I CHOSE COURAGE; WHY YOU CAN TOO!

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Do you ever have doubts that you can achieve the success you desire? Do you want to take advantage of opportunities, but don’t because you fear you aren’t ready? I know how you feel, I’ve been there.

I received the call in 2014 to consider co-authoring, Self-Esteem for Dummies. I couldn’t believe it. Me? Really? Wiley? Wiley is one of the top publishers in the world, “Do I have the writing ability to meet their standards? I’m not on that level,” I thought. Being fired from a job 15 years earlier for allegedly being a poor writer didn’t help my confidence.

I remember, all the negative emotions within me surged from the place where I had suppressed them. Have you ever noticed that past hurts often haunt us at a time when our past successes should empower us? At the time of the call, I had produced two self-published books and had been on the speaking circuit for nearly a decade. I was being hired to develop and present many self-development programs for organizations, coach hundreds of one-on-one clients, share national platforms with international leaders, and give advice to the readers and viewers of media outlets. My measurable results for clients were indisputable, plus a 98 percent return-customer rate made my brand credible. Still, I didn’t think I was qualified to write for the world’s best-selling reference brand series.

The thought of putting my writing under a microscope for industry experts to judge made me feel vulnerable. As I battled these demons, I secretly wanted to accept the opportunity. For weeks, my faith in myself and my ability wavered.

Have you ever been in that situation? You want to go to the next level, and an opportunity has been extended to you to get there, but fear paralyzes you? Despite my doubts, I decided to move forward. The book’s co-author and I submitted the requested writing sample separately. After reviewing our submissions, the acquisitions editor asked me to write the introductory chapter for the editorial board’s review. Our literary agent said, “Never in my 20 years in the business have I seen an introductory chapter approved by an editorial board on the first submission.” I exhaled.

I learned some treasured lessons from that experience. I want to share a few with you:

Nothing is arbitrary. People don’t deliberately make stupid decisions. Whether on a job or in an industry, no one pulls your name from a hat. Either a reliable source highly recommended you, or in their search, they accumulated a substantial amount of evidence about you that led them to believe you have the ability to help complete a task. They’re connecting with you because they believe you can make them look good.

Challenges set you up for success. Challenging experiences set you up for great opportunities. It was a long and hard journey for me to move past the mental, emotional, and physical impact of working for a boss who bullied and then fired me. She wasn’t a good leader, but her insults challenged me to be a better writer.

Mental shift. It’s a mental leap. When you’re standing on the ground and looking up, the sky looks vast, endless, and unreachable. From an airplane, although still amazingly massive, it appears to be within your grasp. Did the sky change, or did your position and angle change? Of course, it was your position and angle.

Now is the time for you to build a mindset for success and a plan for your brand. Consider Harness the POWER of Personal Branding and Executive Presence. You can pre-order your copy for half-price at www.srenee.com/author. Join S. Renee at SHRM’s Annual Conference for Powerful Leaders: Transform Your Personal Brand and Executive Presence or MEGA SESSION Defining and Communicating Your Personal Brand to Increase Your Visibility, Credibility and Career OpportunitiesR

© 2019 All rights reserved S. Renee Smith. S. Renee is a nationally recognized self-esteem, branding and communication speaker, author, and coach. You can learn more at www.srenee.com.

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