The other day, I went to a new support group with a friend of mine. An old acquaintance was greeting people at the door. I haven’t seen her in about three years. She asked me what I’ve been up to and I told her that I’m about to publish a book about my healing journey as a trauma survivor with PTSD.
I told her about my fears and insecurities: fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of saying something “stupid” during Q&A at readings, etc. She told me that she recently published a book and went through the same fears and negative self-talk. Then she pointed out something to me that I needed to hear. She told me that one day she realized that she was making the publishing of her book all about herself, that she lost sight of the impetus for writing the book in the first place – to help others in her field of expertise, to be of service.
Her words struck a deep chord within me. I, too, have been making the publishing of my book all about myself. Even though my fears and insecurities are tied to the effects of my trauma, the voices in my head also come from my ego. Even though I’ve never lost sight of why I wrote my book – to help other trauma survivors and to educate those who are not survivors – my focus these past few weeks have been about how publishing my book and doing readings will affect me.
Since I’ve come to this realization, I’ve been able to set aside my fears and focus on what really matters. My mind is at ease – mostly; my need to people-please still surfaces on occasion. My fear is now replaced with the excitement of my new adventure as I move through my comfort zone and share my voice with my community and beyond.