“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”
Sir Edmund Hillary
“Appreciate yourself and honor your soul.”
Yogi teabag tag
A little known fact: Lord Nelson, England’s most famous naval hero, suffered from bouts of seasickness his entire life. Still, he didn’t let this stop him from destroying Napoleon’s fleet or winning the many other sea battles that made him a legend in his own lifetime. He not only lived with this personal weakness, he overcame it.
Just like Lord Nelson or Sir Hillary, we each have our own personal sea to cross or mountain to climb: Many of us are quietly waging a private war no one else sees: battling against something inside us that we feel is a weakness — a shortcoming that we believe may be holding us back from achieving what we want to achieve and getting where we want to go. Sometimes it feels like a hole inside us that makes pursuing our writing goals seem like an impossible dream.
These self-perceived shortcomings come in all shapes and sizes. We may lack confidence because we were discouraged from writing when we were young. We may fear we don’t have enough talent or training to succeed. Or we may find it difficult to reach out and make connections, so we feel we lack the skill to develop the industry contacts that other people have.
Whatever our personal mountain or sea, let’s take heart by remembering three things:
First, others have struggled with the same challenges and overcome them. If they did it, we can, too. Second, whatever we’re feeling, we can act as if it’s impossible to fail. We become what we do: When our motto is, “Don’t quit, can’t fail,” our sheer persistence will carry us through. And finally let’s embrace the wisdom of the Yogi teabag tag: “Appreciate yourself and honor your soul” — let’s applaud and honor ourselves for our strengths and the courage it takes to keep going, despite our shortcomings. When we’re grateful for our strengths and nourish them, our weaknesses often recede or fade away.
Strengthened and emboldened, let’s all write on!