I did my first live group coaching call, on Saturday, and it was fun. I was nervous before it began, but I knew the nervousness would pass, and I’d be okay.
I wasn’t always this confident. There was a time I was extremely shy.
That’s why I can identify with the people who came to the call, but were too shy to ask a question, or share their 2009 accomplishments and 2010 goals.
And have happily left it far behind me.
Being a writer, I had to. Writers are required to balance the inward creative journey with outward promotional responsibilities. Before your book is even written you have to start promoting yourself and building your author’s platform. Then once your book is published, promoting your book in 1001 different ways begins. And keeps going… And going… And going…
If shyness is what prompted you to look within and become a writer, then it’s been a great gift in your life. But if it’s now getting in the way of your fulfilling your writing dreams, because it’s preventing you from stepping into the limelight of self-promotion and book promotion fully and joyfully, then it’s become a problem that you have to face and deal with.
In my long journey from shy writer to (nearly) fearless promoter, I’ve learned some useful things about the emotional terrain in-between these two energetic opposites, and the mindset you need to have in order to make the journey.
Here are what I consider to be the four main attitude adjustments needed to turn shy writers into fearless promoters.
Attitude Adjustment #1
Don't force yourself to do something, when choosing to do it is more empowering
Many shy writers tell me that they have to force themselves to do promotional tasks. The only reason you would ever force yourself to do something is because you don’t want to do it. But forcing yourself automatically creates resistance and makes whatever you’re doing—in this case, promoting yourself and your book—that much harder.
If you focus, instead, on the benefits of promotion--on what you want to achieve through it, and why-- you’re more likely to feel that you’re choosing to promote yourself, rather than being forced to do it, even if you’re the only one putting the pressure on. Feeling forced to do something disempowers you, while making a choice to do it empowers you. This is especially important when what you’re doing stirs up fear or makes you uncomfortable.
This may feel like nitpicking to you, but mindset matters. Depending on your mindset, on what you believe and how you feel about whatever you’re doing, the task at hand can be easy or hard. Your mind can be open or closed. Your creativity can be flowing or stuck. And all of these have an impact on whether your end result is failure or success.
Don’t be afraid to tell the truth. “I don’t like book promotion, and I don’t want to do it.” Just don’t get stuck there. “I'm not thrilled with the idea of being interviewed, but I'll do it because...
- I want my book to be a success
- I want to help people transform their lives
- I want to transform my own life, and...
- I want to make a living doing what I love
Telling the truth releases resistance. And when you follow that with focusing more on what you want than on what you don’t want, promoting yourself becomes an empowering experience that flows more easily and painlessly, and has a more successful outcome.
- Why do you write?
- How do you hope your writing will help others?
- What will promoting yourself help you accomplish?
To read the whole series: