One summer I went swimming with my best friend. He talked me into jumping off the low Olympic platform. I climbed all the stairs and walked confidently to the edge. I looked down. It was a long way to the water below. Yet I wanted to jump off the platform. I looked down again. It looked further with a second look. I put one foot out into the air. I put it back onto the platform.
Okay on three I’ll jump. One, two, three. My feet were still firmly planted on the floor.
Then I just made up my mind and jumped.
It was a rush! I dropped then hit the water and went down, down, down, then I swam up, and up and broke the surface and inhaled air and exhilaration. That was fun! Back up the platform I dashed and didn’t even stop when I reached the edge. I just jumped. I ran back again and again. Then about the 11th trip I froze at the top again. It took some time to work up the nerve to jump again.
Jumping off the Olympic platform was a ball. It was scary, but once I jumped it was a blast. That first time fear paralyzes many into not achieving what they set out to do. I’ll use the example of getting published to illustrate this point further.
The goal, publish my book.
The book has been written. The book has been edited. The book has been read by critique partners. Your baby has been read and loved by qualified beta readers. The platform is up, fans are ready to get the book into their hands. The query letter is written, the synopsis just gleams.
Send off that query letter and you are on your way. Yet, it sits on the desk. The e-mails are not sent. Other things come up and the sending of the query out just sits.
The dream: Have your book published.
The reality. Procrastination.
Gut check. The reason for all of this: Fear of failure, fear of rejection. Two huge barriers to achievement and success.
Remember Thomas Edison and his light bulb? He kept trying until he found his success. There are many authors who had 60+ rejections until the agent or publisher ran with it and the story became a best seller. They just kept at it until they succeeded.
I’ve spent years on my story. Sadly it isn’t ready to go just yet, but someday it will be. However I understand how much work goes into this. So much time and effort, emotions and hopes have gone into the story. Time to put it out there. It is time for your baby to leave the nest.
Yet the finger hovers over the send button. It just won’t get pushed. What if they don’t like it? What if…….
It isn’t easy. Yet the dreamed and planned for success will never happen if fears are not faced and procrastination turned into action.
So return to the list of goals, and things to do. Put together the list of agents. Do the research, send the query. Eventually a yes will arrive. Then the next set of goals and tasks fall into place.
Your ship will never come in if you never send it out in the first place. The same action holds true if the decision is to self publish. Write that blurb, set up the blog, get the twitter tweeting,
Failure is out there, set backs come. These are just that; setbacks. Overcome the setbacks to achieve the successes. Just like standing on that platform and looking the loooong way down to the water below. The thrill of jumping won’t be there if you don’t jump.
So take that deep breath and take the plunge. You can not deal with the setbacks if you don’t take the leap. So push that send button. Success is out there for you, you just have to overcome your self doubts and fears. Sometimes that is the bigger battle, and one most never see.
So what can you do today to overcome those fears? What has worked for you?