Before the pandemic struck, I’d been dreading Monday mornings for the first time in years. Edgy anxiety nipped at me mid-Sunday afternoon. Thoughts of “I don’t want to” and “You can’t make me” curdled in the back of my mind.
I was deep into marketing my new book, Why Bother? Discover the Desire for What’s Next, and it was bringing up every insecurity, and putting every professional failure and disappointment on replay until I was back in 7th grade experiencing my first failures and, not coincidentally, my first depression.
No matter how many good early reviews the book garnered, my brain wanted to default to gloom and to “Oprah never responded.”
I tell you this because I see so many people stop when their first efforts at marketing and sharing their work and ideas stumble.
We don’t recognize that putting our work and ideas into the world often requires as much or more skills and energy as doing the work itself.
And when we don’t recognize what it takes to be seen, to speak up, to market and sell, when we don’t learn how to do it, we don’t launch. We don’t share. Sometimes, we don’t even finish.
And then we tumble slowly but surely into “why bother?”.
Nobody will read my work anyway.
My boss will just ignore me because she’s the problem.
So what if I launch the course; nobody will sign up.
We die more when we hide then when Oprah doesn’t call.
You are not a privileged snowflake who needs to grow a pair. You’re a human who lives in a world where sharing your work can feel frightening, confusing, and overwhelming.
Marketing, selling, advocating for your ideas, none of this is a tacked-on extra to your real work. It’s an essential part of your work. It requires you to learn inner and outer skills. It needs you to leave substantial energy and time for it.
By the by, there has never been a magical time when someone did this for you. Instead of writing copy, showing up at networking meetings, or learning to give a great presentation, you’d have been courting rich patrons or trying to get a King’s attention. Personally, I‘d rather depend on my own efforts than my ability to kiss butt. I’m way more dependable and so are you.
You can learn to love being seen, making offers, speaking up. You can learn to frame sharing your work and ideas as an act of boldness, an act of truth-telling, an act of creative love.
Get familiar with what being seen brings up in you. For me, it’s the magical wish to be lifted from daily toil to media anointed heights where I never have to market again.
It’s not studying what other authors are doing or leaving any time for research or learning.
It’s dreading Mondays because I’m equating my self-worth with my success.
How about you?
What’s a sign you’ve fallen in why bother about being seen?
And what’s one way you can make it safe to show up more clearly and boldly today?
I’m right there with you, learning to love being seen.
And also loving how the pandemic made me relearn this all over again. More about that soon.
Lastly, I made a video for one of my readers about what to do when you share your work and hear crickets.