Updated: Sep 15, 2021
This spring, we have had the joy of watching a mother robin nest on our front porch. We watched her sit on her three blue eggs. We watched her leave and return as she fetched them worms. And then, we watched the baby birds leave, one by one.
The other morning we woke up to only two birds. One of them was stretching it’s wings. A few hours went by and we noticed that now, there was only one bird left. But this baby was in no rush. We checked in for a few more hours as the bird chirped and flapped as if ready to take flight but then hesitating. The baby bird was gaining the courage to leave it's home — the safest
place it’s ever known.
I couldn't help but sympathize with this lonesome hatchling. There’s been so many times when I too stood on the precipice of something big, something hard, or something scary. I’ve stood there and paused, feeling my heart thumping loudly in my ears, summoning every ounce of courage and confidence to move forward.
In these moments, we talk to ourselves. We dive into the crevices of our mind for the right motivators to move our limbs from stuck to soaring. What we say to ourselves in this moment is so pivotal. What is of even more importance is what we should not say.
It is natural to have fears and doubts. It was Nelson Mandela who wisely said: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." The trick is to not let those doubts disqualify you from even trying. You’ll never know what you are capable of unless you actually try.
Even if you bottom-out miserably in the attempt, you have conquered your fear and can still relish in the triumph of trying.
In October, I was that baby bird; sitting with a poem in hand and thinking to myself “Can I? Can I be an author? Can I create a children’s book?”. Other questions arose such as “Will anyone buy it?”, “Do I have enough time?", "Do I have the skills to make it succeed?”, “How do I even measure success?”....the list goes on.
My head answered my hearts imploring questions with the somewhat cliche marketing slogan “Just do it”. My husband’s response was very similar. So with his support as the final word, I leapt off that ledge. I took the step – the “leap of faith” one could say. I left familiar and safe to enter into a world of new and vulnerable. I am so much more visible now which means that I am more available for criticism. I do not like this part of the package but it can’t be helped.
I know enough entrepreneurs to know that if you’re going to do something, you go all in. I also know myself. If I want to quiet the voice of doubt inside me, I need the assurance that I left nothing on the table. This way, at the end of the day I’m not left with that abominable regretful refrain of “What if...?”
What are you on the margins of, baby bird? What dream or challenge are you peering into of which you have already disqualified yourself? Replace those questions of self-doubt with questions that will instead motivate action. See yourself as the author or athlete or business owner or whatever it is that you dream of at night. Then, just start moving. Take a step and see what happens next. You may even achieve your goal and become a wild success! But you’ve given yourself zero chances if you aren’t willing to try.
The launch party went off without a hitch and was SO MUCH FUN! It was an absolute joy to see so many in attendance supporting my new self-appointed career. I’ve seen so many pictures of books arriving in the mail to happy readers. What has been the most heartwarming are your reviews – wow. You all are saying such nice things about my book...I’m even starting to believe them myself ;) I kid but in all seriousness, it is incredibly affirming to a writer to hear such encouraging feedback. I am pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of love from all of you so thank you!
If you haven’t yet, please take a few minutes to post a review. Reviews help more readers find my book. If you’re a Goodreads member, look for me! It’s where I will be spending my time this summer reaching out to fellow bookworms. I’ve got an author profile going with links to the blog.
Why, I’m so glad you asked! My summer goal is to get If My Oak Tree Could Speak into indie bookstores. If you or someone you know owns a bookstore, or if you know a local place where you love to sniff the stacks (or is that just me), let me know!
I’m also gearing up to share my book with students at schools and libraries! Whether in-person or virtually, I hope to inspire students with my story of how a poor reader in elementary school can become a University graduate and author. I wrote these words and I believe them to be true: “If you dream and create you will soon come to find a rare world of your own that is one of a kind”. And that world doesn't need to be fantasy for those who set goals and work hard.
Until next time,