I spoke at a writing retreat last week. Over the two-day program, I heard comments that proved we don’t achieve everything we were meant to do when we doubt our value.
The mission of the faculty members at the retreat was to give the attendees a formula and skills to write their books and speeches.
My role there was to help them understand the next steps such as publishing their book, developing their brand, and promoting themselves. They were fired up and left feeling empowered.
The sad reality is that they’ve had some time now for the negative self-talk to invade their heads.
They got back home Thursday and returned to a list of to-do items that piled up while they were gone. Then they sat down to work on the goals they set. There is no doubt they feel a little empty now.
A room full of people working toward the same destination creates a euphoria bubble. We feel like we can accomplish anything when we are in it. We can’t hear the voices of doubt in our head over the excitement of others. The problem is that we can’t take the euphoria bubble home with us. We have to go back to our responsibilities and they tug at us to shuffle our priorities. We have to make the next leg of the journey alone. It is a battle to find the courage.
But the worst thing of all is that we have to return to the clatter of daily life and the ever-present voices in our heads. The voices are fine if they are all positive but that isn’t the case, is it? My heart hurts for those attendees who were greeted by those voices, louder than ever, as they unpacked their suitcases.
I asked my friends about fear and self-doubt — where it comes from and how it manifests itself in our daily lives. Here are some sources they offered:
- Fear of speaking and sharing our ideas
- Viewing past mistakes as failures instead of learning experiences
- The impossible pursuit of perfection
- The lack of all the information needed to make a decision
- Fear of criticism from friends when we fail
- A lack of understanding of who we are and who God created us to be
- Cultural and religious expectations of who we should be
Yeah. That list about sums it up.
In my book, Like You Own It: Breakthrough Strategies for Confident Living, I talk about committing to become your most amazing you:
When you commit yourself to excellence and being the most amazing you possible, people will pay attention.
Further, God loves our effort to do our best. He wants us to learn through mistakes and success. He wants us to become the most amazing us we can be. I’ve seen Him turn my floundering or failing efforts into learning experiences that prepared me for future success. Even though the failure was painful, I learned the most when I searched for the meaning and value in the experience.
We all trip and fall occasionally. Mistakes happen despite proper planning. The world isn’t a perfect place. But when we bring our best effort to the project, God catches us when we trip.
My superpower is seeing the genius in others. I saw genius in every single person in that room at the retreat last week. I know they add value. I know they have valuable insights and messages that can help others grow and improve.
Will they fail? Their first attempts might not be as successful as they planned, but it’s entirely possible they will experience success. But make no mistake, they will forever be changed by the journey. That will set them on new paths for success.
Like You Own It is my third book. Do I love my first effort at a book? No. I took it out of print, but not before I built on all the material from the first book and added it to the second book, Currency: Striking Networking Gold in a Relationship Economy. Are there some changes I’d like to make in the second book? You bet there are. But there is no question that the evolution of my message is a product of the journey of writing the first two books.
Here is my challenge for you: Make being outside your comfort zone your new comfort zone. Be willing to fail for the sake of future success and becoming your most amazing you. Those voices in your head are a sign that you are embarking on the journey you were called to make.
And if you are interested in the programs like the speech and book writing retreat, visit the Stage Time University website at stagetimeuniversity.com. You’ll find information on the Write Like a Pro retreat and their other programs.