Harriet Lerner, relationship expert and psychotherapist, didn’t start off as a best selling author. In fact, quite the opposite.
In her Topeka Kansa home, she sat in long years of frustration, sorrow, and wanting to give up, hunched over her gray typewriter (computers weren’t around yet) with scissors and scotch tape as her cutting-and-pasting editing tools.
Up to this point, with a passionate idea and vision to write a book, she had been given a $7000 advance from a publisher to put her ideas into print.
That same publisher fired her, later rehired her, and then fired her again, demanding the money back (which, according to the agreement, had every right to do).
In Harriet’s words, she shares, “This powerful figure in the publishing world decided I had little to say and no talent for saying it. Shaken but not defeated, I worked harder and harder through the years of rejections that followed. I took seriously her criticism that I should “get off my professional high horse, put myself into the book, and speak directly to readers,” which all of my professional training had taught me not to do.”
Years later, when her book The Dance of Anger was finally published, it didn’t go skyrocketing off the shelves. Friends told friends about it, counselors told their clients to read it, and word got out over time.
The book has now sold over 3 million copies!
When to not give up
The story very much spoke to me when I read it. Not only did she overcome years of rejection, but she didn’t give up on her dream, her vision, and her passionate idea.
That’s why the book came to print.
She was committed to making it happen. Come hell or high water, that book was going to be birthed. There was no other option.
After running a business for the last 5.5 years that I’m absolutely, 100% passionate about, I can honestly say it’s the fast track to personal growth and that commitment is the reason I’m still here, offering what I do.
On average, the Miss Doubt voice in my head comes up for air about 4 times a year (less and less as the years go on), “Are you sure this is what you’re meant to do? Just get a real job. A secure paycheck would be nice. People don’t really need what you offer. They’re fine. You’re not really helping them.”
I know Harriet was conversing with Miss Doubt, and I’m guessing you do from time to time as well.
In fact, you may have a book, or an idea that wants to come to life, or is birthed, but it’s just not “getting off the ground.”
The truth is, what will keep you going, what will bring your idea and vision to life is your commitment and passion for it. To not say NO, and continue saying YES is the key.
I’ve dug deep many times over the last 5.5 years (especially when I found out I owed $20,000 in taxes I didn’t have), but the calling and commitment kept me hanging on. When Miss Doubt comes over for tea, I stand firm (sometimes have a good cry first), and say over and over again, I CAN DO IT.
The only time to “give up” is when you know in your heart 100% that it’s not your passion anymore. That it’s changed form, or lost interest.
We give into Miss or Mr. Doubt when we’re tired, overwhelmed, stressed, or afraid.
Watch for these, they are not your allies (nor enemies either), but a signal to wait on making any decisions until you’re in a better place and can see with a greater perspective.
Stay true to your heart ideas, they are needed in the world, and YOU are the only one that can bring them to light in the way they want to be created!
Categories: Creativity, Heart Centered Living, Inner Wisdom & Intuition