You might be thinking, “Sarah, haven’t you already talked about saying no?” Sure, we’ve discussed cutting unnecessary and unwanted obligations out of our lives to make room for what we love.
But the title of this week’s Write Now podcast isn’t a goal, it’s a challenge.
Saying “yes” to what you love doing is great. But there will come a time when you’ll have to get someone else to say yes—to your work, your ideas, even you as a person. But this is where we run into the risk of rejection. And that is what keeps most of us from acting upon our dreams.
Dreaming is Easy
You’ve probably seen Shia LeBeouf’s infamous “Just do it!” video. Some may have chuckled, and some may have found inspiration in his rant. But secretly, we all know it isn’t that easy.
Putting yourself out there is scary. What if people laugh at me? we wonder. What if they tell me I’m awful? What if my name is forever tarnished by failure?
There is risk in actually doing things. Which is why you need to have real bravery to act upon your dreams.
Did you know? You are allowed to want things from your life. But as the saying goes, simply wishing won’t make it so.
When you look at your favorite book sitting on a table, you don’t think of the years of hard work, frustration, and self-doubt that plagued the author on every page. You only see the inspirational work which we dream of living up to.
Books are oddly passive like that—they don’t often portray the bravery it took someone to make it exist.
99 out of 100 roadblocks you will face as a writer will be based upon fear. The hardest part of overcoming a fear may be simply identifying what it is.
So what’s in your way right now? What are you afraid of? Chances are, yelling at you to “just do it” will only add to your anxiety. Lucky for you, there’s a way to move forward without adding undue stress.
What’s the Worst That Can Happen?
This is the question you really need to ask yourself. And, as with most things, this only works if you’re being realistic and honest. What is truly the worst that can happen if you send your manuscript to a publisher? Or ask an employer for a raise? Or pitch an idea to an investor?
They’ll say no.
That is the absolute worst thing that can happen if you go after what you want. Granted, being ignored is tough, too. But at least with outright rejection, you have certified proof of your bravery. You can hold your head high and say, “I went for it! I wasn’t afraid to try!”
No one is going to offer you everything you want on a silver platter. And if they do, watch out—they’ll probably want your credit card information as well.
Dreaming is easy. Acting on that dream is hard. Just keeping reminding yourself that hearing “no” is the worst thing you can expect. And you can live through that.
My Challenge To You: Make Them Say “No”
As I’ve discussed in the past, saying “no” to others is difficult, especially if they’re persistent. But this time, it’s your turn to make it hard for someone to tell you “no”. Put that ball in their court. It’s easy to say “yes” to your own dreams. Doing nothing is the only thing keeping others from agreeing with you.
Keep working hard, my friends. Be brave and keep each rejection letter you receive as a badge of honor. You can do this!
- How to say yes to your writing, and no to other things (Write Now episode 009)
- How to prioritize your writing (Write Now episode 055)
This episode was a bit shorter and a bit different from the norm, but I hope you still found it helpful. Tell me your thoughts on my contact page! You can also leave a comment below, or simply email me at hello [at] sarahwerner [dot] com. 🙂 As always, I’d love to hear from you.
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