Today’s wake-up call comes in the form of this letter – Dear Jackson, face everything and recover. Up and at ’em, wipe the sleep outta your eyes. When you started out, you wanted to re-invent your life. Jackson, without the demons and baggage. Jackson without the regrets and self-loathing. Writing, creating, making, doing – those would be your destiny, instead of self-destruction.
Now here you are a little farther on the path and the uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity are getting to you. I need you to look deep inside and remember what you used to say to yourself: “May I always remember that the power within me is far greater than any fear before me. May I always have patience, for I am on the right road.”
Sit up straight, look at me! I mean, I get it: Life is fragile right now. You’re unsure, lots of scary stuff happening outside. All that ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ in the world doesn’t cover the mean reds of bad economy, poor safety, and shaky well-being. Getting harder to justify banging away at the keyboard while the sky grows dark outside and you face the possibility of another novel that hasn’t achieved success.
I know what you’re afraid of. You’re almost done with this draft of Mike.Sierra.Echo and there’s a little voice inside going ‘what if this is the moment when everything gets better?’ while another one is screaming ‘what if this is the moment where you think everything was supposed to get better and it doesn’t?’ The fear has been pushing its way inside your mind for the past few months and it’s killing your work. Now is the time to talk about the acronym of fear: Face Everything And Recover.
How to Face Everything and Recover
People have their own suggestions on what you should do and I already know what you’re going to say:
- Vent to someone you love and trust! – You’re still looking for this person
- Meditation is key – You need to do this more
- Exercise: The Anti-Drug – you’re already doing this, so check.
- Go for walks in nature! – Check.
- Get a therapist!!! – you already have one so, like, check.
- Having a journal to express your emotions and anxieties – gee, like maybe this blog? You’ve been slipping. Time to get it out of you.
- Believe in yourself, don’t lose confidence!! – You still need to work on this – you don’t believe in yourself as much as you should.
- Love yourself and those around you – as you process whatever demons, fears, regrets, disappointments, don’t forget to practice self-love. Accept your humanness. See the wrongs, admit them honestly, and become willing to set these matters straight.
But skip all that and talk to me – do you remember what you said before? ‘When you feel down about the world, all you can do is go back to your values. In ten years do you want to be the person who said ‘sorry,’ or do you want to be the person who said ‘not on my watch?’ Remember that? Here you are less than a month later, with a gut punch in your ribs and your back on the ropes. Destiny has no patience for timid men.
Who owns your life – them or you? If it’s your life, are you taking inventory or are you doubling down on why this is everyone else’s fault, problem, responsibility to fix? Is that going to make things better? Look, all you can do is be you, and nobody is going to answer the big questions for you, or live with the consequences. This is what you asked for, chum.
You knew this was going to be a heartbreaker but nobody said it would only break your heart once. It’s not about how many times you get hit and keep moving forward, like Rocky said. You’re going to finish this book and guess what, maybe nobody will care about it. But you’ll still be able to say “I finished Mike.Sierra.Echo. I finish what I start out to do, that means I’m worth something to me.”
You’re going to get up and try your hardest because that’s what really matters right now. You’re not going to give up because that’s what really matters right now. You’re going to remember that you matter, you’re worth it, and you deserve to be happy – that’s what really matters right now. You’re going to finish this book because that’s what really matters right now.
Now sit down, get to writing, and don’t let me hear about your fear. Let me hear how you faced everything and recovered. That’s what winners do. That’s what heroes do. That’s what guys named Jackson Allen do.