Yesterday was a dream come true. My book When In Doubt, Delete It! went live for the whole world to see. I can tell you it was super exciting to have 10 months of hard work, laughter, fears and anticipation finally behind me. Seeing this book come to life takes me back to a time in elementary school when my friend Dawn and I were sitting on the playroom floor. She was creating illustrations for our story and I was writing it. It feels like from an early age, I’ve been preparing myself for this moment.
I remember the day this project was green lighted by my publisher. Feeling the joy. Dancing around the house all excited. Grabbing my laptop and starting putting my thoughts down on paper. Then the next morning, it was something totally different. There was fear. There was that voice inside that said “Who do you think you are?” What you’ve got to say isn’t all that special. No one cares what you think. What makes you an expert?” I felt like a huge impostor. How could 24 hours make such a difference in the feelings? It’s simple. It was fear.
The fear of the unknown or failing is real. I think it’s the thing that stops people the most. I think there’s a real fear not only of failure, but of “what if it succeeds” too. What are the expectations people will have of me going forward?
I had to stop and dig deep into my own words and take a piece of my own advice. This led to the first two chapters was born. The first chapter is about delete your destructive mindset. I truly believe how we think about ourselves shapes our outcome.
Many women have a destructive inner voice. We call ourselves mean names. We talk about how we aren’t good enough. We compare ourselves to others. We put ourselves last. If we saw most of these behaviors in others, 99 percent of us would say something like “Girl, you gotta treat yourself better.”
How do we end the internal bullying? First, by becoming aware. Every time these negative thoughts enter your mind, you need to purposefully replace it with another more positive one. Ask yourself where the thoughts come from. Realistically, most of us are not going to wake up tomorrow morning and say, “Wow, I look great!” But each of us can look in the mirror and tell ourselves, “I look OK today,” or “I’m doing a good job.” Even moving that little step forward begins to have significant impacts on your daily outlook.
Once we get our mindset right, then we’ve got to focus on deleting the negativity.
It’s even harder to delete when the negativity comes from your own mind. So many people allow a stream of negative talk to play on a loop cycle in their mind. There is power in words and negative energy isn’t what you need in your life. We find many occasions to downplay or pass judgment on ourselves. You must be conscious of how you talk to yourself. If it’s something you struggle with, devise a plan to erase it. Begin by acknowledging the behavior when it happens. Write down the first thought you are aware of that contains negative self-talk. Then, remind yourself of all the reasons it’s not true. You can retrain yourself not to respond to situations in that way.
When In Doubt, Delete It! has been a labor of love. It’s ideas and concepts I wish I had learned and embraced earlier in life. It came from years of conversations with my circle of friends and from mentoring and coaching sorority women over the last 15 years. It’s straight talk and real. We all have issues and hang ups. Some of us get sucker punched by life. I hope what I share helps someone take another chance or take the first step to making their internal dream a reality.
I haven’t always gotten it right and I know I’ll screw up again down the road, but that’s ok. I’ve learned and I’m willing to share and make fun of myself in some instances. I’ve learned perfect isn’t real and never will be.