There’s a certain kind of confidence you get when you stand up to someone (or something). You stick your chest out a bit further and your chin up a bit higher, and your stride is just a bit longer. But what it takes to get to that point might not be so pretty. You might have to face some fears in order to garner that kind of confidence.
Maybe the fears you face aren’t the worst (they never are), but rather they’re the kind that form in your mind. And that’s where the battlefield is. Trust me, I know. That’s where I was (in my mind) as my Android played one of the podcasts I listen to regularly whil
e power-walking through my neighborhood for an early bit of fitness and fresh air. I had become accustomed to crossing the street at a certain point because of the seeming ferocious disposition of the Rottweiler who liked to lie in the front yard as if protecting Fort Knox. I give him his space; he leaves me alone. A fair compromise.
On this particular morning, Mr. Rottweiler was strolling on my side of the street. How did he get over here? I wondered, knowing that he had an electric fence collar that should have kept him safely inside the boundaries of his yard. As he sniffed the grass, it appeared he hadn’t noticed me approaching, until, that is, I was about thirty feet upon him. I slowed my pace as he looked up, our eyes meeting. He stopped, paws planted firmly into the center of the cement sidewalk, as if claiming the turf.
My first thought was to stop walking and just stand there, frozen. Then I thought I should cross to the other side of the street. Then, something in me rose up. Wait a minute, I’m bigger than he is. I’m a human. He’s a dog (a scary one, albeit, but a dog nonetheless). I’m the alpha. I’m the alpha, I repeated in my mind as I continued my super slow stroll.
Snap, snap, snap came the sound from my fingers, and the doggie’s ears perked up. I figured he would interpret this as a friendly gesture. After all, every dog I’ve ever loved knew that snapping fingers are the signal for “Come here, your person has something for you!” Sure enough, Mr. Rottweiler bowed his big head as if looking for a crumb I might have dropped, then he began walking slowly towards me. We met, he sniffed, I kept walking slowly, and he followed until we reached the safety of his yard (where he should have been in the first place). And there we parted.
Believe me, I’m not a scaredy-cat when it comes to dogs. I love those cute canines. But I also know that not all dogs are friendly. Sometimes when a situation seems scary, the image we conjure in our mind is usually more grandiose than the reality of the situation. You know exactly what I mean if you’ve been afraid to finish your book. (Just say ouch if you know I’m talking about you.)
Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of exposure, and a host of other fears (all of them completely imagined) are what keep potentially successful authors from living their dream of writing and publishing a book. It’s time you face those fears, and just do it anyway. Write the book. Publish it. Tell people about it. Whatever you think that big, scary dream will do to you, imagine instead what it could do FOR you.
You’re the alpha. You’re not afraid of words, or success, or failure. You can conquer marginal book sales, or one bad review, or not coming in first place in a book awards contest. You can get over all of that. So muster up the confidence to face your fears and finish your book.
Anita Henderson helps entrepreneurs and executives enhance their platforms, and build their brands by becoming published authors. Through her Write Your Life program, new authors overcome the struggles of writing, publishing, and marketing books, and learn to leverage their books to achieve success.
Anita is the author of three books, including Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life And The Book You’ve Been Wanting to Write; and co-author of five books including Write Books That Sell Now and Building a Business, Building a Life: Incredible Stories of Women Entrepreneurs. She owns The Write Image, a boutique book publishing services company that created the proprietary Write Your Life book production process. Her freelance articles have appeared in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also co-creator of the Write Books That Sell Now online course for aspiring authors, and co-host of the Write Books That Sell Now weekly podcast.