This is the third of a three-part article I wrote to share my personal lessons on how I overcame self-doubt and procrastination in my journey of realising my dream of publishing my first book. In the first segment, I shared the power of “going furthest together” and “unfolding your own myth”. In the sequel, we explored the benefits of “flying with your why” and “standing on the shoulders of giants”. This final segment is about minding and mining your “mastermind”.

Minding and mining your “mastermind”

Having a dream is a great start. Sharing it with those in your inner circle who you empower to both cheer you on when you could do with a morale boost and to be your toughest critic when you need a nudge will significantly enhance your chances of success.

I used to struggle with asking for help. I have since learned that high EQ people see asking for help as an act of courage and vulnerability, not weakness. Know that for them to be able to share in your success is a source of joy for them and your positive energy is also a source of inspiration for them.

Empowering my wife, children and my peers in the coaching program to hold me accountable to my commitment was instrumental to my book publishing success. I can recall many a time when just a cheery “how’s the book going Dad?” was sufficient to get me off the comfort of the couch and on to the writing desk. And similarly, having my mastermind group – wonderful peers who shared a common dream and who were there to support each other with ideas, feedback and resources – was a source of great energy and reassurance.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
– Jim Rohnn

.One particular anecdote stands out. Getting my first draft manuscript done was a huge milestone for me. The book was now ready to go to my editor. Wanting to minimise the number of rewrites that may be required, I asked if Sue and my kids – Jeremy, Aaron and Courtney – would be willing to read my manuscript and give me their candid, first impressions. All said yes and within hours of receiving it, I received a text from my eldest son Jeremy. It said “Dad, read the first couple of chapters. Awesome stuff!  I think all of my friends will benefit from reading it!” I felt quite chuffed about this. That same afternoon though, I received another text that quickly brought me down to earth. It read “Dad, I’ve just read the second half. I think we need to talk. It felt like you rushed it!”

Painful as it was, that sort of candour was exactly what I wanted. I sheepishly acknowledged that I might have done this out of my desire to meet the self-imposed deadline of the 30-day program. Jeremy, who’s an accomplished musician with quite a few compositions under his belt said to me, “Dad, you will only ever get one chance in your life to write your FIRST book. When I look back today at the first song I composed, I cringe because it is so bad. You will want to read this again many years down the track and feel only a great sense of pride. No one’s rushing you. My advice to you is that the book is almost there. But I’d do another rewrite to ensure it really flows.” He also gave me great advice on the title of the book and like the  relationship between a title and chorus of a song, I’d want the title to be a refrain that flowed throughout the book.

Whilst I was disheartened by the prospect of another few weeks or months of writing, what he said made sense. And how he said it inspired me to want to make it the very best I could. I feel really, really good about how that book has turned out today and I have Jeremy and my support crew to thank for that, not just for their encouragement and guidance but for holding me up to what they felt I was truly capable of.

So in summary, you can achieve anything you want in life and overcome self-doubt and procrastination through the following steps:

  1. Start with a clear vision and purpose
  2. Know that you are worthy
  3. Make time to reflect on your vision and purpose to re-inspire yourself and to stay on track
  4. Be resourceful and value your time – tap into the expertise, strengths and resources of others around you to create win-win collaborative outcomes
  5. Share your dreams with your inner circle who empower them to hold you accountable
  6. Form a mastermind group with others who share a common dream
  7. Be open to feedback and be prepared to make changes without ever compromising on the excellent outcomes you seek to create
  8. Never give up!

This article was inspired by an interview I did with Jan Muir, who coaches aspiring authors. If you’d like to learn more about my book writing journey, I’ve included this interview below.