No matter what burden we carry or how rough the terrain, we always discover that we are stronger than we think. It all begins with the courage to take that first step – Cheryl Strayed
It has been more than a month since I last posted anything new on my blog. In this period I have posted motivational and inspiring quotes on the blog Facebook page. (Please like my Facebook page here).
Another reason behind my month long absence is that I have been in the process of finishing the manuscript of my first book also titled Twisted In a Positive Way which is scheduled to be published in roughly 10 weeks’ time.
Now that the manuscript is with my editor, I have taken some time to reflect on why it has taken this long (about 8 years long years) to complete this book project.
I first had the idea to write a book 8 years ago. As at then, I was not quite sure of what I was going to write about so instead I set up a blog, Living and Learning to develop some comfort in my writing abilities. I later took down the blog about 3 years ago and started my current one which you are now reading.
In those 8 years, I found myself dismissing the idea, I battled with it, fought with myself, procrastinated. A number of evenings, I told myself I was too tired, I would do it tomorrow but tomorrow never quite came.
It was not until the beginning of this year, 2015 that I sat myself down and tried to find answers to my seeming reluctance to start my book project. I found out that my delay was not for want of a title to give the book, I already knew what the title would be 3 years ago. Neither was it from my lack equipment to type with – I had a laptop and even got a Microsoft Surface in 2013 specifically for this purpose. Even if I didn’t have any laptop or mobile device, I had my hands and writing materials and I could also string a few words together to make a bit of sense. So why did I delay?
In my sober reflection, I was able to establish 3 major reasons behind my delay. The first one was pure and simple laziness. I would get home from work and convince myself that I was too tired to do anything other than to sit in front of the television until sleep claimed me. Then I would rinse and repeat the same process the following day.
The second reason was inertia – I was unwilling to change my state at the time, I had become very comfortable with just coming back from work and relaxing. I was happy and content with my life just the way it was.
The third, perhaps most important reason was FEAR. I was afraid I would write a really rubbish book so I did not want to even try. I did not want to have wasted my time and energy doing something that may not work. So I squashed the idea and did not bother about it until January this year.
I have found out that the fear of failure is one of the main reasons why most people do not pursue their dreams nor embark on some personal projects they really want to do. They are afraid of what people would say if they launched out and failed. They are afraid to lose money, afraid to lose their sense of security, afraid to be mocked by friends and perhaps enemies.
Sometimes some people are even afraid to succeed because when they succeed, they may even lose friends. So they seek comfort in what they know, squash their dreams and settle for what they have until the dream becomes nothing but a distant memory.
Perhaps it is time to replace the thought of “What if I fail?” with “What if I succeed?”
The truth is there is no way to know if you would fail until you actually take that step and try. The people you are worried about that would laugh at you if you failed have their own failures to think and worry about.
Even if you do eventually fail, at least you have the comfort and the peace that comes in the knowledge that you at least tried. You gave it your best. That in itself puts you in a better place than a vast majority of people in this world who are too afraid to start anything.
You may be worried that you don’t have access to sufficient information to embark on pursuing your dreams. If that is your fear, do not worry. Just take the first step and it would amaze you how the right people with the right information would show up when you need it the most and because you have started, you would be quick to recognise the opportunities as they show up.
For me, I don’t know if my book Twisted In a Positive Way would be successful. Only time would tell but at least I can rest in the knowledge that I have gone out to finish something I have been wanting to do for a very long time.
The knowledge that you have stepped out and followed that dream of yours despite all your fears to me is success in itself.
I hope this motivates you to take that step that you have always wanted to.