Are you scared to make choices that would possibly have failures inside the equation? I am. But I’m learning to believe not only in God, but in myself.
I was pitching a story to a well-known online magazine and I dreaded with fear. I soothed myself, trying to muster every confidence I had. Then I took the leap of faith. I believed in my writing. I hit the send button, and waited.
A day. No response. Three days. None.
I have given up all hope when suddenly a couple of weeks later, an email from the editor came. It opened with the sentence, “You are a strong writer.”
Yet when the offer finally came, I had a hard time believing it.
Through some more email exchanges the editor approved my story and it would be run sometime soon. I giggled like a little child – this would be my first big break in my writing career.
And yet, deep down inside, I’m still having a hard time believing the words.
“You are a strong writer.”
I still doubt myself if whether I have the credibility to be called one.
Is she just being nice? Or is it the truth of how she feels? She is an editor – she knows what she is replying. But… Does she, really?
Jeff Goins once wrote in his book that “You are a writer when you say you are,” period. It’s not when you have had 1,000 followers, it’s not when you have published your first book. No. Being a writer means self-consciously believing that you are a writer.
That’s when I deleted the word “aspiring” from my dictionary. I don’t use the word “wanna-be” anymore. I am a writer. And now, I need to act like one.
You see, my whole writing career is forged with the idealism that “I have nothing to lose,” that I still have my back-up plan. I’m trying to have my cake and eat it too.
But the greatest things that happen in life are accomplished when you literally have no plan B. Because that’s when you believe you need to make things work.
And eventually, you will.
I often envy people who, from my eyes, have everything. They have passion, they work on it, they are committed, and they are fulfilled. And with time, they can make a living out of it, too.
And then I look at myself, the commoner. I read successful writers’ stories and analysed them very hard to find similarities. Unfortunately, I found out that all writers have written about slaying dragons, rescuing the princess, and becoming the king from the time they can write. They have great imagination and high dreams since they were six years old.
Me? I didn’t have any childhood dream. I didn’t learn to write properly until I was in uni, at the age of 18. By their standard, I was 13 years late. And now when I dream big things my mentality forces me to think, “If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, that is still okay.”
I am too afraid to fall, too afraid to leave my comfort zone.
If you watched The Dark Knight Rises you would realise that Bruce Wayne was able to take that leap of faith and left that prison when he only had escaping as his focus. Escape, or die.
Yet I am still hanging unto the rope, taking too much comfort on the safety net, which disables me to take that leap of faith.
Doubt. Fear. I fear to fall. I have too much pride for others to see my failures, if I ever fail.
And I realise that it hinders me from doing my best.
Most people I know are in this stage right now. We are a bunch of early twenties who will soon get our degrees and start leaving our cocoons. We dread of what will come next. We are ashamed of the possibilities of encountering failures.
So instead of taking actions, we wait, filling our lives with a dozen useless activities to dodge the bullet. We are stalling the irrefutable truths. Because of fear.
Believe in yourself. Make the choice. Do the leap of faith. You might be surprised.
Are you doubting yourself? Share your stories in the comment section below.