Becoming a Contributor
Breaking through my fear.
Never in a million years did I ever think my first two posts for Thrive Global would be about death in the workplace. When I stepped up and pursued being a contributor, I was still trying to get my head around the fact I wanted to be a contributor. It was something outside of my comfort zone. And when I chose to write my first two articles about dealing with the death of coworkers, I questioned my decision to be a contributor even more. Who writes about death as a first topic?!
However, one of the things I have learned is what makes us uneasy or brings up fear are usually the best things for us to pursue.
When something is outside of our comfort zone, we immediately try to come up with excuses for why we shouldn’t do it. My initial thoughts about becoming a contributor were:
- It is something other people do, not me
- I already wrote a book, did I really have anything else to say?
- Maybe I shouldn’t, my editor already works full time — there is no way she will have time to edit more pieces for me
- Do I want to be in such a real-time public forum?
At the same time I was creating those excuses, I also was working on an affirmation about being more visible to a broader public audience. Conflicting beliefs, no doubt! For those unfamiliar with affirmations, they are statements a person creates to help bring about change in a person’s life. (I do believe affirmations can work, and I have a lot to say on the topic, so watch for a future post on affirmations.)
As Thrive Global got ready to launch, I let go of the excuses, and finally stepped up. I emailed Thrive Global about being a contributor, and to my excitement, I was accepted. Then I naively thought I would have lots of time to figure out how I was going to be a contributor.
A few days after I had emailed Thrive Global, a former coworker of mine passed away. I realized deaths in general, never mind coworkers’ deaths, are rarely, if ever, really talked about. I know first hand how hard coworkers’ deaths can be; I’ve experienced more than my share of them. Thoughts and feelings come up and people are afraid to acknowledge them. I immediately thought about writing a piece about dealing with death in the workplace. And then, just as quickly as the idea had come to me, I dismissed it. There was no way I should write about death as my first piece. I diligently tried to think of other topics for a good first post. As I tried to create other topics, the article on the death of a coworker was already taking shape in my mind. I finally gave in and actually started writing the post.
Because it was personal to me, I wrote my first draft quickly, and it was really rough. As my editor and I went back and forth with the article, it became clear that yes, this was what I needed to have as my first piece AND second piece. (And yes my editor was more than happy to edit my additional pieces. She did not even think twice about it when I asked. My own fear had created an non-existent roadblock.)
I could have kept fighting myself about what I thought the “perfect” first piece was supposed to be. But I have come to understand surrendering to a potential opportunity, rather than chasing after whatever I have deemed to be the “right” opportunity, often ends up being more rewarding. However, I also remain in tune with my analytical side as well. This allows me to have a balanced view of any potential opportunity that crosses my path. I feel confident in my decisions when I know I have reviewed them analytically. I am also able to then allow myself to surrender with greater ease to a potential opportunity.
It is a misconception that once someone has become self aware or has embraced new positive behavior, they are suddenly completely comfortable with new experiences. This misconception arises in part from the idea we want everything to happen instantaneously. But some things take time, and the lasting rewards are worth the effort. Reaching a broad audience all at once is different from working one-on-one with someone, and I had to allow myself time to get comfortable with it.
I also had to get comfortable with sharing my personal journey. I could have skipped writing this post and no one would have known. But I wanted people to understand it is okay to feel uncomfortable while accomplishing things. People can jump in before feeling completely comfortable and still have a positive result.
I have now posted three articles with Thrive Global, and I have several more in various stages of completion. I am enjoying this new venture, and I am excited to continue to provide useful information, mixed in with some personal life lessons as well.
Now is the time to step up and persist.