In working with people in workshops and through one to one coaching, there are a few questions that I am asked a lot specifically with regard to not only marketing my own books but also writing about such personal content.
A consistent query, always asked with a slight trepidation, is how do you feel about being so ‘out there’? This is often swiftly followed by ‘I could never do that’ or ‘I don’t want to market myself’ or ‘perhaps I could write under pseudonym.’
This fear of being exposed is essentially a fear of being judged which is sat squarely on top of the fear that we all have which is “I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH!” If I told you that we all have these fears, that they are not unique and are in fact universal, would that make you feel slightly better?
So here is what I tell them.
It’s about choices:
- I choose what bits of me I share with others whether that’s in my personal writing or when sharing about aspects of who I am. I call it ‘me’ and ‘the me you see’.
- In my books, I omit all sorts of things. My guides are my children; if I wouldn’t like them to read it, I don’t write it. Simple. I also make sure that we have talked about things have happened to me so that the written word is not the first place that they learn about it.
It’s about vulnerability:
- If I am weeping about something, I haven’t dealt with it enough to offer you the power and usefulness of my reflections and experience. Yes, I can feel very emotional about something that I’m reflecting upon but if I am in pain about it, I can only tell you what my pain feels like and that is not the purpose of my writing.
- The vulnerability I share is full of power because it is not raw. Therefore no-one can ‘hurt’ me as I am coming from a position of strength so sharing it becomes a powerful and helpful place not a place where I can feel more hurt and you can’t gain anything from me. The power is in your vulnerability.
It’s about knowing yourself:
- When I’m struggling to be ‘out there’, I listen to my soul and I stop. I take the time to step back and do something else as it means my ‘tank’ is low or I have given too much of myself away or I’m feeling scared that I can’t make things happen. So I let go and refuel. I metaphorically go and sit and stare at the sea on a hot sunny day.
- I take time to do things I love; I’ll go and read, walk, meet a friend for coffee, bake, create.
So remember, it is not about giving yourself away, it’s about returning to yourself, making choices, understanding the power of your own vulnerability and knowing who you are. This is part of your essential tool kit for this crazy journey you now find yourself on!