Many people I speak with are waiting for something before they start a new venture. Waiting to…

  • feel better about themselves
  • to feel more confident
  • feel like it is ‘right time’ to launch
  • feel like an expert in their subject matter

However, that waiting period often turns into months, then years and alas, then decades. They often have the order wrong – feelings don’t come first – action does.

I was not an author – at least I never considered myself one even though I did write a short fitness guide for touch football players in the 1980s (not a threat to J. K. Rowling’s record sales). But I was enthusiastic about sharing what I was learning about Dream Careers with many other people. I shared my idea of writing a book and a few people commented, “But you’re not an author”. I couldn’t disagree with them. But that desire deep inside of me was pulling me to write. So, I did what I usually do – I researched how to write. I read a couple of excellent books. I wasn’t going back to school to study literature and writing. I was an emergency physician and a father of 2 young boys. I didn’t have the time nor the interest to go back to school. So, I just started to write. I grabbed my microphone and started interviewing people who had transitioned to their Dream Career to learn their secrets of how they did it.

After each interview I wrote the interviewee's story and the lessons they gleaned from it. I wrote with the reader in mind, thinking what someone who is dissatisfied with their job, perhaps burning out, would want. After doing this process over 120 times, I asked around for a content editor, who helped me immensely from my first edit 1 to my fifth iteration. I got similar help while looking for a design editor, book launch marketer and printer. Not everything worked out well though. I was told that I couldn’t get a distributor until I had two or more books published, but some publishers wouldn’t publish a “no-name” author until I had a distributor. A real ‘Catch-22’. So, I self-published, printed 2000 copies and launched it at a launch party. 

When I held the printed book in my hand, and saw my name on the cover, I felt closer to a real author. However, it wasn’t until the middle of a book signing, when someone said that she wanted to be an author too. TOO! And she was only speaking to me so I must be the author she was referring to. That was the first time I actually considered myself an author.

I could have stood in front of a mirror and said to myself a thousand times, “I am an author” but it would never have worked because Parts of me would have known that I wasn’t doing the work of publishing and printing. Affirmations can help AFTER you are taking action towards your goals. They cannot replace actions. You need to take those actions even when parts of you don’t believe it or doubt that you will be successful in whatever venture you take.

Do the thing, and you shall have the power…

That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson,

American essayist, 1803 - 1882

The key is to take the focus off of yourself and put it onto the people you are trying to help. In my case, it was disengaged employees who knew deep down that they were more than they were doing at work – that they had a dream they were not pursuing because of various internalized fears.

Many people say things like, “But I am not an author or a sales person or an artist or a leader…” What people don’t realize is the Fear Parts of themselves are talking about their past – not their present and not their True Self. I recommend that people have an attitude of healthy skepticism for these fears.**

Then, turn your focus to what you want to do and who you want to help. Adopt a child-like curiousity and then start. Just start. Don’t wait until you feel confident or strong or sure of your future. No. Just start.

Life is like a meandering path. You can’t see the future while standing at the starting line because the road curves. It is only when you get on your own path, that other paths and opportunities begin to reveal themselves. Only then will you know what 2nd and 3rd offshoot paths to take. Yes, it can be scary. But it also makes life interesting as you go through your own challenges and adventures. Most people I talk to are bored with their jobs – they really want an adventure.

Don’t wait for someone to wave their sword over your shoulders and knight you as an author, blogger, coach, designer, chef or professional speaker, to name a few. Start doing these things, learn from your experiences, get help from coaches and mentors and you will then have more confidence. I have found that to be the order: Take Action first – Confidence comes second.

Start today.

Live more of your life in your ‘True Self’

Dr. Samuel Gerstein – Author

**I have launched a new app to help entrepreneurs-at-heart who feel stuck in their careers or stuck at a revenue level, manage their Fear Parts. Try it out here: