly uncomfortable essentially promoting, well, me.
Writing, and more specifically promoting a recent book, put me to that test. Facebook posts, author sites and blurbs all about myself, revamped websites, asking for reviews, asking for readers, asking for buyers… Scary stuff. For me anyways. Definitely a comfort zone issue going on there.
I have, on the other hand, come to firmly believe in the concept of creating yourself versus finding yourself. And in creating ourselves, we need to put ourselves out there. In order to shine, to influence, to impact, and to re-create ourselves and others, we need to put ourselves out there.
Out there doesn’t always mean in the bright spotlight, but it still means placing a trust in our abilities and letting whatever talents and gifts it is we have shine in the presence of others. It’s impossible to positively impact those around you, if you never interact with them in some way.
In putting myself out there, I’ve discovered a few key things.
1. I needed to work past the fact that my name and face are being plastered everywhere I could find. I had to remind myself that the book was part of my re-creation, and part of my overall purpose. Putting my book, face, and name out there are a positive part of that plan. Uncomfortable as hell, but necessary.
2. I needed to ask for help, another thing introverts don't always like doing, and was overwhelmed by the response. Overall lesson here? People want to help. You just need to ask.
3. Not everyone was cool with what I did. I’m ok with that though. Not everyone is going to agree or support you in what you do. When you finally realize a higher goal involved, you can quietly ignore the folks telling you that you can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t do something.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lao Tzu
I think when we finally find the courage to pursue who we really think we are, or should be, the magic happens. When we put ourselves out there for the world to see, in a humble and well-intentioned manner, we start to brighten, and the harder we work, things start to fall into place effortlessly. I wonder (myself certainly included) how many people wished they had started earlier, or stopped worrying and just started working instead. Working toward their dream, or goal, or purpose.
Sometimes the work is as simple as adjusting your attitude, or finding the resources to do so. Sometimes it means getting out of bed and doing anything. Often times it just takes us admitting or sharing our vulnerable moments or weaknesses in our lives to let other folks know they aren't so alone.
What action can you take today to start getting yourself out there?
In case some of you didn’t know, I wrote a book. Not a bestselling, New York Times kind of book, but I wrote one, nonetheless.
It’s for sale, if you’d like to purchase it ($2.99 Kindle eBook – click on link below).
Writing a book taught me a lot. More than I thought it would, actually. So here’s some takeaways from the experience:
I was reminded of how incredibly blessed and lucky I am to be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family. Honest, I mean that. If this book has any success, it was because of them. WE can all share in a sense of happiness and achievement together.
Writing a book took way longer than it should have. I say that, but I’m reminded of the Pablo Picasso story where he doodles a drawing on a napkin, and a lady who sees him do it, asks to purchase it. “Sure”, Picasso says. “$5,000”. “What?” the lady says in shock “It only took you 2 minutes to draw that!” "No", Picasso replies, "It took me 60 years to draw that.” Granted, I’m no Picasso, but I guess the book took as long as it needed to take. In hindsight, it really took me 49 years to write.
Writing is hard, and often tedious. Because of that, writers notoriously procrastinate a lot. I learned to start applying self-discipline more than I ever had before.
I wasn’t as good a writer as I had thought, and the editing process reminded me of that. It was a wonderfully humbling learning experience. I have a long way to go.
I made a LOT of mistakes doing this book, both in the writing, and marketing. I loved every one of them though, they all helped me to grow, both as an author and a person.
I guess the experience didn't sullen me too much. I'm already looking forward to my next one!
Let me be your tour guide to life. I'm the author of "Learning to be Human Again", and just like you, I'm still happily trying to figure this wonderful life out.