So, I did a thing–I wrote a book. Well, I didn’t just ‘write’ a book. My book was traditionally published and is now in major bookstores across the country. And it’s selling well–really well. I approached publishers myself and my top choice said ‘hell yeah!’ I even received an advance for my first book.
Writing a book is something that most people DREAM of, yet very few actualize. The act of writing a book is difficult, time-consuming, anxiety-producing, and challenging to one’s ego. Yet writing the book may be the least cumbersome part of being a writer: there are all of the additional gatekeepers one must navigate (e.g. agents, publishers, editors–depending on the route one takes); rejections one must face while still maintaining the courage to keep on; seeds of self-doubt one must carefully uproot in order to have resilience–all of this, just to have a shot at being a traditionally published author, knowing that nothing is guaranteed.
Even then–even if you survive yourself (IDK about you, but my own mind has always been my greatest challenge), the agents, the publishers–what if no one gives a damn about the book, so it sits collecting dust on some obscure bookstore’s shelf? Until one day you find your yellow stained manuscript on eBay for $.50 after it was picked-up from a yard sale by a college student trying to resell shit that no one wants for some extra cash.
What if that happens to you–after all those years you spent dreaming, imagining yourself as a published author? After all of the emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual work that went into the journey?
I can’t count the number of clients who come to me with dreams of being something and are held back by grief AKA fear of loss without realizing that grief is holding them back.
They’ve built entire realities in their minds, futures where possibility is comfortably certain, and they fear letting go of a dream to allow reality to unfold in all of its ambiguity. Because at the end of the day, they don’t just risk losing (and grieving) the dream itself, they risk losing the identities tied to the dream (i.e. being a writer and what that means), which means that they risk losing part of their actual self. So they remain caught in a trap set by their own minds, neither able to get full satisfaction from their dreams nor to have the courage to live fully in a reality of their own making.
How is fear of loss keeping you from fully actualizing?