Last week we talked a bit about fear of failure. I suggested that fear of failure might be the reason you don't do the things you need to do to achieve your goals.
I said this was easy to fix simply by not telling anyone what you were doing...keeping your goals private, so that if you do fail, and you will, everybody fails a time or two before they finally find their way, there will be no public flogging. No recimination. Only you will know and you will be smart enough to pick yourself up and get back to work (I'm just adding that part today.)
So what if your problem isn't fear of failure? What if you're afraid of success?
Oy, yoy, yoy...as my Baba used to say. Afraid of success? Now, that's a problem.
It sure is. Because that means you believe something bad will happen if you become successful.
Does that mean you believe there will be nuclear war? Maybe. More likely, though, you think something more awful, more personal will happen....like your husband will be upset that you're more successful than he is. Or your mom will be embarrassed by the love scenes in your book. Or your kids will wear paper bags over their heads to school because their mom had the audacity to get interviewed by the local paper. Or your friends will be jealous. Or your writer's group friends/critique group will be upset that you've passed them by and they will dump you.
Wow. No wonder you procrastinate. I wouldn't want to face any of that either...Or did I already face all that?
Well, not all of it, but I have friends who did. And you know what? They not only survived, they thrived.
But lots of that stuff is also just stuff. It's just stuff your subconscious tells you because IT'S afraid of success. You're not. You want the money. You want the accolades. You want to be interviewed by the local paper.
So how do you handle fear of success?
First of all, you have to figure out which things really do apply to you and you have to counteract them or work through them. Do you really believe your mom will be embarrassed by the love scenes in your books? Then fix that. Either write books with no love scenes (as I do) so your mom doesn't have to be embarrassed. Or talk to your mom and ask her. She may surprise you. Or take a pen name so none of your mom's friends have to know it's you who's writing the hot love scenes they're probably reading! LOL
No matter which of the fear of success things you suffer from...there's a way around it or through it.
The trick is figuring out your own buggaboo. Do you hate the thought of book signings? Tell yourself you won't do them.
Afraid of PR...we all are!...then pick only the things you can handle. I have two great advertising people from local papers who create my ads. I don't have to. I love to speak to writers groups, so I do that. But I'm not wild about talking about my books one-on-one, so I avoid those situations.
There is no list of mandatory PR things. You can pick and choose!
Like Facebook? Do it. Hate Facebook? Don't do it.
The trick is (again!) know yourself. Do what works for you and let the rest alone.
If you tell yourself that you're going to have to become as public as Lady Gaga to be successful and you're an introvert...you will shy away from the writing that you love. But if you tell yourself that you will not force yourself to wear your underwear on the outside and prace around at booksignings...you will do less exciting, less public PR...chances are you will write.
So what's the bottom line? Don't let things that are going to happen in the future control you. By the time your book comes out, all PR might be done by monkeys in little red suits. If you worry about things that won't happen for two years, you only stop yourself.
If you tell yourself you will cross those PR bridges, mom fears, and child disownment, when they come...and let yourself relax, you will write.
And that's what you want to do...write!