Denial is Not a Solution

To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”- Socrates

At this time last year, I wrote about my own shortcomings and how excited I was to finally see the light at the end of a long dark tunnel regarding how long it took to write my next book. I talked about lessons and personal struggles—trying to write a book about confidence while in the midst of one of the biggest slumps in my sales career.

I spoke of promise and hope that my book would be done by the end of 2021. Well, guess what? I’m still not done. But I am many steps closer.

Why do I write this, now? Why am ratting myself out? Because I don’t know of any writer, salesperson, or anyone for that matter, who never struggles with motivation, confidence, with procrastination.

As a writer, speaker, and salesperson I get to face my feelings of inadequacy and insecurity on a daily basis, constantly wondering is this “good enough?” or “am I good enough?”

I know I am not alone.

So, what do I do to overcome that faulty belief system in my head?

I “feel the fear and do it anyway.” I practice Ten Seconds of Boldness.

I show up. I put my butt in a chair and write. I do a little bit every day. I don’t dwell in a carnival house of mirrors where my self-image is distorted and warped. Where the mirrors have names like, worry, doubt, fear, insecurity, and my least favorite, the dreaded “imposter.”

In some small way creating the habit to write on a regular basis alleviates the noise in my head. But like the shadow monster in our closet as kids, these insidious beliefs about my value and worth continue to sneak around, especially in the dark. Probably always will. When I feel them lurking, I flip on the lights and see that they were only shadows. Figments of my imagination and faulty belief system.

Sure, it takes more than flipping on the lights to overcome many of our persistent negative habits and feelings that block us from doing our best. Denial is not a solution. That’s why I chose the quote by Socrates. Our progress is predicated on knowing ourselves and being brave enough to walk across the room and flip on the lights when we think there are monsters sneaking about.

But for now, recognizing and admitting the problem exists—monsters are real when we believe them to be— is the first step toward healing. The first step toward becoming a better, more confident writer.

Like anything in life, things get easier with practice. And our confidence grows when we find the courage to feel what we feel and press on anyway.

Now back to finishing my book, even though I don’t want to write right now.

Here’s to you and your success.

If you want to be one of the first to read my next book, “Ten Seconds of Boldness: The Essential Guide to Solving Problems and Building Self-Confidence.” Sign up here.

I will be giving away some planning tools and one signed copy when it’s published.

Find me at: https://shawnlangwell.com/

There is Hope in Every Storm

Beyond the Storms of Life—there is Hope.

The storms of life are inevitable. Hurricane Irma and Harvey have wreaked havoc on the Gulf and East Coasts. Millions are still without power. Clean drinking water is in short supply. Natural disasters abound throughout the world.
But, what about the storms closer to home? The ones we see—homelessness, drug addiction, physical maladies. How do we ride those out? What can we do? How can we help? What about the mother who just lost her son in a car crash? Where’s hope in those storms? Where do we turn to? Or the young family whose primary bread winner just lost his job; the husband and wife struggling to find connection; the middle age child of aging parents who have fallen and are battling the early stages of dementia?

It is far easier to offer help when we see a storm. What about the storms in the inside? The ones we hide? How do we ask for help we are holding on by a thread barely keeping it together and ready to crack from carrying the load of financial responsibility, compassion and care for our aging parents?

How do we find hope in those circumstances? Where do we turn to for help?

How do we find the courage to share what’s going on with us and not be fearful of what another may think? How do we find courage in becoming vulnerable? How do we navigate the storms on the inside when we are worried that we are failing? Not good enough? Where or to whom or what do we turn when our insides are a mess?

I find it in prayer and asking for help. Like the Nike slogan, I just do it.
I have survived many storms in my life. I’m sure you have too. As a recovered alcoholic and drug addict I discovered I could not get sober on my own. I had to rely on a power greater than myself, God. For the grace of God I have been sober for over 30 years. I don’t say that to brag. I say it because I did what I am talking about in this blog. It is an ongoing daily battle between my will and God’s will. Suffice it to say, when I let go and Let God my days are nearly always better. I am not as worried in the inevitable storms of life. I have Hope

Let our willingness to ask for and accept help or spiritual guidance through each storm be a reminder that there is always hope. Let us become willing and hopeful to look for and find a path to safety.

We can never give up hope.

Hope alone is not enough. We can’t solve all the world’s problems. Sometimes we can’t even solve our own.

Even when we think we can do it alone. We need each other. We need to ask for help. To ask for help sometimes requires a leap of faith. It also requires humility—the leveling of our pride not as a sign of weakness, rather it is a sign of strength.
Asking for help takes courage. It requires strength. Ironically, it also requires surrender. By surrender, I mean humility—relinquishing control that we can of our own volition, fix any situation.

The good news is we are not alone.

We can’t fix it, change it or make it go away on our own. We are not God.
Certainly, we can do our part to change, love, support, others and ourselves—emotionally, physically, and financially but we cannot solve it alone.

I am writing this because I have wasted too many hours worrying about how I could solve a situation and what I could do to get out of a mess. Alone, it’s too much work. It’s exhausting.

My prayer is that I seek to understand, to listen and to hear the cry of help from the souls of others so, I may in some way offer a word of encouragement; a word of hope. And that others who love me, see through my masks of “I got it all together” and “I’m fine”  and offer an empathetic ear or to carry my pack and walk through the storms of life WITH me.
For those who may be experiencing a storm of their own, please know, you are not alone. There is hope.

Without hope we are nothing. Without love we are lost.

I’d like to thank Rev. Theon Johnson III, Associate Pastor at Glide Memorial Church for his message today—The world is hurting and your message of hope reached my heart and soul today. It inspired me to do my part to carry it a bit further.

May I remember this day always and draw upon it when I’m in a storm. May it be a beacon to guide me to safe shores.

Thank you!
We are all blessed, indeed.

Love,

Shawn

To find out more about my journey of victory over personal storms, you may like,

Hope Book

http://www.shawnlangwell.com