Writing your first book?
As soon as any of us says that we want to do something different to what we usually do, to what other people expect us to do, we are taking a risk. In any change process, Getting from Here to There, we have to cross over the Gap, and that's the risk we must take if we are to keep growing personally and professionally.
And yet we are afraid to jump the Gap. It does not matter how difficult it is being Here, it does not matter how wonderful being There might be, the one thing that holds us in place is our fear of taking the risk of crossing the Gap between Here and There.
And the truth is, that risk is imaginary. You cannot physically know what the risk actually is until you take steps to cross the gap. And until you do, the risk is only in your mind. You are imagining it. You are making it up. You may be basing your assessment of the risk on previous experience, or tales told to you by other people. But whilst you are still living Here, you are making up the risks involved in getting to There.
And that is OK.
Perhaps being Here is not as bad as you thought. Perhaps being There will not be as wonderful as you hope. Your imaginary critics will tell you that writing a book in two days is difficult or impossible, not worth it, beyond your skillset, going to get you into trouble with the boss, will shock people, will make people laugh at you ... We all have these voices, they are normal and healthy. They are unfortunately very good at their job of keeping us safe, of holding us in place, of keeping us from naively stepping into a large gap and falling to our deaths.
And that gives us a clue as to how to deal with them.
Whatever else your imagination is making up to keep you from taking steps to cross the gap, your book will be lost. And that is a loss for you and every family member, friend, acquaintance, colleague and people you have never met who need to know two things. Firstly, whatever you would have told them in your book AND more importantly, that they too could face up to their imaginary critics, cross their gap and write their book in two days, or whatever it is they are hoping to do.
So, what can you do with your imaginary critics? What do you say so that you can lead the way in crossing the gap and showing your family and friends, and people you have never met, that they too can cross whatever gap they are afraid of crossing.
During the next two months I will be sharing specific techniques for dealing with your inner critics.
And since you have read this far, here is a clue.
Say "Thanks for warning me. What do I need to learn, in order to cross the gap?"
Because the words from the inner critic come from you! They are your voice keeping you safe from harm. They are doing a great job of warning you, but you need not let them hold you back from what you are inspired to do. Heed their warning, as a request for you to do some research, to continue learning and further your personal and professional development.
Its a request not a command.
Turn the statement into a question.
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Martin Richards is a teacher, a business communication trainer and a certified coach.