I was speaking with one of my Blog Reboot clients earlier today on Skype and when I suggested the changes to be made about his online business, and why, I heard a huge sigh of relief on the other end.
“You have no idea how much I’ve been wanting to do that,” he said. The excitement in his voice was clear.
It almost threw me off my game. He knew!
He already knew what needed to be done.
But he needed an authority outside of himself to confirm it to him and and give him permission to do it, and that’s who I was to him.
I’ve been thinking about this all day since.
You have permission
Not everyone begins a new blog idea at the drop of a hat (and some do… and that’s a different problem). Confidence doesn’t drop out of the sky and land on you in a poofy swirl of glitter just because you have a great idea.
Great ideas are risky, and people get hurt when they take risks. They do this because of the reward, of course.
But often two things hold you back: deep inside you have a need to have permission to act, and/or you’re afraid.
So, I hereby give you permission to do that thing that excites you and at the same time makes you afraid. Go. Do.
Be ye not afraid
I’ve had clients put tons of work into a blog nobody was reading, and when I say they need to build up their personal network so they can share what they’ve created, they balk. Some of them know that it’s really just simple fear, but some are less self-aware and I get to hear all kinds of creative excuses about how this or that has to be in place first.
Except after this and that are in place, the reason suddenly becomes something else.
And you know what?
That’s understandable, because it’s kinda scary. You don’t know what’s going to happen.
Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I constantly think about what the hero of a story would do. The hero would have that moment where he’s on the brink of destiny, about to decide his fate one way or the other.
Can you imagine if you were reading a story in which, at that moment of truth, the hero just… gives up? His sword falls from his grasp. He wanted the best tool he could find and went through no small hardship to acquire his weapon. But now it clatters on the stone floor of the dungeon, throwing sparks in the darkness.
The hero turns around and walks away, never to be heard from again.
Great story, huh?
In the stories, the hero always reaches that moment, but then he hears in his head the voice of the wise wizard, his kindly but stern mentor.
“Be ye not afraid,” the voice whispers to him.
He realizes what’s at stake, tightens his fingers on the grip of his sword, sets his jaw, and presses on into the darkness to face the Beast.
I’m that voice for you. Shit, for a while I even looked like a wizard.
Be ye not afraid.
All good, except the truth is it’s really you who give yourself permission. No one else can give you or take from you permission to act. If you feel better because I’m saying “go for it,” then go for it. But it’s all you. As Roseanne Barr once said: “The thing that women have to learn is that nobody gives you power. You just take it.” As important as that message is specifically for women, it’s true for everyone.
Others can say “don’t be afraid” all they want, but until you say to yourself: I can do this, it doesn’t really matter.
You are the hero of your own story.
The moment of truth approaches.