As I’ve shared in recent months, 2021 ended up being a whirlwind that surpassed my wildest expectations. I signed my book deals for two new novels and an extension for my 2018 release, Forgetting My Way Back to You, all within four months. In truth, however, my self-doubt painted a pretty bleak picture hardly two months into the new year, one much different from the final product.
I completed Wrong Line, Right Connection in January and had high hopes for it being the right fit for a certain publisher. In fact, they had an open call for a storyline that I felt matched my plot well, and I really thought this would be my easiest route to publishing. I also had hopes of it leading to a further business opportunity.
I’m inclined to say, “Long story short,” but it wasn’t a long story at all. A couple hours after I queried the company, I received the reply that it wasn’t what they were seeking. I didn’t even get to submit a sample. As you’d imagine, the letdown dashed many of my hopes for the book and my writing journey in general.
In my public persona, I strive to motivate people with a “no quit” and “you can do it” attitude, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t take effort for me to get there. Behind the optimist everybody knows, the realist in me lurks, anxious to pounce. Because of that, I often don’t expect things to turn out the way I’d like, especially after I’ve faced disappointment like I did then. Thankfully, the fighter in me likes to put the realist in her place and helps me rise above that self-doubt. Yep, I suppose you could say I have multiple personalities!
Regardless of background and social status, we’re all prone to self-doubt, even if we don’t admit it. It’s inevitable, so we have to develop a mechanism to counteract it or else it’ll paralyze us. For most of us, it isn’t as simple as repeating the words of a motivational speaker back to ourselves. Rather, we need something deep inside us to silence our self-doubt…or distract us from it, at the very least. It may take some reflection on past accomplishments or kind words a friend wrote you years ago. Whatever works for you personally, don’t hesitate to unleash it.
In addition, my experience last year taught me how fast things can change—and for the better. The past couple years, on top of everyday challenges, can sometimes make you only expect things to spiral out of control when you have a slip-up. But you need to remind yourself a spiral goes both up and down.
Hence, as we begin 2022, be patient with the goals you may have for yourself. Don’t let one downfall invite self-doubt to the table, especially when that downfall is based on someone else’s opinion. But on the inevitable occasions it does creep into the party, find your own “bouncers” to boot it out.