That feeling of dread and anxiety washes over you as you think about finishing that manuscript, as you nailbite over finishing editing, as you sweat over uploading to publish…and that feeling is usually called fear.
But is it really a bad thing?
Why be afraid if you were sending drivel out into the world? What pressure would that be? Don’t you often find that you’re less pressured and stressed to cut up with your friends and be silly than you are to sit down with them and have a very deep and meaningful discussion? Why is that?
Because you can feel the importance of communicating something meaningful.
It can manifest physically with tension, sweating, anxiety, nervous legs jumping, fingers twiddling…however it comes out, your body can show you how uptight you are as you get ready to embark on communicating a very deep and powerful thing to someone else.
It’s hard! Why?
Because there is always a chance of miscommunication. There is a chance of NOT communicating accurately and simply being rejected. And we don’t fear being rejected when we’re saying light-hearted silly things, but deeply moving emotions and inner truths. We fear losing that person’s friendship over differences of ideas. We fear being the only one standing out in a sea of people going in the opposite direction.
It’s easy to go with the flow and never stand out because then you’re much more widely accepted. If you’re just like everyone else, then they know how to ‘take’ you and how to define you. And if you never change, then they will always know what to expect from you and can order their lives accordingly.
But if you take that step, you change in other’s eyes.
You evolve and grow into something they are not used to. They’re not comfortable with the new thing you’re doing. It compares to what they are not doing and can make them feel unsettled. It can lead to rifts. It can distance you from others when you no longer fit into their mold of you.
So when you find yourself pushing away from the desk because you’re getting close to being done, or close to publishing…move through that fear and anxiety. Is it scary? Sure! I can empathize first-hand that it is, indeed, a very vulnerable feeling to put yourself out there in print. But that feeling also means that you know that what you have created…what you’re trying to communicate…is powerful.
Be proud of that!
Not everyone has the power or ability to let out that inner world they carry inside. Not everyone is able to be vulnerable enough to open the door and expose others to the stories they’ve created in their head. That fear of publishing is too much for them. Living with 'what might have been' is easier than living with being rejected. But you’re moving through it and you’re going to do it and it’s going to be worth it.
It might not sell. It might flop. So what? People will see that you were brave enough to move through that anxiety and publish your inner world anyway. Whether they buy it or not, they’ll see that you did it (you DID it!) and know you have inner strength to move through fear and reach for your goals anyway.
Do you have more fear of a book being finished and being available for sale and not selling?
Or do you have a greater fear of never finishing a book? Period?
Give Yourself Permission
Reaching for this first goal, scary as it may be, might be the first step in leading you to a second or third goal that hasn’t materialized yet. Tackling this first fear might only get you through the door to what you're really meant to accomplish. Don't look at the end result but the journey. Give yourself permission. You are turning into something. You DO have something meaningful to say. And I'm cheering you on all the way! (so is this little guy)