A few weeks ago, my dream to publish a book came true with the release of my debut novel, ‘The Liar, the Bitch and the Wardrobe’. It was not easy getting here – in fact, it feels like a miracle that everything actually materialized. There were so many times that I felt lost, without guidance, wanting to give up but luckily I was able to keep myself on track with some basic guidelines that I gathered along the way. So in the tradition of paying it forward, I’d like to pass along these rules in an easy-to-remember way by using your hand as a guide. I hope it assists you in making your dreams a reality too!
Palm of Your Hand: Put Your Head Down
My best friend Debbie taught me this one and I say it to myself numerous times throughout every day. What this reminds me to do is not look backwards into the past and not focus too much on what may or may not lie ahead – but rather ‘put my head down’ to look at exactly where I’m at in the moment or at the risk of sounding obvious, addressing what’s currently in the palm of my hand. By staying present and putting your energy into what needs to be accomplished today to get to tomorrow, you will feel less overwhelmed by the entire process of getting from a to z.
Thumbs Up: The Power of Attraction
I can’t take credit for this concept but I can spread its message, which is simple: the law of attraction claims that your positive – and negative – thinking can create and determine aspects of your life such as wealth, health and happiness. For example, if you are constantly saying, ‘I’m never going to be able to xyz / I’m going to be xyz forever’ the law of attraction says that you could be attracting your own fate by putting that message or energy out there. Yet if you say ‘I will xyz eventually / It’s going to be wonderful when it happens’ – well that’s another story. This might go against your religion or sound a little bananas to you and that’s okay, it’s not for everyone. Think of it this way: rather than saying: ‘if my dream comes true’ start using the word ‘when’. When your dream comes true. The sentence becomes more powerful and positive. Eventually – if you don’t already – you will begin to believe it. Even if you don’t believe in the universe or fate, then perhaps consider how this way of thinking might change your attitude and give you a motivational push as well. Some call it prayer – others call it manifesting – whatever you want to label it, it’s positive thinking. Don’t be too cynical to give yourself a thumbs-up – it’s okay! If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Change those if’s into when’s and you will see a difference. You’ll see when your dream comes true.
Pointer (Finger) Sisters: You Are Who Your Friends Are
Have you ever heard the saying, ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with’? I agree. For a lot of us, when we’re younger – it seems like quantity is valued over quality. But as you get older, your circles get smaller as you gain more of a defined identity and begin to identify with specific types of people. In the beginning stages of my book, I spent much of my time going to parties and running around with girls who just wanted to have fun all the time. They were great friends – and still are – but none of them shared the desire to build something outside the box, on their own. I was dabbling with my dream but not dedicating myself as much as I should have because having a passion for a project wasn’t a commonality among my friends. It wasn’t until I started spending more time with a group of entrepreneurial girls who were also working on their own start-ups when my book started becoming something. Being around business savvy, driven ladies with a strong work ethic was contagious. Now I’m not saying that you should punt anyone out of your posse because they aren’t exactly what you strive to be – not at all. Loyalty, honesty, authenticity, love and optimism amongst other qualities will always rank above anything else. I am suggesting that you take inventory of those you surround yourself with most and ask yourself if you are mutually influencing each other to everyday become an even better version of yourselves.
The Middle Finger: Ignoring the Negative Nancys
…it’s okay to give them the finger – but only in your mind. Not everyone is going to ‘get’ your idea or your vision and that’s fine. Some might even try to talk you out of it or feed you scary statistics and in this case, always consider your sources. I can’t even count how many people told me over the years that only 5% of books that are written get published. Facts and statistics are what they are and shouldn’t be completely ignored – but for me personally, when reminded of that 5% possibility, my inner voice always channeled it’s inner Lloyd from Dumb & Dumber by responding, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!” Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you believe it, you can do it.
Put a Ring Finger On It: Go With Your Gut & Don’t Settle
If you dream of a ‘ten’ and somewhere along the journey of your process a ‘six’ comes along, don’t settle out of fear. You’re going to be tested by short cuts and easy-gains – you’ll know what feels right and what seems to be missing something. Even when I was starving and struggling, I turned down offers that just didn’t feel right to me and that was scary because there was no telling if another one would come along? They say ‘the greater the risk, the greater the reward’ and that risk was 1000% worth it because four years later – I got my ‘ten’ and I can’t even tell you how amazing that felt! I was holding out for a ‘this is it!’ feeling and I eventually got it. You will experience this feeling too but only if you stay true to your vision, listen to your instincts and don’t ever disrespect your dreams by settling for less.
Little Pinky: Don’t Underestimate Yourself
Okay, so you have this idea or product or concept or dream – but you don’t have the contacts, or finances, or maybe you live far from the place that you think you should be, or perhaps you don’t even know what you’re doing and you’re stumped… no matter what it is – it’s simply an obstacle and it’s where you need to get creative. Don’t know the right people? Time to hit up Google and dig for digits! I did this and ended up with seven offers from world famous fashionistas who were interested in styling my book. Don’t underestimate yourself by thinking that nobody out there wants to hear what you have to say. If you don’t make noise, nobody will hear you.
Absolutely nothing is out of reach. NOTHING. If there is a roadblock – there is a way around it. Or over it. Or hell, UNDER it. You are far more capable than you imagine. When there is a will, there is a way.
Listen, I know how it feels to look up at an impossible looking mountain and think, ‘I’m not a rock climber – how am I ever going to pull this off?’ It’s daunting and overwhelming – but try these truly great tools to help you step-by-step make your way to the top.
These are my high-five faves… what are yours?!
Image via Rad Nails