In speaking with my brother about my author journey in the past year, I realized that the greatest gift that has come from this experience is the gift of vulnerability. It was the most potent and transformational gift I could have ever unraveled from this experience, and one that I was not remotely expecting, let alone in this magnitude.
The journey was fun – it was fresh, new, and exciting. But, the learning curve was incredibly steep and I had no clue what was around the next corner. I was flying blind and it was challenging in more ways than I care to admit. However, in the midst of grueling challenges often await the most golden of opportunities. This journey was no exception. Throughout the entire process (on a very regular basis), a gargantuan amount of fears and limiting beliefs rose to the surface with extreme potency:
Who do you think you are to publish a book?
What do you know? You’re not an expert.
Why would anyone want to buy it?
What if everyone hates it, you get torn to shreds, and you sunk a whole bunch of money into a complete flop?
Clearly, when vulnerability is coming your way, the ego does a damn fine job of trying to get you to “Save yourself and run for the hills!” I could hear this self talk and [attempted] to use it as an opportunity to resolve some limiting beliefs and a whole lot of fear. Sometimes I let it drag me through the metaphorical mud before I caught myself, calmed myself, and found some composure. Eventually I could hear:
What if it opens a few minds and helps a few kids? That would be beautiful wouldn’t it?
What if it only helps my own kids? Hmm, well that would be pretty great, too.
What if it encourages other people to lasso their wild dreams too? Heck YES! Now, that’s what I’m talking about.
Wait, what if it helps open me up to sharing messages that I’m so passionate about? Ah-ha.
Sure, I wanted to educate and create change with a new perspective in children’s books. But, what I have gained from this experience in personal growth, experience, and self-discovery has far outweighed my financial investment and time commitment.
From the fear of showing my heart and soul to the world, to the fear of judgment, to the unconditional love and acceptance I’m still working to continually uncover within myself, the layers I have had to work through have been mind-blowing.
Then my ego pipes in to say, “It’s only a Children’s Book, lady!”
Yes, I know. Thank you. (Nice kitty). But what it represents is so much more than that. I didn’t just write a children’s book about how to pee on the potty, or how to take care of a pet goldfish. (Not that I’m opposed to those types of books). I wrote it about a topic that I’m wildly passionate about, which is vulnerability at its finest.
In learning to get more comfortable with vulnerability, which is something I used to avoid like the plague, it has opened me up to a whole new level of truth, connection, and purpose.
I learned that I was far more comfortable with failure and playing it safe than I was with success. And this may seem backwards, but failure is safer. Failure doesn’t threaten anyone, it doesn't threaten our ego, it is more expected, and it is way more accepted. A lot of times, we keep our dreams to ourselves to avoid embarrassment from failure or to keep ourselves hidden and small. But I think it is more than that. If we share our deepest dreams and desires, it might open us up to realizing we could actually make a change – and that can be hella scary. It is way easier to hide, avoid, and sleep walk through life… but it will never create fulfillment. In my heart, I knew I couldn’t live with settling and playing it safe. So, I embarked on a new adventure that lit a fire in my soul.
I learned the fear of wild heart-led success was way more intimidating than any fear of failure that my mind had ever conjured. Then I dove deeper. The fear of failure is actually about fear of rejection and abandonment. As a baby, it is an innate survival tactic to avoid rejection as it could lead to baby’s demise if her primary caregiver abandons her. Well, newsflash to my ego: I am a grown ass woman. Am I going to die if someone abandons me? Hell no. But I will die a slow, horrible demise on the inside if I abandon myself and my dreams. So, it was definitely time to let go of these archaic belief systems that were no longer serving me or my growth. Because, I wasn't about to let my wildest dreams die -- it's just not my style. So that meant I had to do the inner work and get out of my own way so that I could stand behind my creation.
What old beliefs are stopping you from going after your heart’s desires?
What archaic programming do you hear in your head from when you were younger?
Are any of these beliefs serving you anymore?
Or are they stifling your dreams, feeding your fears, and shutting down possibilities?
Grab a pen and some paper and start asking yourself these questions.
I hope you unearth some incredible discoveries so that you can choose something different.