Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

If at first you don’t succeed, ?try, try again. This saying is said to have been included in a Teacher’s Manual in the eighteen hundreds. So perseverance is an old concept! In my last post, Controlling Fear of Failure, I talked about how fear of failure keeps us from even trying. From the emails I got, I know this topic resonated with many of you. It’s important to be conscious of how you let fear sabotage your chances of attaining the SUCCESS you say you want.

You can’t try, try again if you don’t try even once.

In my DoorMat days, fear was the overriding factor that guided me. So much of that fear was of the unknown. I didn’t know what might happen if I tried, so I made excuses to postpone taking action. How could I try something new if I didn’t know the outcome? What if failure made me feel worse than I already did? So I lived in a state of wanting to try new things and have new accomplishments. But fear of failing put invisible weights on my resolve.

I was stuck! We often get stuck in pursuit of dreams. But those sticky factors can be dissolved so you can try, and try again!

How? By driving through the fear and making that first try using techniques in my posts.

I was laughed at for years as I projected my dreams out but never pursued them. I taught workshops on the topics I now write about. The blurb about me always said I was the author of the upcoming book, ____. I was writing them but never tried to get published. One day I overheard two women talking about me. One called me a fraud! She said I faked being an author. The other agreed. They discussed how I taught a variety of music business and self-empowerment workshops and probably couldn’t write a book on either topic well.

I was a master of nothing to them!

It hurt! I was embarrassed and shamed. They were wrong, but I understood their view. I wasn’t really an upcoming author if I didn’t even try to get published. I was NOT a fraud but I WAS a wannabee writer. So I made a decision to take a chance. I thought for a while to decide which book to pursue first, since I had many in the works! I decided that The Real Deal: How to Get Signed to a Record Label had the broadest appeal of my music industry books at the time. There were few music books published so I decided to go with that one.

I learned how to write a book proposal and sent it to some agents. One jumped on it so I went with her. I suggested she go to Billboard but she said she had no contacts there and would go to major publishers. I was still terrified of rejection, which I equated as failure. So when publishers began to turn the book down, my fear of failure raged. I questioned my ability and began to expect more rejection. That’s what the Law of Attraction brought me!

I didn’t want to fail! But over 15 editors turned my book down.

Failure didn’t feel good so why subject myself to more by encouraging my agent to keep going? I became complacent, accepting my agent’s prediction that the book wouldn’t sell. Meanwhile, I was still selling the homemade reports about the music industry at my workshops and by mail. I resigned that my writing career would be limited to that.

The next week I went to Washington DC to do a series of workshops on music business and self-empowerment. I mailed a box of reports down and sold a bunch. Since I traveled by train, I only had a big backpack and loaded it with what I didn’t sell. As I schlepped through the train station that Friday afternoon with the bulky reports on my back, I had an epiphany.

I wasn’t happy and was tired of living like this! It was time for a real career to manifest, and that meant getting published! I knew I was good at both speaking and writing and my books were worthy of being in stores. I was finally ready for SUCCESS! I know that this was a spiritual kick in the butt as a thought swirled through my head—I WAS a good writer and CHOSE to earn my living from it!

When I got home, fear of failure hit me again so the spiritual kick continued. I began to read through my partially written books and KNEW I had to get book deals for them. The next day I struggled to push away the fear of failure. It’s a tough one to just get past! I read my page-a-day calendar, written by Louise Hay and know with all my heart that the words were sent from a higher place.

“I am at that point in my life where I know I deserve all good. I am open to all the gifts the Universe has to offer.”

That was on April 26, 1996. The page still hangs by my bed. I looked up and said “thank you!” At that moment, I knew I had the power to do anything I CHOSE, and I CHOSE to get published. I was finally ready. All in. Prepared to face fear squarely and snuff it out! I screamed that affirmation all weekend long! Shouted it in my car. Repeated it over and over in my apartment. Repeated it to myself as I walked all over the city. I was ready for great SUCCESS and nothing was going to stop me!

Once ready, I was super ready, and decided that I’d get three book deals in one year. I was told that was impossible, but, refused to listen.

On Monday morning, I got a call from the senior acquisitions editor at Billboard, not about my book, but to inquire about an educational series I put together as a fundraiser for an organization. After I answered his questions, I told him about my book. He got excited, asked to see it ASAP and immediately asked to publish it. It was no coincidence that he called me the morning after my weekend of affirming that I was ready for great SUCCESS. I was ready!

They say that when the student is ready the teacher will come. I also say that when you decide to put aside fears and doubts, the elements for SUCCESS will come.

I told everyone, even during talks and on TV, of my intention to get 3 book deals in one year. Naysayers came out of the woodwork but I kept doing my affirmation and told people to call me a year from my first deal. The Real Deal was published 8 months after I signed the deal. My Billboard editor immediate signed me to write Start & Run Your Own Record Label. I told him that I would also be getting a deal for All Men Are Jerks Until Proven Otherwise. He had faith in me and didn’t mind.

Exactly a year after getting my first deal, I accepted my third. My blessings, and my SUCCESS, continue to manifest.

Ask yourself, “What do I want? To avoid failure or to be SUCCESSFUL?” “How will avoiding failure help me?” “How will avoiding failure hurt me?” If you don’t like the answers, try my affirmation and say it till you feel it!

“I am at that point in my life where I know I deserve all good. I am open to all the gifts the Universe has to offer.”

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