How to Identify the Scary Stuff Holding You Back from Writing Your Book

Let’s say you want to write a book to help people avoid the same crap, the same heartbreak, and the same massive losses you’ve suffered as you live your life and pursue your dreams.

And let’s say that to fulfill this magical mission to share your wisdom, you’ve got to share the crap, the heartbreak, and the massive losses you’ve suffered…with the world.

That’s scary stuff. And it stops a lot of us from being our best and giving our most. But it doesn’t have to stop you.

Courage comes in many forms. Sometimes, all you need to see clearly is the obstacle in your way to realize that you can step right over it. So today, let’s take a look at what’s holding you back from serving at your highest.

1.     Fear of facing trauma or past pain. This is a doozy because the emotions we have tied up in past suffering aren’t just in our heads. Neurobiologists now say that trauma is actually stored in the body. So you can think and think and think—or affirm and affirm and affirm—but your feelings are still trapped inside and running the show.

I’ve experienced trauma in my life. More than once and for extended periods of time. I wish to the good, loving Lord that I could give you a quick-fix way to face trauma and be rid of it—sort of like a stain stick you could just rub on and voila! Anxiety-free! But I can’t.

The truth about facing past pain is that you just have to hike up your britches, turn around, and see what’s chasing you. There’s no way around this.

Yes, it’s painful. Which is, of course, why most of us avoid it for as long as possible. But let me tell you something:

There is a freedom on the other side of facing trauma that can only come from staring it down and calling it out. [Click to tweet]

I feel freer, more powerful, more possible, and more of the person I was meant to be on the other side of this work than I could ever have felt before I stared that crap down.


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2.     Fear of facing the truth about relationships. When other people are involved in our past pain, we avoid dealing with the reality of who they are in a few ways. Maybe we stay pissed off so we don’t have to deal with them. Maybe we justify their actions by citing their own painful experiences, so we never give ourselves the right to be angry in the first place. Or maybe we deny their intentions (“She didn’t MEAN to break my heart, stomp on it, and then ask me for a loan….”).

One of the hardest things to face is an ugly truth about people we love. Because if we face the truth about them and their shortcomings, sickness, or self-centeredness, we might have to do the tough work of changing that relationship. We might even have to end it.

But here’s the question you have to ask yourself: Is your image of that person worth throwing away the person you were meant to be?

By staying in resentment, jealousy, bitterness, justification, or denial, we rob ourselves of the fullness of who we are. We deny ourselves happy, healthy relationships. And we suffocate the still, small voice within us that is meant to honor the best in us—and in others.

3.     Fear of facing who we truly are. Some of us have run from who we are our entire lives. Some of us were taught that it’s not okay to be who we are. Others learned from hard mistakes and failures that who we are isn’t good enough.

Whatever motivated this race from the truth you’re running, you’ve got to stop.

It’s time to run toward who you are, not away. [Click to tweet]

How will you ever serve to your highest ability if you’re not even showing up? You’ve got to be all in, if your talents, abilities, and gifts are going to really impact others for good.

Today, ask yourself what you’re running from. What will the consequences be if you just do you. You do you. What’s the worst that could happen?

Then ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen if you never stop running?

Facing the truth is a necessity if you’re going to serve to your highest good. And let me tell you something:

You’ve got a lot to give. You have lessons, love, and light just waiting to burst forth. But you’ve got to turn around and face the darkness first. You can do it. I believe in you.

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