The MONSTER in your mind!

This is sort of a follow up to my initial post on how I eventually decided it was time to get my book out there! Do have a read if you haven’t done so already.

As you may already know it took quite a while for me to get this book published for various reasons. One of it being the perfectionist in me wanting everything to be just perfect! Another reason though was just how I had let expectations weigh quite heavily on me. I had convinced myself that I needed to do this whole book publishing and launch in a "big way" - go big or go home, you know! It needed to be a huge launch like others do with all the fanfare that entails. I was self-publishing yes but I needed to be able to afford to print loads and loads of paperback copies and have it available across Nigeria and the world, it just needed to be perfect in every way and I needed to launch out with a bang!


The more I thought about it the more I shrunk away from it, deciding that none of that was really me and so I wasn't even going to bother. However, I knew deep down that I still wanted to publish the book. I knew it was a good book and lots of people would love it. I was in a bit of a dilemma but all because I had set myself up with huge pressure and expectations and demands. However, the moment I was able to overcome the first hurdle of wanting everything to be just so perfect, I suddenly also came to the realisation that I didn't have to do things the way anyone else thought it needed to be done! I can just do it my way. So I decided I would just publish it anyway, do some sort of "soft launch" online with my family and friends and networks. I would have the book available as an eBook for the Nigerian market as well as available on Amazon Kindle for the International market. That didn't seem too daunting a prospect. That was doable and I was going to do it that way.


Today, I thought to write a few words to encourage someone reading this. Even if it feels like you are setting the bar really low for yourself, I'd say better to get something done than be paralysed by the very thought of achieving this BIIIIIIG dream that has now become a monster in your mind! And before you object to that idea, like you, I have heard it said again and again in different ways that if your dream doesn't scare you then it's not big enough but what's the point of having a dream so big it paralyses you? What is the point of a dream so big that, for whatever reason, you now feel unable to take the very first step required?


On 25th February, 2020, a friend sent me the link to a podcast with Liz Bohannon, author of Beginner's Pluck talking about her new book (Listen to the podcast here - highly recommended!). Listening to Liz speak brought into sharp focus all that I had been saying and thinking and reading and discussing. After listening, I sent the friend a message saying I am sure there's some business/leadership principle that probably relates to this - small measurable achievable goals? SMART goal setting? Anyway this was the message I sent to him:

I love how she (Liz) said she made her dream as small as it could possibly be. Then she said to herself that if she still can't go achieve that really small task towards the bigger goal then she's kind of a fraud and she should stop saying she cares about or is passionate about it [the final goal/big idea/ultimate dream/the vision]!

Bit harsh calling herself a fraud (Hahaha!) but I could totally relate. I needed small enough steps not to feel overwhelmed as I moved along the way towards the final goal. If I had those small tasks and still didn't get anything done then we definitely had a bigger problem!

I didn’t know it at the time but looks like I was tapping into something both simple and profound. At the end of the day, yes please do have “big dreams that scare you” but you’re not going to get from point A to point B if you are paralysed by the fear of getting that BIG dream done. So it is actually far more beneficial to set yourself SMART goals and smaller tasks that aren’t so unnerving or daunting while you're on your way to the ultimate dream! Don't be so overwhelmed by Step 7 that you're unable to take Step 1.


And if you don’t know what SMART Goals are a quick Google search gave me this:

To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be: S pecific (simple, sensible, significant). M easurable (meaningful, motivating). A chievable (agreed, attainable). R elevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based). T ime bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive). So go ahead and take that little step if the big step seems too big for now, after all the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step......


PS: Interestingly, since I have now had the book published and launched, I am starting to think about possible next steps and so much more that I can do with the book and other things. For instance, I am now in talks with bookshops about getting the book in stores in Nigeria! Haha! I keep wondering if this is the same person that was so concerned about so many things that it was threatening the very existence of the book. However, I realise I needed to be able to take that first "small" step and if that meant setting the initial bar really low then so be it!

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© 2020 Memoirs of a Lazy Korfa by Tunmise Usikalu.

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