Are you waiting to be noticed?
Are you waiting to be invited to speak at a show that is on your list of goals?
Are you waiting for a publisher to phone you because they want to make your blog into a book?
Are you waiting to be invited to play a gig at a celebrated venue?
Are you waiting to be represented by an amazing art dealer?
Are you envious of the people who are already doing these things?
The common word here is waiting. It’s passive. It puts the goal out of your hands. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard is just two words long. It is “select yourself.” Don’t wait to be asked or invited. Choose the places that you want to be and take action to be there.
The outcome is less important than the act of selecting yourself. Often it will get you where you want to go. Other times you might get a no or discover a layer of barriers between you and your goal. Do not be deterred by this. By putting yourself forward you put yourself on the right radars and there is nothing like the momentum of taking action for something similar to drop into your lap from the universe.
When I selected myself
I heard the “select yourself” advice in the summer of 2013. Later that day I went to a talk by an organisation called Escape The City. They held meetings in London for people who wanted to escape office life and do something more meaningful with their lives. There were over a hundred people in attendance and this was the exact audience I needed for my life coaching business.
I listened to the speaker, who was very good, and thought “I could do this. My material is suitable for this group of people”. At the end of the talk, I popped to the loo. When I was washing my hands the lady who had organised the event came out of a cubicle. In the spirit of “Select yourself” I introduced myself to her, told her what I did and that I would love to speak at a future event.
The following month it was me on the programme. The talk was very popular so she asked me back again a few months later. I sold books. People joined my mailing list and some people even blogged about what they learned which again raised my profile.
I would not have got this had I just sat in the audience wishing that it could be me up front. I got it by selecting myself and asking.
Selecting yourself requires “putting yourself out there”. You will need to raise your hand. You may face rejection (for tips on coping with rejection click here). You may fail publically at your endeavour. This is scary.
Fear can paralyse us and in the moments before selecting yourself your head might be filled with a hundred reasons of why it isn’t a good idea. Take a deep breath. Think of the benefits. Say “what the heck” and do it. When have you ever regretted doing something with a “what the heck” frame of mind?
Selecting yourself gives you momentum. It gives you control. It lets the right people know that you are available and your work is ready to go. It might be scary. It might be daunting. You might get rejected. But it might work!
When you choose to select yourself you are choosing to do the very best you can for yourself and for your art.
Over to you
Leave us a comment and tell us about a time when you selected yourself. What are the benefits that you got from it?
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Every month I also share the ups and downs of my own creative journey – but only email subscribers get that insider view.