When I decided to become an author, I knew that the story I wanted to share was a rather personal one, and I wanted to make sure what was captured in Finding Success in Balance was 100% mine.
For many years, I spent time worrying about the implications of any actions I took; “What will they think? Will they like me? What if I am judged in a negative way? Am I good enough?” These thoughts and questions were exactly the language that prevented me from achieving a lot of the success I craved.
So, as I moved forward in my personal development journey, I knew I really wanted my book to showcase who I truly was. But in order to do that successfully, I knew I needed to disconnect from the fear of being “wrong” in the eyes of others, and focus on speaking my truth.
As a result, I decided not to share any part of my manuscript with those who I knew and loved until I was in the late stages of publishing. Also, I decided to refrain from reading other books in my genre, to make sure I would not be swayed by how others had executed before me, and to stop myself from potentially using their successes as a benchmark for my own.
The only influences in writing this book were my own personal experiences and conversations, and the only person who had access to my working manuscript during the writing process was my developmental editor, who helped me thoroughly explain my tips and stories in a way that would engage and inspire the reader. I wanted my book to be unique and original; I wanted it to capture my voice, and I wanted to write it in a way that worked for me. And I did just that.
Having written my book in the manner that I did, I had the opportunity to gain clarity and confidence in what I know and believe, and I can’t be more proud of my work. Of course, I had many fears that crept back into my mind prior to the book being published, knowing that my writing was now going to be seen by my family, friends, and former colleagues.
In most cases, my assumptions of receiving negative feedback did not come to fruition. But even if there were negative reactions, or if criticism shows up down the road, sure, it might hurt a little bit, but I know in my heart that I was honest in my writing, and was true to myself, and that is really the only thing that matters.
If you are someone who is reading this and have a strong desire to accomplish some big goals in your life and doing it your way, fear (although it’s completely natural to feel) can be one of your biggest roadblocks along the way. I encourage you to go for it, no matter how scary it may seem, as long as the goal is truly in line with your personal priorities and values. In my opinion, it’s the best way you can honor yourself, and the feelings of success stemming from the accomplishment of those goals are awesome! You can do it! I believe in you.
Apryl Schlueter is a happiness and productivity coach and speaker of The Cheerful Mind, Inc. She is also the author of “Finding Success in Balance: My Journey to The Cheerful Mind.”