Today was such a day for me.
After 2-months of writing a book proposal for a global publishing house, and, after multiple re-writes, triple and quadruple checking of grammar and spelling, I had to finally let it go and send it.
And I was fearful.
For context, a book proposal is a multifaceted business plan, which includes market analysis, competitive intelligence research and a comprehensive marketing and publicity plan. It’s just over 50 pages. Furthermore, it consists of 3 chapters from the book as well as a broad summary of each chapter. In effect, a book proposal ‘sells’ the idea of the book to a publishing house, without them actually having to read the book - which is fair enough really, as they don’t have time to read every manuscript that is submitted to them. A book proposal is an author’s shot at getting their foot in the door of a publishing house, so a lot rides on it.
I have read, analysed, compared and re-written my book proposal countless times, because I really, really want to publish my book globally with a big publishing house. And, cue my arrogance, I want it to become a best seller. I had trepidation before hitting send…
What if there is a random grammatical error or spelling mistake that I didn’t pick up?
What if they hate it? What if they say it’s terrible? What if they judge me and my story?
What if…. What if….
In the end, I muttered ‘screw it’, and I hit the send button. And then I sent it to four more publishing houses.
And then as a birthday present to me (I turn 46 tomorrow, yay me!), I hired an editor to read and review the entire manuscript to give me constructive criticism. That was extremely hard to do - buying myself flowers for my birthday would have been much easier.
My book is my baby which took a year to write, two years to cook in my office drawer and another year to re-write until I was happy with it. And truth be told, I don’t want the criticism. I fear disapproval and potential judgement. I want to be told that my book is fabulous and that I am amazing!
(How’s that for honesty?)
But, holding onto my baby and not asking for the critical feedback isn’t going to help my readers or me. And so, I pushed past my fear and sent my baby off for judgement.
I am telling you this story because we coaches can come off like we have it all figured out and that everything runs swimmingly well in our lives. And it’s not true. Like everyone we too have our fears.
I have tools in my coaching toolbox to work on overcoming fears, but just because I have the tools doesn’t preclude me from having fears in the first place.
I am on the same road as everyone else.