Let’s face it. Stepping out of our comfort zone scares the heck out of us! We want to be perfect, right? Shield ourselves from looking bad to others.
The problem with that, as you know, is that it stunts our growth. We get ‘stuck’ where we are and try to tweak ourselves to the next level — little steps where no one notices if we trip, never seeing us fall.
Those tweaks take forever. So how can you prepare to make a more significant step?
I have been stepping out there but feeling the internal struggles as I take this next leap.
Years ago, in my career, I realized public speaking was something I wanted to learn. Over those years, I have gone through some training; now on stage speaking at most, on the topic Customer Loyalty from the Inside Out!
Because I have many years of successful experience earning customer loyalty, learned from my mistakes as well as others plus loving the topic and the efforts it takes to earn loyalty, I am continually researching. This experience and gained information make it easier to drive my message, the learned speaking skills pull it together.
Speaking on this topic is in my comfort zone.
Still not perfected (ok, never will be!) my next step is to write a book.
There I said it. Here comes my big stretch.
I am actually in the middle of two books.
The first, I am honored to co-author with 49 other (amazing) women. The title is ‘The Voices of the 21st century’ and will be released September 10, 2019 by WSA Publishing. What an honor, and how scary!
Why? First, I assumed I would be writing my chapter about what I know best, how to drive customer loyalty; how to create a team that is efficient and effective, how to exceed the goals for themselves and the company. Anywhere in that playground. But NOOOOOO. That is NOT what my chapter details.
When being interviewed for this book by President Gail Watson of Women Speakers Association, she asked about MY journey.
Huh? Who would care about that, I asked? As Gail walked through the questions with me, I recognized that what I considered pushing past the obstacles, and how I progressed through the good the bad and the ugly was a journey of which many might benefit.
She inspired me, so I agreed. Am I good with sharing all that? Heck no! But growth does not come easy, nor is it comfortable.
This book is in its final stages of production. It makes me nervous. Will people think less of me? More of me? Will they say WHO CARES? Will they be inspired?
At my age (OUCH), I am still learning and growing. It remains hard to show transparencies of weakness and difficulty; pain and sadness; happiness and joy. The most successful travel their journey and end up where they end up for a reason. There are 50 co-authors that will share their journeys. I remain nervous, but not alone.
Always gaining strength and get to my next step. Nervously yet inspired, I hope you will keep an eye out for that launch.
But here is the next stretch. I am also working on my own book which at this time I plan to self-publish. (Who knows, that could change). I hired a best-selling author that I have admired to coach me — not a ghostwriter, but rather someone who can guide my efforts.
I have a first rough rough (did I mention ROUGH) draft, but there is so much more than I anticipated. Over 95% of people who start writing a book never publish. I am determined, and by sharing this with you – I take my next BIG STEP, to hold myself accountable. I will be asking for title reviews, book cover reviews, and beta readers before I hire an editor. Let me know if you are interested (hint hint).
Casandra Brene Brown PhD MSW, spent her career studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times best sellers. Brown’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 35 million views so if you are with me, a bit scared – we are not alone!
Novelist, Naturalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist wrote a Huffpost article 3/4/2103 sharing some highly profitable writing successes, and gave me many, many reasons to stick my head in the sand.
The article ‘The Writer’s Odds of Success” is a must read! It tells a lot! One paragraph alone shares the following rejection counts: Gone With the Wind, 38 times; Dune, 20 times; A Wrinkle in Time, 29 times; Lord of the Flies, 20 times; Kon Tiki, 20 times; Watership Down, 17 times; Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, 18 times; Chicken Soup for the Soul, 33 times; James Joyce’s The Dubliners, 22 times; Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, more than 100 times; MASH, 21 times.
So am I going for it? YES! That is why I am writing this article! To be pushed, to hold myself accountable. And hopefully to give you some inspiration to push your limits.
One last quote that wrapped it all for me in a neat little package.
“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” – Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon
Make yourself a little nervous. Take a step forward. And then leap. If you need a shoulder to cry on, I’m here. I may join in with a tear or two. Hopefully we will both be happy we did whatever we dared, even if just for the lessons learned.
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