I don’t know about you, but when I face a big challenge, I need time to muster the courage to begin. Since I’ve taken on so many things that initially scared the crap out of me, I’ve learned to accept my initial doubts as part of the process, and then work my way through them until my courage returns.
You may remember I wrote that I would begin recording my audio book of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now on December 5. Well, technically, I DID begin, but that involved 2 weeks of dealing with my fears!
During that time, my negativity whispered to me, “It’s too much work! It’s too technical! You won’t be able to do it! It’s going to cost a fortune anyway!” I’m so familiar with such fears, I went into my “gain courage” mode with the following actions.
- Attended spiritually-based meetings (e.g., A Course in Miracles and 12-Step groups).
- Stepped up my prayer and meditation practice.
- Posted an affirmation on my bathroom mirror: “I create a wonderful audio book in a wonderful way; I offer wonderful service for wonderful pay.”
- Met with my spiritual advisor to share my concerns and gain a new perspective.
- Asked my support team (that includes you!) to visualize me holding a completed and successful audio book.
- Listened to expert advice about how to create an audio book, and kept telling myself, “You can do this.”
- Set up my new microphone in a prominent place so I could “make friends” with it.
- Forgave myself for my impatience and irritability while I waited for sufficient courage to begin the project.
- Enjoyed golf, spending time with my husband and friends, and going to the pool.
A week ago, when I texted my niece to wish her a happy 17th birthday, I included a few things about our holiday plans and my desire to make an audio book. She replied, “I’m really excited you’re recording an audio book. You should film the process on your phone so we can see. I have always wanted to see what it is like to do that!”
Boom! The turning point had arrived! My niece’s words ignited my enthusiasm and I immediately made a 5-minute video sharing how I connected my microphone and loaded the recording software. It was so much fun! In the next few days, I recorded two more episodes showing all the materials I was studying and how I made my first recording. Now I’m pausing during the holidays while I prepare the manuscript for reading and practice my narrating skills.
In the meantime, here are my videos! Disclaimer from a former perfectionist: I’ll get (a little) better at videos, but my main focus is getting the audio book done; so videos aren’t polished.
Thank you for sharing the journey with me. It’s a lot more fun with buddies who follow along, and I’ve already gotten some good suggestions for making audio books. If you have any tips, please send them along.
Finally, I’m wishing to all who celebrate Christmas: Have a wonderful holiday. And my hope for all of us: A happy and joyous New Year!
Gigi Langer has been clean and sober for 32 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. She’s a sought-after speaker and retreat leader who has helped thousands improve their lives at work and at home. Her new book is available from Amazon, and in various formats here .