I’m sure it’s happened to you, too. You meet someone you’ve dealt with in some way for the first time, and he or she says, “You’re not at all like I thought you’d be.” Makes you wonder if you’re a disappointment or a delight.
Scottish poet Robert Burns summed it up when he wrote:
Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as others see us.
It’s a fact. We are unable to see ourselves as others do, and many of us spend too much time worrying about what people think. The most common limiting belief people suffer from is, “I am not enough”. Not good enough. Not smart enough. Not attractive enough. Not old enough. Not young enough.
We are enough. You see, most people are so busy worrying what other people think of them, that they don’t have time to think badly of us if we fail at something new. That concept came through in a flash after an RWA conference last year. The terror of pitching my book made me so nervous I couldn’t remember what I’d planned to talk about. I fumbled through my notes, sure I’d be thrown out as an imposter. I knew I wasn’t good enough.
When the session ended, I realized the editors who’d listened to my flustered pitch were very nice people with good suggestions, and the other authors pitching were much too worried about their own stories to notice me. Not one person laughed at me, at least, not to my face. I spent a fifty-gallon drum of worry for nothing.
What do other people think of me? I don’t know.
I like to think of myself as picture number five in the poster above. I think I’ll go with that.