I lived in the library as a kid, reading piles of books every year, particularly over the summer. My sister was the extrovert; I was the bookworm. It must have been junior high when I became fascinated with alphabets. I read less as I checked out book after book with all kinds of decorative fonts. My dad had access to that really wide, lined computer printer paper and brought it home for us to use as scrap paper. I would spend hours copying my name and other words in all of those glorious typefaces. I wish I still had even one of those sheets today, but thankfully, we didn’t save every piece of paper from all those years ago – and there was no way to know I’d like to keep these specific pages.
When it came time to go to college and choose a major, I went with the safe choice and majored in Creative Writing – nonfiction, to be specific. I’m not a big one for regrets, but I sometimes wish I’d have done something a little more interesting, like theatre set design or sociology. The thing is, I’ve used my major, starting with an editing business and then branching out to encompass the whole spectrum of self-publishing and marketing for indie authors. These are areas in which I am still extremely knowledgeable.
However, a little less than a year ago, I made the decision to give up my publishing work and move into something completely different for me: making art and building a community centered around positivity: Fairy Positive. Makes that 30-second networking commercial a bit more challenging, to be sure. It took me way too long to own up to the fact that I wasn’t doing my best work when I was in the self-created job I thought I should be in, based on my college degree and societal expectations. I am an excellent marketer and exceptional teacher. When it came to delivering work for clients, though, I dragged my feet and procrastinated like nobody’s business. It wasn’t fair to them – or to me. So it was actually an enormous relief to decide to let it go.
I’d toyed with this idea of shifting gears in the past, but every time a new prospective client would come along, I agreed to their project instead of passing on it to pursue other interests – and then the same old bad habits repeated themselves. This time around, I’ve said yes to the new work and no to the old. Interestingly, during the thick of my recovery from covid, five queries for editing/publishing work came across my email within a single week. And to each email, I replied, “Thanks, but no thanks. Here’s someone else who might be able to help you.” It was like the Universe was testing me to see if I was really serious this time.
Positivity made this change possible for me. Rather than worry about the money, the reception from others, whether I was actually good enough or had the right experience, I decided to follow my heart. Instead of worrying about what might go wrong, I shifted my perspective to focus on what might go right. I’m a pretty decent writer, but it’s pedestrian for me. I’m more technically proficient than creative, in spite of my degree. I love eloquent prose and poetry that grabs me by the collar and slams me up against a wall – I just don’t write those things.
While there is a need for my writing style and skill in helping authors, new and experienced, I found I wasn’t enjoying that work as much as I enjoy making art. Now, I’m actually putting to use all those hours I spent playing with fonts as a kid. I still write daily, as I blog and post collages with commentary to my various social platforms. I will always love teaching, which is why a part of the new path I am choosing will involve an element of coaching. So I’m keeping the parts of my old work that I enjoyed, and getting rid of the aspects that didn’t serve me or my clients.
Is this a risk for me and my family? You bet it is! Am I certain I’m doing the right thing? I couldn’t be more sure. Do I still have doubts? Of course, because I’m human. But I shut those doubts down with affirmations and the knowledge that I’m following my life’s true calling. Could I have done it if I’d let the doubts and fears and imposter syndrome prevail? Of course not. It is my positive self-perception, positive affirmations, and positive belief in what I’m creating that help override those negative detractors.
PositivityDaily offers the suggestion of “Manage How You Feel” as the third of three tips for improving one’s willingness to take risks. The post goes on to say:
Research in self-esteem shows that people who feel bad about themselves tend to avoid important actions and decisions. Helping them take action isn’t as easy as closing the gap between their perceived ability and the task at hand. Most times they know they are capable. But that’s just not enough. I lost count of the number of times I’ve sat across a client who says “I know I can do the job. But I don’t know what stops me from applying.” What’s stopping them is their emotions — and emotions and reason don’t speak the same language. If that feels true for you, you need to calm your emotions by being with yourself in compassion. No telling yourself what to do, or why it’s important. Just be. Everything else will follow.
If you’re tired of playing it safe and would like to become just a bit more of a risk-take, perhaps it’s time to increase your positivity quotient. If you’re ready to make positivity a priority, sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”
The decision is yours: Take a risk on positivity so you can meet life head on, or keep playing small and safe, always wondering what might have been.
JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!