With the final edit of my book drawing to a close and the design process beginning, I am starting to grow a little nervous. I have put my heart and soul into a book I am about to release to the world for all to read and judge, as human nature prompts us to do.
I faced the same fear when I began my blogging journey. I was beyond anxious and often had to push myself to hit the publish button before my inner dialogue got into another debate.
Late in 2014, someone ridiculed one of my guest articles. The message was somewhat unclear, leaving it open to misinterpretation, and a reader took it in the opposite direction of my intention. I recoiled at an alarming rate. But I took the time to understand first, that there will always be nasty kids on the playground, and second, realistically, pleasing everyone isn’t ever going to be possible.
I learnt to push on. Now I think of the good feedback I’ve received and let it urge me to face what has my stomach churning again as I prepare to release a collection of emotion-stretching poetry and short stories.
I have recognized that my signature is the emotional punch line, writing from the heart and soul to say the unsaid, and in doing so, I need to find ways to work with the fear this creates in me rather than let it hold me back.
This week, the article The Definition of Hell For Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type caught my eye. As I read what my own personal hell was, I was struck by the simplicity with which it managed to sum up this vast emotional experience I was going through.
‘INFP – Your deepest thoughts and feelings are exposed to a large audience and everyone thinks that you’re pathetic and unoriginal.’
I gasped—yep, that’s exactly it.
For me, being the private introvert I am, all this blogging and sharing is a daily personal challenge. It has prevented sleep, woken me in the early hours and given me little anxiety attacks.
But it is also my dream to write and help others by providing thought-provoking, relatable, emotion-shifting pieces. And when another beautiful soul takes the time to approach me and confirm that this is exactly what my work is doing, I know I need to put all my fears aside and continue to deliver.
I face my fears. I think about them, acknowledge their presence, feel them and walk on.
Quotes make timely appearances in my feeds, reminding me, guiding me and urging me on:
- ‘She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them.’—Beau Taplin
- ‘Not everyone is going to want, accept, or know how to receive your energy. Make peace with that and keep on.’—Lifehack
- ‘I used to be afraid of the dark until I learned that I am a light and the dark is afraid of me’—D. R. Silva
- ‘Be careful about being careful. Life is too short to play it safe.’—Happy Hunting
- ‘A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.’—Zen Shin Talks
All of these sayings push me to harness my fear, use it as fuel, grow from it and understand that it is a natural part of the process and part of my journey.
I accept that I may falter and that in doing so my biggest fear could be realized, but I also know that will not stop me.
I am prepared. I will not please everyone. I will again face ridicule. I will get it wrong—and you know what, my attitude has become one of ‘come at me.’
I am ready.
I am ready because I understand this process; I have spent time understanding my dreams and where my fear plays a part in them.
I will show up and walk through my fear day after day. It will not defeat me. This is my home; these pages, these keys, my heart spilling out into words for you to devour are my place in this world, and I will not be intimidated off my path.
And the best part is this: you are on the other side.
Yep, that is the absolute gift to me. So many of you have opened up to me in your feedback. I have met some stunning souls through opening these channels. It absolutely makes my heart swell to think I have helped, inspired or touched something inside of someone like you.
So thank you. Thank you for being my definition of heaven as I walk through my version of hell. Life is truly an amazing balancing act!
I know how cliché this must sound, but it is true. I write today to inspire just one person to push through something that might have otherwise held him or her back. I write to hold your hand as you stand on the edge because of your fear.
I plan my path to also be available to provide life-disruption coaching to you, which is a unique take on the life-coaching movement. But don’t wait for me. Start pushing and growing, and in the meantime, if you do want some words or advice, have some feedback or are interested in some introductory coaching, you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(A shout out to Emily Dickinson who was an obvious inspiration in my title quote with her poem that begins: ‘If your Nerve, deny you – Go above your Nerve’.)