Stepping into your genius does take some gumption, no doubt. I recall when I first started telling people I was a writer three or four years ago. I played it small, joked about my hopes to write a book one day, kept it comfortable. I made sure to beat them to the chase before the inevitable question that follows telling anyone that you’re a writer was asked: “Oh, where are you published?” When I’d say that I hadn’t yet been published, “officially” (with the bunny ears) they’d give me that dream-on-sister look and I’d walk away feeling deflated wondering why I bothered unveiling such lofty ideas anyway.
Tip number one: People LOVE to smother your fire. (More on that later.)
The more and more I called myself a writer though, the more and more I realized it wasn’t them I was trying to convince. Despite the momentary lapses of morale, I didn’t care what they thought. Somewhere, deep down, I knew I was a writer, damnit, and the more I said it the more I surprised myself believing it.
Then, I began to collect little victories along the way. A poem was recognized, a blog got several hits, I was published in a few more online rags. Nothing amazing, really, momentum was slow, but steadily behind me. Yet, my brain and body compiled every bit of evidence —Is she serious about this shit? Little did I know that I was tallying it up sub-consciously, quilting together confidence stitch-by-stitch.
At that point, I had learned to respond better to people’s inquiries. When they asked what kind of writing I did, they got an earful. I wavered less in the presence of cynics, knowing it was their fear that they were projecting upon me. To which, of course, I applied the aptly mature I’m-rubber-you’re-glue principle.
Sure, when I finally sat down to write–after moving across the world with only one goal in mind–there were still a lot of the “Oh fucks!” and “What the hell was I thinkings?” to overcome. It helped that I had come across several author/artist interviews (some of the greats even) who’d survived similar battles.
So here I am again now, in the ‘making claims’ and ‘gathering evidence’ stages. I am stepping into the boldness that I have witnessed is where all the magic happens. I have been calling myself a youth speaker for over a year now, without a “professional” speech under my belt, and it is only now that I’m finally feeling ready to throw myself under the bus of vulnerability where failure and success are fighting for the wheel and all things are possible.
Again, I’m piecemealing confidence as I try to imagine the transition from blocks of backspaces and edits to missed jokes and uninterested audiences. Trial and error has never seemed so daunting! But even Tony Robbins was admittedly terrible at the start. And God knows I can string words together far better than at least one recent unnamed president, so there’s that.
I leave you with this: What claims are you too afraid to make? What do you play down for people so they can’t sucker punch your noble plans? If you had six months to live, what one thing would you need to accomplish to feel as though (to borrow from Brendon Burchard) you have lived, you have loved, you have mattered?
#Onward to magic!