Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The need to believe in yourself

Sometimes goals can seem like a mountain, borderline impossible. Some people can offer you support, though in the end, either you believe you can climb that mountain or you won’t get anywhere. 

We all have our mountain, it could be a job promotion, it could be losing weight, it could be learning a new language or skill, it could be winning a prize, it could be writing an entire first draft during a month (go NaNo go NaNo go!) or it could just be to finally do something you’ve been putting off for years. I’ve only been alive for 34 years, and in that time I’ve learned that although having someone believe in you can give you that extra push, the main propulsion comes from within.

If you say you want it mean it.

Show that you want it.

No excuses.

No fears.

Do it.

Only Human took me over 7 years to complete. That’s more than a Bachelor’s Degree and a short Master’s. That’s well over 2,500 days. Some moments it was fast, others it was slow, editing was torture, transcribing took me months… still, I never doubted for one single second I was going to finish and publish it. I wasn’t worried about the how or the specifics. I just knew it was going to get done.

There was no other option.

There was no exit route.

There was only the mountain and once I started writing, I promised myself I wouldn’t stop until I reached the summit.

Throughout this process, there have been voices of support and voices of criticism. That’s the nature of when you want to do something that matters. You will hear both sides of the story, the good and the bad. People who believe in you, people who will question your methods, people who will wonder how you can do that and congratulate you and people who wonder why you want to do that and consider it a waste of time.

This applies to anything you set your heart to.

You will be offered support, reasons to quit, escape routes, and countless other paths.

Stay on course. Listen, learn and accept criticism, support, questioning and love equally. In the end, it may influence but it shouldn’t matter.

Be deaf and blind and dumb to everything that might distract you. The mountain is still there. It isn’t going anywhere and you will always have two choices, keep climbing up or go back down.

I never looked back or questioned my path. I’ve been called brilliant and ballsy and have also been tossed to the side as someone who self published with a vanity print.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, as am I, as are you.

My opinion has never changed. I have a story. I want to share it. I want to share it on my terms. I am willing to invest time, money, effort and put my name on something I believe in. It might have been quicker at sometimes more so than others… still. I always climbed up. The fingers of my patience might have hurt, but they never faltered.

Seven years is a long time… that is until you conquer your goal it seems like only yesterday you started.

So here’s to listening to the good and bad, to appreciating the support and the naysayers and to always climbing.

After all, it’s just a mountain.

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