Entry #16: Who We Look Up To

So I’m reading this article about what builds self-confidence.

What is it?

Where does it come from?

What strengthens it?

So I can help my >clears throat< writer friend >avoids eye-contact< keep her confidence up when writing.

Especially through the rough spots,

The rough spots of getting the words onto the page.

But also the rough spots of life, when she wonders if she should be getting these particular words on the page at all.

And one statement in this article I’m reading stands out more than the others.

It’s about how your confidence increases when you see someone like you accomplish a goal, or live the life you want to live.

Like you.

In this renaissance of publishing, there are a lot of successful authors to look up to.

And when you ask someone who their inspirations are, chances are you’re going to hear some of the same names over and over again.

And what people are saying is, I would love the end result that so and so has. I love their stories. Or I’d love to reach that many people and sell that many books.

But if that person, with all that awesome success, seems too far removed, too different in circumstance, strengths, approach, or luck, it creates hope and desire in you…

But not confidence.

One is I’d love to do that. The other is wow, maybe I really can do that.

It’s the difference between hearing that a hugely successful and prolific author, with a decades long career has a new novel out that sold 100,000 copies in 9 months. And hearing that your friend from your neighborhood, who was into the same comic books as you, who is married just like you are, has kids just like you do, and has similar weaknesses and values as you, just reached 100,000+ people with his book.

One can fill you with hope, but paralyze you from taking real day-to-day action.

And the other serves as a wake up call that can make you think, wow, this is really close-to-home-level possible.

Of course, it might not be as clear of a connection. Maybe it’s more like, I met that author and she’s from the same town as me, or that author was just as quiet and shy as me, or we had the same doubting family member, or we love the same books.

The point is, it’s some connection that says, I see in them, some part of me. And if they can do it, maybe I can do it, too.