So what did I do for the first forty minutes? I stood alone, in my corner, next to my little sign, while every single woman passed me by.
After I while I decided to walk around for a bit, wondering if perhaps that would inspire someone to come up and exclaim, "Hey, you're that new up and coming author!" Nothing. Though, I did get an, "Excuse me, you're blocking the way," from one lovely soul. So, I returned to my corner of the store. Alone.
Talk about a reason to feel insecure. Oh, the irony!
I looked at my little pile of promotional cards I had made, still untouched, next to my lovely little display, and tried to hide my bummness. I say bummness, because I wasn't sad. I was bummed. Really bummed. (Okay, maybe I was a little sad.) My first author event so wasn't going at all like I had envisioned. I felt like a total nerd.
Then I remembered a very simple principle. Successful people don't wait for things to happen. They make them happen. And I knew what I had to do. I took a deep breath, grabbed the stack of cards and introduced myself to the first woman in my path. "Hi. My name's Michelle. I am an author." And I am so glad I did!
Speaking those words breathed life into me. The bummness left, and so did my alone time. From that time on I was walking and talking, laughing and sharing. It turned out to be a wonderful evening. I met funny women, strong women, quiet women, and so one. But, one thing they all had in common: as we chatted, they all confessed they had issues with insecurity. I wondered if there was every a woman that hadn't. I know I still struggle with some feelings of self-doubt--even after writing a book about it.
In fact, after I finished writing this book, I allowed a few seeds of doubt to grow too big, and I cried to my husband one day. "I feel so under-qualified to be an author--especially one that writes a book about confidence!" My good husband simply said, "It's your insecurity that qualifies you to write about it."
I had to laugh! There's a term in the writing world, "Write what you know." Well, I have known all my life what it is like to feel insecure. Some days more than others. As I've grown in my testimony, those days of debilitating insecurity are gone, but there are some situations, like tonight, where I allowed a touch of insecurity to creep back in.
Self-doubt is a battle that most of us fight on a regular basis. The key word in that sentence is fight. Notice how it didn't say confident people don't wait for things to happen? I didn't wait for a burst of confidence to come before I gave out my first card. It was only after I made the move and said those words that the confidence settled in again.
Confidence comes from many sources, one of them being the simple willingness to put yourself out there and try.
As you read this, there might be something you want to do, you hope to do, or are even in the middle of doing, but things are going like you planned. You might be doubting yourself, feel insecure. I wrote this post for you.
I not only hope you remember that phrase--Successful people don't wait for things to happen. They make them happen.-- but I hope it helps to do what you know you need to do. Get out of your corner. Make a move. Be bold. Own what you want and who you are. You'll find that when you do, a measure of confidence will follow. You will be glad you did.
Oh- on a total awesome high-note, I was asked for my first autograph tonight. What?!?! I know!