NOTE: Most of the blog posts that I linked to in this article are no longer working, but the quotes and other thoughts I wrote about still make this article well worth reading.
I mentioned in a previous post that I’m looking for my voice. Now I’m just going to be honest and say that I’ve really been struggling to find it. And I know why.
I am afraid to write about things that really matter. If I write about something that’s not very important to me, I don’t really care if people don’t like it. On the other hand, if I write about things that I’m passionate about and people criticize that? Ouch.
I am afraid.
What if other people don’t like my voice?
Jon Acuff has great posts about fear.
I highly recommend Jon Acuff’s blog (as well as his book Quitter!), and I’m going to share a few of his articles that are helping me find the courage I need in order to overcome my fear and let my voice be heard.
Here’s what Mr. Acuff says in regards to my fear of haters: “If you’re going to dream, you’re going to bump into some hate. Don’t quit just because you do.” Read the full article here.
This is what Jon says about my fear of being stuck in the same writing place forever: “One of fear’s favorite things to tell you, is that today is forever… But, fear is a liar. Right now, isn’t forever. Right now is just right now.” Read that full article here.
Jon shares his opinion that relates to my temptation to play it safe with sharing my thoughts: “Social media is either a megaphone or a mask….One way leads to freedom. One way leads to a facade. Choose wisely.” The full article is here.
One of Jon’s articles has rung in my mind longer and louder than the others. He said that, “Fear only gets loud when you do things that matter. And it always tries to appear larger than it really is.” I admire how he not only faced his fears, but also took photos of those fears and posted them online for everyone to see. Go here to read the rest of that article.
We can overcome fear.
In order to live up to our potential, fear is something we are going to have to push through.
I had a huge fear that nobody was going to buy my first book. Guess what? For a little while, I was right. I only sold six copies the first nine days it was online.
I didn’t tell anyone other than my husband how poorly my book was selling. I was afraid the ridicule over being a failed author would happen the second people found out.
I was wrong.
I finally told a few close, trusted friends that I’d hardly sold any copies. They did the opposite of ridicule – they reminded me that I published a book without a platform, encouraged me to give it time, and told their friends and family members to buy my book.
Voicing my fears made them feel smaller, and I realized that I do not need to let fear have power over me.
Since then, I’ve written a few guest posts, ran coupon codes and giveaways, have been blessed that a few wonderful bloggers were willing to read my book as well as review it on their blogs, and I held a Black Friday sale.
The results? I’ve learned that patience, time, hard work, and good marketing are essential.
And my book has risen as high as #2 on Amazon’s Time Management best seller list.
Jon Acuff was right. “Right now isn’t forever. Right now is just right now.”
This time of looking for my voice isn’t forever – it’s just right now. I want to be me, I need to be real, and I can be okay with the knowledge that I won’t always say everything perfectly. I am choosing to have faith that when I am courageous enough to speak, I will eventually hear my own voice.
And others will as well.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
What are you afraid of? What will you do to push through your fear?