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Queen of Your Own Life

Blooming | The Battle for You

by Cindy Ratzlaff

At the end of May, I went to BookExpo America, the largest convention in the U.S. devoted to books, authors, publishers and the business of book selling.  This was my twenty-second year attending this three day affair.  The thing I like best about it is seeing old colleagues, some of whom I only see once a year at this event.  We get to briefly touch base and delight in the fact that we’re all still here, engaged in the business of creating books.

This year was special for me because BookExpo asked me to be a speaker.  I was part of a panel on day one and I did a presentation by myself on day two.  I was so honored to be asked and I loved talking about my area of expertise to a packed house of colleagues and fellow authors.

I do a fair amount of speaking in front of crowds and I don’t get too nervous but this year, I had  moments of anxiety before hand about superficial things.  I heard those voices in my head that say “You’re too old.  You’re fat.  You’re not smart enough.” All those voices are nonsense but that doesn’t stop them from screaming away.

Here’s the nutty part.  Nobody came to these talks to judge my looks or my ideas.  They came because I had information and knowledge that they wanted to have.

By focusing on that fact, I was able to drown them out with new voices.  These voices said, “Just share what you know.  Help people understand the topic.  Be of service.”  And, I did.  People stayed after my talk for almost an hour asking questions and I left the event feeling as though I’d truly helped some people with a challenge.  It felt great.

On the long ride home I had time to think about  the way my voices hold me back, and I was able to really see that focusing on showing up and being of service to myself and others is one way I can battle those debilitating negative inner voices.

I once heard a sports psychologist say that she many professional athletes suffer from performance anxiety and she advises her clients to take a moment before they begin a game to stand quietly and repeat “I am a professional athlete.  I am highly paid to play this game.  I am among an elite few who get to do this for a living and I have been chosen to do so.” Somehow, it helps me to know that even elite athletes sometimes have doubts about their abilities.  And, I like the idea of a personal meditation.  So I’ve made one up for myself.

Here’s what I’ll be saying whenever those voices tell me I’m not qualified to speak in front of a crowd.  “I am a professional and I’ve been chosen to give this talk because I have something valuable to share with this audience.  I am here to help them understand this topic more fully than they did before and I’ll do my best today to share what I know.”

I’m still blossoming as a woman. I’m still learning new ways of being me.  I’m still developing new skills and ways of operating in the world and that’s a wonderful thing.  Do you have a special way of overcoming the negative thoughts or voices that can stop you from trying new things or from sharing the best parts of you with the world?  Let’s share those coping strategies with one another as we continue the battle for you.

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2 Responses to “Blooming | The Battle for You”

  1. Donna says:

    Isn’t it crazy that we fall into this negative thought pattern when we know that all the evidence points to another conclusion? I love your mantra, Queen Cindy and I’m going to use it myself. Thank you.

  2. cindy says:

    It is, indeed. Thank you Queen Donna.

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