Ummm... so I wrote a self help book
For years I've hidden behind my photographic work. I've always been more than happy to put it 'out there', and to let it get attention. But like a lot of people I don't necessarily enjoy putting myself 'out there'. I don't like being centre of attention. I shy away from it, and have found it to be an awkward, uncomfortable thing. That's why I don't like social media other than as a place to share my work, and see what others are up to. I don't post a lot of selfies (though, like any good fear, I'm trying to fight that). Maybe I should do a blog post about that.
Anyway, today I feel a little bit exposed because I'm putting something new 'out there', and I'm going to tackle that fear head on. It's not a photography project. It's new territory for me, and I'm determined not to shy away from the light this time.
It's a book.
It's not my first book. That was a book about web design that came out in 2002 (you can still grab a copy on Amazon for 17p if you like). But this book is about something different – it represents a journey I've been on for several years as I've learned to deal with anxiety, low self-esteem and my general confusion about how 'IT' works.
You know... 'IT'... Life – our place in it, and what we’re supposed to do with it.
You see, my life didn't quite progress the way I expected it to, and for years I scratched my head in confusion as I struggled to make ends meet, wondering why I wasn't being rewarded with the good stuff that everyone else seemed to be enjoying.
I did all the things I was supposed to do. I worked hard, kept my head down and followed the rules. But it was as if I was the only one who'd been off sick from school on the day they taught us how 'IT' works.
And so I've spent most of my years feeling powerless, unable to take any active part in my own life, which just seemed to happen to me, out of my control. I struggled my way through what felt like a thousand different jobs to pay the rent – while everyone else seemed to have it sussed. I worked as a carer with disabled people, as a van driver, and very nearly became a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. And the whole time my head was filling up with negativity, swirling with self-talk that prevented me from taking any kind of action to change things, because I felt like I didn't deserve success, and I felt I wasn't good enough to achieve it. I was depressed, despondent, anxious and afraid.
But then, one day while I was driving my van to keep the wolf from the door, something began to dawn on me. All those different jobs I'd had, all those lives I'd lived, and those experiences that had brought me to that moment - they'd all been teaching me something. From London to New York, Denmark to Indonesia I’d been collecting the answers I’d been looking for all along. I was finally starting to understand that living is a fine art, and I had dropped the paint brush.
Over the next few years I began tackling my negative self-talk, I started overcoming my fears, and I took action to build a better life and a better me. I understood that success isn't about what happens around you or to you, but what happens within you. That we can all enjoy a beautiful life if we know how to open our eyes, and find the power that we have inside us to change our situation and our perspective.
I'm still working on it because it's a process and a practice – a never ending dance to be enjoyed and relished for the rest of my days. And my life has improved dramatically in every way since I began. I experience joy daily, and my material circumstances are better than they've ever been. Each day is awash with beauty and love and opportunity, and I feel more motivated and inspired than ever.
The way I'm talking, you'd be forgiven for thinking that I've found religion. But the journey I've been on has nothing to do with any religion, sect or cult. Instead I've found a way to engage with life that is empowering, refreshing, and joyful, that enabled me to find the power to shape life to my design, and to finally understand what it means to take ownership of my existence.
And I want to share my journey with the world. For anyone who's ever felt powerless, lost or stuck I've written it down. For anyone who has ever doubted themselves so much that they can't face the day – or even the walk to the front door – I've shared the things that helped me take back the power to enjoy life. I've put it all in a book called:
DO THE THING, HAVE THE POWER:
OVERCOME SELF DOUBT AND BUILD A LIFE YOU LOVE
Sounds cheesy doesn't it? Well, that's fine by me because it sums up what it's all about, and what it's about is some really good stuff. Trust me. I should know.
It comes out in a few weeks, and I'll be announcing a very special offer to celebrate it's launch. If you want to be among the first to hear about it when it’s published sign up to my newsletter below and I'll keep you posted. And I hope you find the stories within its pages as helpful and empowering as I did when I began my journey.