Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Day 2057 - Self doubt and fear

I wonder how many opportunities we miss out on due to self doubt and fear?

Self doubt: I cannot find my books on this shelf must mean they hate them and don't want to sell them.
There are a million things that happen in our weeks where we have to make a decision (whether big or small) on which course of action we're going to take.  What time we leave the house, which route we take, what shop we go into, who we speak to, what we read, what follow-up action we choose.

Choices, choices, choices.  Some are directed by habit, others are made through necessity, some are influenced by others and then there's those that are made purely because they fit nicely into our comfort zone.



It's not something we usually think about it.  We just go about our business and a combination of our beliefs, values, habits and confidence levels direct the majority of our daily decisions.

Imagine if there was a way to measure them?

Imagine if there was a way we could go through a whole "sliding doors" style exercise where we could see exactly how different decisions and different choices could have changed the course of our lives.

I recently saw a little bit of what that might look like.

I'm going to tell you a story.

Back in April we went to Noosa on holidays. About two months before we headed up there I contacted the book shop in Hastings Street to see if they might want to stock the Cheer Chick Charlie books and perhaps have an author visit.

I didn't hear back.

So I sent a follow up email.

I didn't hear back.

Self doubt and fear started to settle in.  Who am I anyway?  Why would they want to have an author visit from me?  What makes me think that they'd be interested in a self published author?

I decided to let it slide.  Let's just concentrate on our holiday.  Forget the book shop.

Something inside me whispered "you can do this ... BE the author". I sent one final follow up email two weeks before our trip.

The man at the other end suggested I send him up a few copies of each book and he'd check them out. Opportunity number one that I may have missed. 

When we got to Noosa we took a wander up the street to check out the Charlie books on the shelves.  I had my camera ready to take pics for my social media.  For a self published author, every bookshop is a celebration.

There was a big group of us.  My clan, my parents and Derek's brother and kids.

We got inside the store and went straight to the children's section.  The books weren't there.  I scoured the place from top to bottom.  No Cheer Chick Charlie.

Rather than talk to the man at the counter I allowed self doubt and fear dictate my next course of action.  I walked out of the store believing he didn't think the books were good enough to sell.

For the next 24 hours that little voice kept whispering to me "you can do this ... BE the author".

So the next day I spruced myself up a bit and visited the book shop alone.  I went straight up to the counter and spoke to the nice man.  The owner as it turns out.  I introduced myself as the author.

"I'm so glad you're here," he said, "We've already sold out! I need to order more." Opportunity number two that I may have missed. 

I was awash with relief.  Fancy thinking he didn't like them?

We got to chatting. I talked to him about a distribution deal that I was about to sign that would take my books to bookstores nationally.  I wanted to know if he ordered from that distributor.

Yes, he did, but why didn't I contact [insert big worldwide publisher's name here].

That's easier said than done, I advised. I had shopped by books without success.

He said his grand daughter loved my books and that he really felt I should contact [insert big worldwide publisher's name here].  He gave me the phone number of his distribution contact within [insert big worldwide publisher's name here].

It was all very lovely but I didn't really think I'd contact this [insert big worldwide publisher's name here] sales/distribution lady. I mean, I had a distributor now and seriously, would she want to hear from me?

It took a few weeks before I did finally make contact.  I pushed self doubt and fear to the side and gave her a call.

To cut a long story short she gave my name to the children's book section of  [insert big worldwide publisher's name here] and I sent them copies of my books. Opportunity number three that I may have missed. 

Yesterday I went to Sydney and met with [insert big worldwide publisher's name here].  The mother of all opportunities that I may have missed. 

Now before you get all excited and think I've hit the big time, there's still a long road to travel.  BUT I have been in the door and my books are now being presented to their acquisition team for consideration.

This has me seriously contemplating my navel. Whether or not this turns into anything is neither here nor there.  The bottom line is I have a major opportunity right now which I could have missed out on.

I wonder how many opportunities we actually do miss out on due to self doubt and fear.  

Do you have a story where a little bit of "suck it up Princess" could have changed a course of action? 

