Do you live your life in fear of what they might say?
Who, exactly, are “they” anyway and why should you care?
An author I admire wrote in the foreword of his latest book, “In the early day of my career, I always wrote with skeptics in mind, trying to make sure they would approve of my work.” (Dr. Joe Dispenza, from “Becoming Supernatural”)
However, some of the best advice I’ve ever had was to “tell your story as if you’re sitting at your own kitchen table with a hot cup of tea across from your biggest fan.”
In other words, be open and honest. Don’t hold back. Think not of what other people might say that will hold you back but what will propel you forward. Pretend they are going to hang on your every word and scribble notes of wisdom as you spill your story onto the table and you both relish in its beauty.
Of course this goes beyond writing. Do you think twice before you say something to your boss? Do you hold back when raising your hand in school? Might what you say be taken the wrong way and you’ll be seen as a weirdo, an oddball, a dummy, or worse? Don’t let the skeptics in your mind win!
Letting the skeptics win is like not cleaning a wound–it would have been so easy to clean before it got infected.
Holding your creative thoughts inside can be like poison in your bloodstream. Your questions and thoughts need to be set free--and you need to be set free of them. The skeptic voices in your mind are like little tumors, but they’re not yet malignant. Set them free, be rid of them and you will cure the hold they have on you early.
A case in point is how far I have come. I have an MBA from a prestigious international business school in Europe. I speak five languages. I ran a marketing agency for ten years in one of the most competitive markets in the US.
But you know what I’m doing this morning? I’m working on a chapter of a new novel in a genre I’m new to where my main character is getting to know his new superpowers.
What would you do if no one was watching?
If I was an 18-year old and said I was going to write fiction, one might say, “That’s nice, dear.” But now I hear the skeptic say, “Shouldn’t you be doing something, more, well, uh, professional?”
I’m beyond the skeptics now. I want to live my life according to my own rules, not those of the skeptics who only want to bring me down. I want to bring the character in my novel, Charlie Holiday, to life.
You see, sometimes he loses his vision but then his hearing can go through walls. He might go temporarily deaf but then he can feel the unusual palpitations of your heart by just holding your hand. The thing is, he doesn’t know if he really wants to be a superhero. He asked if there was a position open in the back office of the superhero headquarters where he could work part-time. He’s even a little embarrassed by his powers. But he has them. What is he going to do with them?
Do you know who cares about his powers? People he can help. Those in need who he can save. Some who are down and out and he can bring up and in. He’s shy about his talents, but others are depending on him.
There’s someone out there who needs the skills you’re so worried about sharing. Think of them.
Does Charlie have skeptics in mind? Absolutely. But he will rise above them to serve a higher purpose. Does he want to? No, he’d rather eat toasted onion bagels in a hidden cubicle and file reports. But the world needs his skills.
Are you hiding your skills? Worried that people are going to think you’re weird? Did you catch the part where I have a bunch of degrees on the wall and an illustrious and successful career and now I’m writing paranormal fantasy fiction and I’m literally smiling as I do it?
Sure, I have skeptics in my mind. But they’re sitting at the back of the auditorium of my mind and their voices are drowned out in the roar from the masses of people cheering for my latest and greatest thought.
At least, that’s what’s going on in my mind.
What’s going on in yours?
More on Bradley
Bradley Charbonneau used to be a writer. Then he wasn’t. Then he pretended he was a writer by talking about being a writer, but he wasn’t really writing. It was easier to talk about it than actually do it because then you couldn’t fail. Whew, relief! Red, in the Shawshank Redemption said, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Bradley was dying. On Nov. 1, 2012, he started living. He’s been writing Every Single Day since that day. Read more in his latest book “Every Single Day” and get busy living. You can get a copy of his book here: https://goo.gl/GBaZNp
Cover Photo by Daniel Mingook Kim.
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