Modesty, the 5% golden rule (and the 3 Cs)

celebration runThis is the third and last post in my consistency, confidence and celebration series.

I am a complete technological failure. I know I have said this previously and considering the fact I do have social media and run a blog and have a website you probably think I exaggerate.  Trust me I don’t. What I get right one day I basically stuff up the next. How is that possible? Good question. It’s simple. There is no good reason. I am good at some things and bad at others, and sometimes I manage the reverse.

When forced into situations I can push myself and achieve what is needed but then it goes straight out of my head and panic sets in while I try to figure out how I did it and if I can do it again. We can’t be good at all things even those things necessary to our profession, and I’m thinking age has also a lot to answer for as well. Age, and perhaps a residual bit of fear, tucked away in the mind that goes hand in hand with putting yourself out there. Sure you can be brave enough to do it but that doesn’t mean you stop being afraid.

Sarah Raplee in a post I read the other day says that sometimes she is surprised at how much we don’t put into practice.  We know things, we understand them intellectually and even emotionally and yet we don’t really take them on board. The theory here for writers being that modesty gets in the way. Working with media, particularly in a competitive field seems too much like saying look at me, support me, and the dreaded implied, buy my product because it’s good. I don’t just mean books. This way of feeling is pretty much universal.

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Like Sarah I am thinking our inability to accept we are, dare I say it, good enough is the culprit causing cringe worthy moments and impacting negatively on our lives. I do discuss my novel in my posts. I do hint at the fact purchasing my book would be most welcome but ask outright for help in any shape or form – no, it terrifies me. Yet I sit at the computer and work on my second novel. I sit on my computer and blog. It all seems perversely contradictory. No wonder I am confused. To do what I do (the authoring and in this I also include the blogging), heck, to even sit at the computer, has to mean I think I have talent, even a tiny minute amount. (EEEWWWWWWWWW!  What an incredibly huge cringing moment instead of a celebration).

Asking for help feels immodest, asking for others to believe in the things you care passionately about feels uncomfortable. The irony is that you are not thinking in terms of comparison to others. You are just doing the best you can do. Shouldn’t that be something to celebrate?

The use of the term celebrate (I mentioned this in my last post) brings up something else that I also find ironic. I have not really celebrated what I have done so far because I have been afraid to. More irony, because telling people is not the same as celebrating, is it? Perhaps if I had actually sold a lot of books I would do it differently. The general consensus has always been to celebrate big results. However it the small successes that keep us motivated to achieve further.

Sarah mentions the film, Hector and the Search for Happiness and how after being kidnapped and nearly murdered, Hector learns that the value in happiness comes from knowing how to celebrate it. I get what she means. We do need to celebrate the small steps. They keep us focused. In writing, circumstances often appear more intimidating because of the volume of books out there. It is easy to forget that accomplishment is the real aim, that the doing and completing is the real prize. Perhaps if we accepted this readily our confidence wouldn’t suffer as much?

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Have you heard of the Five Percent Rule? Unfortunately I am not sure of the source (Sarah mentioned it in her post but not where it originated) but it goes something like this. Out of the millions of people who talk about writing a book, only 5% will actually start one, and out of the 5% who start a novel only 5% will actually finish it, and only 5% of those authors who finish will write a second book.

 

I’ll bet any amount of money (if I had it) that a lot of the dreams we dare to dream end up with similar percentages. Running is not strength for me so when my daughter talked me into doing the Colour Run a few years ago I confess to nerves. I did it but I didn’t tell many people (probably because I came next to last). The real truth is that although it was fun, and for a good cause I didn’t see it in terms of me. I was wrong. We should celebrate each step wherever we take it because maybe, just maybe we may feel enough encouragement to go all the way in something else. We might let confidence surface a little when we need it.

My last two posts in between bits of poetry, and musical sharing have revolved around consistency and confidence and hinted at celebration. I think we should add it to the mix. The three Cs has a nice ring to it, and so does 3 balloons.

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Until next time,

Barb

 

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