In September I am exploring self belief. Not self-confidence or self-esteem. But that quietly assured, deep-seated belief some people have in themselves. The belief that they CAN and they WILL. I have noticed something about those people – they DO. They follow their dreams and they make them a reality. What is their secret?
I don’t like to brag, but I’ve cracked the one thing you need to do in order to truly back yourself and achieve the career you’ve always wanted. I’m not especially clever, and I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with it. It’s not easy but it is super simple. The not easy part sucks, of course, but it also makes it great because it means not everyone is doing it.
If you had told me 25 years ago that some day I’d be asked to write an article about backing yourself, I would have thought you were being rudely sarcastic or entirely insane. It’s not something I was good at. But from a beginning of next to no self belief, I realise now that I have come an awfully long way, and I love that now I am now in a position to help others to do the same.
When I finished school, my exit score was so bad, I couldn’t get into any uni course in Brisbane that year. Nothing. I assumed my lot in life was to get a job in a shop, so that’s what I did. I worked in a newsagency for two years while I figured out what on earth to do with myself. From there I travelled overseas and lived in Hawaii, London and Edinburgh. I met a variety of people – both great and awful – and generally expanded my horizons, and saw that success had many different faces.
It was after those four years travelling that I came back with the tiny, quiet idea that perhaps I was capable – and worthy – of doing something bigger with my life than what I had initially thought. And so I began. I went to university, and found I was really rather good at academia, so I did two degrees in succession. From there, I achieved small wins. I published my first article, I met people who believed I was talented and who helped me to take the next step in my career. And I just kept going, taking that next step and that next step.
I’m not one of those high achievers that you see fearlessly taking on the world and hitting six after six. I live with anxiety. I have three kids. I struggle to keep my house clean. I’m not a special breed of person at all, but there is one thing I do, every single day.
I keep putting one foot in front of the other, and ensure those feet are pointing at where I want to be. Every day, I chip chip chip away. And good things happen – not every day, but regularly enough to keep me going. I’ve been a writer for over 15 years now, and I still love it. That clueless 16 year old that had no idea what to do after high school would never have believed where she’d end up. Just quietly, I think she’s impressed.
One thing I am guilty of is that I seldom stop to celebrate my wins. But I do acknowledge and appreciate every day is that I love going to work. And I’m really glad I don’t have to sell lotto tickets any more.
She runs a course teaching new and emerging writers how to get out there and start selling their stories so they can take those steps towards a career they’ll love. The next Career Kickstarter Course starts Monday 7 September.
The Mummy and the Minx readers can get a 20% discount if they enter the code FWC20 at checkout.