You ever do that thing where you’re about to start that business, write that book, ask for that advance, release that product, pitch that service, or maybe just tell your boyfriend you want to try anal … and then you hesitate? Flinch? Get nervous? Worried? Scared that the response is going to be something like, “WHAT ARE YOU, OUT OF YOUR MIND? HOW DARE YOU? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”
(For the record, after a few Chardonnays I happen to think I’m a god damn pro billiards player.)
(Also for the record, I am very, very much not.)
Why is it we always imagine the worst? The criticisms and the crickets? The pointing and the snickers behind your back?
While I don’t have a ready made solution (cut off your head and never think about it again!), I do have a helpful tip:
Write yourself a long, gushy, heart-laden, hot red love letter. (And include an F-bomb for good measure.)
… from your future client, reader or human who’s going to obsessively love your work. Let’s assume the best. Let’s assume that whatever you’re doing, you’re going to change that person’s life forever. You’re going to be the person they remember for starting it all. You’re going to be THE ONE.
What would they write to you? What would they say? What words would they use?
Every time you start to self-doubt, refer back to the letter. Every time you forget why you’re doing any of this horseshit, refer back to the letter. Anytime you’re pissed off and hate everyone, refer back to the letter.
Not only will it help your head stay on straight, it’ll give you something to aim toward, as well. Seth Godin writes about this technique here, and it’s helped me a lot over the years.
Because we all question ourselves sometimes.
But I can tell you this: The difference between someone who makes it, and someone who doesn’t?
Isn’t the questions they ask.
… It’s the answers they believe.