Do you feel stunted by your own self doubt and fear?


41 comments :

  1. What a great post Leanne! I am so happy for you taking that chance and being rewarded. Sometimes you have to be persistent. How exciting about the distributor! That's so great! xx

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    1. Thanks Zanni :) It's a big win that's for sure.

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  2. That's so fantastic. I'm glad you didn't miss an opportunity.

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  3. So happy for you Leanne. Thank you for sharing all this. Self doubt and fear is where I am at right now and I needed this little kick in the pants. Thanks xxx

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    1. You're welcome. I think we all need that kick in the pants from time to time ...

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  4. 'Self doubt killed more dreams than failure ever did'. I'm working on this....

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  5. That is huge!!! Congratulations. To even get through that front door and be seriously considered is such an awesome achievement. Well done.

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    1. Thanks Malinda. I know ... getting in the door is the hardest part ...

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  6. Well done! I am all for self promotion - especially when you fear it most. There's no harm in asking and some of my own greatest moments have come from my willingness to put up my own hand. I can't wait to see where this takes you - keep us informed! x

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  7. Wow - thank goodness you had that little voice in your head that made you forge ahead! What a wonderful opportunity and a big lesson in not letting self doubt and fears paralyze us! I need to remember that lesson coz self doubt and fears are my biggest road blocks....!

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    1. I think that's the case for many of us Min. I am usually pretty good ... but then there are times when I'm really not ... this was ALMOST one of those times.

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  8. Oh god yes!!! It took me about 10 years from doing my first writing course to sending my first piece of writing to someone in the hope they'd print it - which I only did recently! (At 47!)

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    1. It's weird how the biggest hurdle to success is often ourselves ...

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  9. What a wonderful and inspiring story Leanne. Good for you! Even if nothing comes from it (which I'm sure it will), you have learned a valuable life lesson. Good on you for pushing past your self doubt, it's not easy to do. Congratulations and thank you for inspiring me to do the same. :)

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  10. Can I also just say that this post inspired me to contact the bookshop I want to do our book launch at - I hadn't heard back, so I was taking it all personally. Now, when I followed up, I got an email back straight away full of positivity and excitement! So thank you for inspiring me to have some guts xx

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    1. Yay for you!!!! So happy my story could help you create yours. That is awesome!

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  11. Wow this is amazing ... Congrats Leanne... Don't forget us little bloggers along the way

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    1. Never Natalie! Besides - I'm not there yet ... just a foot in the door ...

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  12. Oh how wonderful! That is so exciting!

    My moment was when I tried to contact an old boyfriend from school when I was 21. He was my first ever boyfriend when I was 11 and we had 'broken up' at 13 and though we had attended high school together we didn't really talk much and moved in different circles. I was reminiscing one day and decided to call him. No one home. No one home. He wasn't home. It got to about the fifth attempt in a 2 week period and I thought, right, if he isn't home now then I will give up. But he was! And 4 months later we were engaged!

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  13. Wow and congratulations. This is a great post and fabulous reminder to suck it up. We all have those pesky gremlins in our heads, they suck!

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    1. That't what they are too Karin. You're right. They're gremlins ...

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  14. Wonderful! I'm so glad you took those steps and didn't miss out!

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  15. I published just 2 weeks ago & have so much self doubt, I'm not even game enough to look at my kindle account to see if I've sold any! Well done you!

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  16. Oh good for you, Leanne!! Good on your for stepping out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there. You had nothing to lose but so much to gain. Super exciting!! #teamIBOT

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    1. You're right re "nothing to lose and so much to gain". That should be our daily mantra in life ...

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  17. That is flipping amazing - a HUGE congrats to you hun xx

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  18. Congratulations Leanne! Long road to travel, I understand, but that's still such wonderful news. GOOD ON YOU for overcoming those niggling voices in our heads. Can you shut mine up while you're at it? x

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  19. Excellent post. Congrat's on your news good for you.

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  20. This is so amazing Leanne! Such a fabulous story to share and an important message about self doubt. I hope it is the step to amazing things for your books. Xx

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