This evening I had a tough moment. Well, it was really the culmination of a tough week. I’ve been putting myself out there a lot this week. Passing out new business cards for my nutrition private practice, trying to work on spreading the word about my new book. Marketing myself is super challenging and stressful. And it became even more challenging when I discovered that Amazon now has limits on who it allows to place customer reviews on products. Case in point, they blocked my first cousin’s review of my book because we share a last name. Ok, I get that he is related to me, but isn’t he still allowed to value my book? I will be totally transparent that he is my cousin, and people can take that into consideration, but does that mean his opinion should be completely blocked? To make matters worse, after blocking my cousin’s review, they also removed the review his wife had written earlier that week.
So that was the backdrop to my experience this evening.
In my pursuit of marketing my book, and myself, to the world, I came upon a friend/colleague’s new video series interviewing inspiring self-made people. “Ah, I so want to be interviewed on this channel!!” I thought to myself. Add to that, the person she was interviewing was someone who interviews inspiring people as well—so that was two interviewers I yearned to be interviewed by.
Now, there were two things that were unhealthy about this. One was that I got so caught up in this video and the aftermath of my thoughts that I got off schedule. Going for a swim that evening before the Sabbath was my priority and all of a sudden I was wrapped up in my dreams of stardom and being discovered that I got totally swept off course.
The other thing that was unhealthy about this was also very ironic. As I walked to the pool, I reflected more on the recent toddler-like tantrum I had thrown when my husband insisted I put my phone down and keep on schedule and go for my swim; I realized that my approach to these hypothetical interviews was very similar to what my approach had been in dating. I felt desperate to be appreciated, desperate to be loved, and I put my full faith and trust in someone before I had even an ounce of information about them. Were they worthy of my admiration and desire to please them? I had no clue. I didn’t care. And most of the time I would later find out the answer was a resounding “No!”
Now in the case with these interviewers, they may very well be worthy of my aspirations to be interviewed by them. But the point is, my eagerness to please them, to be CHOSEN by them, was so great, that it blindsided me to the point that I didn’t even think about who THEY were. I wanted the attention, the approval, and the press time, and I didn’t care who gave it to me.
As I began my peaceful laps in the pool, I came to the conclusion that my goal should not be: “Get an interview with these people, no matter who they are or what their mission statement is, and if it is compatible with mine,” but rather, “Focus on building myself up and spreading the word to the appropriate audiences about my book, and hopefully through that, interviewers will SEEK ME out.”
Now, I don’t expect that level of recognition to happen overnight. Heck, I don’t even expect it to happen in a couple of years, if ever. But I do know that that goal is a much more self-affirming one.
I had a spiritual teacher who used to say that she taught the topic she was most meant to learn. I resonated with this then, and I resonate with this now. When I put out a book about self-love, and subsequently started a blog, I by no means intended to say that I was an expert who conquered their low self-esteem and harbored infinite amounts of self-love. Rather, I wanted to create a conversation around a topic that means a lot to me, and invite others who are interested to share in this conversation; that we can all grow together.