We’ve all had doubts. Doubts are normal, universal. Self-doubt, though, is like self-induced f#ckery – failing to trust our own abilities or ideas. We throw up barriers to buy time or lick our wounds, and if we’re leading others, our self-doubt can trigger fear and anxiety in the ranks.
I’ve never written a book before, never wandered into the unknown territory of finding an agent or publishing or building a platform. Most of the time the challenges are exciting. I like to learn. I get bored easily. It’s fun to tackle a new industry and figure out how to apply past knowledge to current problems. Luckily, I’m not going it alone.
You can’t publish a book called F#ckery. No agent will pick that up.
It’s frivolous. Why are you hiding behind the title?
Have you considered a subtitle?
Sigh. There will always be critics. There will always be naysayers. There will always be people that scorn new ideas or shun the provocative. Do you know how to press on despite the noise and doubters?
Grit. Resilience. Growth Mindset. There’s a lot of chatter about these words. It’s good chatter. What makes some people able to withstand, and overcome, obstacles? Google those words or read articles like this. Me, I’ll tell you what happens when I’ve faced doubt, when I’ve wavered in the last year: Trinity shows up.
I’m a big proponent of alter egos. Sometimes we need a boost of moxie or a superhero with confidence to speak up or take a stand. Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk on the power pose uses our own biology to propel us, and I’ve had several clients who use ritual to tap into their own chutzpah. When doubt and self-pity show up, for me, Trinity chases them away.
Trinity has less filters than Lori; she speaks her mind. Trinity is pissed off, connected to her anger. Trinity wrote this email to my writing partner, Jon, the day after Lori panicked and gave in to Doubt :
“We’re not changing the title! Double down on F#ckery! Take out that hashtag! Don’t dilute it for publishers or anybody that can’t handle the ugly truth! If you can’t tolerate that word in print or on your tongue than you can’t crack the spine and start reading. If the title offends you, don’t buy the book! If you’re good with the status quo, if things are really working for you and your sh*t don’t stink, more power to you! You should only read this book if, and only if:
- you’ve ever f#cked up and wanted to pull yourself up out of the ashes
- you believe that change is possible, not some pipe dream
- you can admit when you’re wrong
- you’ve ever felt the pain of being boxed in or misunderstood
- you have hunger in your bones for something better
- you don’t understand people that think a job is just a job
- you’re delusional enough to think you can actually change the world
- you aspire to greatness
- you crave belonging, not power
- you are willing to look in the mirror and not point fingers
- you believe, like really f#cking believe, that success is the result of teams and not individuals
- you are fully committed to developing others
Jon, I’m sorry that Trinity took a back seat to the ever-present People-Pleasing Lori. To Risk-Averse Lori. To Avoiding Conflict Lori. That’s my own f#ckery. Thanks for tolerating the hissy fit yesterday.
We’re all gonna waver. There are times we should hesitate. There are times we need to be flexible and open to the input of others. Wisdom and judgment prevail. For me, though, wavering looks a lot like fear. It reeks of doubt.
Here’s to going all in.
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