During an initial Scribe Coaching consultation one of my clients once said, “I am writing this book for myself. If anyone reads it, that’s fine. If they don’t, that’s fine too. I don’t really care either way.” It did not cross my mind that anyone could write a book and never talk about it.
Although I thought it was odd, I didn’t ask the client to unpack their apprehensions. I knew that this client was a public figure who didn’t want their vulnerability to be used as a weapon against them. “Writing a book makes one feel deeply vulnerable,” I said. ”Just think about it.”
Last week, the revelation of my client’s self-minimalization fell on me like a ton of bricks. I was sitting at an awards banquet in Fairborn, Ohio, about to receive an award from my beloved Alma Mater, Wilberforce University. I knew for months that I was getting the award,, but I did not invite anyone to attend the gala, not even my husband and daughter. When people told me they wanted to come I said, “It’s not a big deal.” In my heart I knew how big of a deal it really was, but I was shy about asking anyone to come cheer me on. Maybe it was grief, maybe it was humility. Maybe it was just plain old avoidance. Either way, it was inappropriate.
The truth is, I had not been able to celebrate any accomplishments for six years. I was working hard behind the scenes to do a lot of amazing things, but I could not speak publicly about anything I was doing. Someone had said, “It’s a conflict of interest for you to talk about yourself here.” I ran hard with that statement right into the shadows.
I will never again hide my light under a bush! Just like one of my fellow alums said at the gala, "I have never, not ever felt like I did not belong in any room I have ever walked into." Had I chosen not to attend the gala, I would have missed out on a great lesson: “Allow people to give you your flowers.” Thankfully, several friends were in the room. Here are a couple photos:
This brings me back to my client and three lessons that I learned from this experience. When you find it difficult to receive attention for something you have done well, do these three things:
1. Remember Your Why
My client had shared with me that their goal for writing a book was to leave a legacy for their children. Taking this under advisement, I used my client’s children as a form of inspiration to help them finish their project. When it was difficult, I pointed them back to the picture of their children and called their names. I reminded the client that their written words would breathe life into their babies.
The visible transformation from fear to anticipation about their book helped them to embrace the celebration when the book was completed.
2. Let Your Supporters Support
When my client was finalizing their project, they became more open about having a book signing. I asked them to identify someone from their Unpluckable Faith Community to join our calls. I told them, “Pick someone who loves you and believes in your book.” When their supporter joined us, it ignited my client’s confidence as they watched their supporter bounce in their seat with excitement. Their supporter supported them. When they could speak boldly, their supporter became a mouthpiece, shouting their excitement from the rooftops of social media to boost book sales for their loved one.
Sometimes we just need someone to speak up for us until we regain our voice.
3. Give God the Glory
After several months of working together, my client and I were elated about the beautiful work that was created. When it came time to celebrate the accomplishment, my client lifted the glory of the project back to God yet stood in the truth that God had used them as a vessel. I was proud of my client and sat in awe of the reader testimonials. Their readers affirmed their vision.
When it is hard to receive the accolades that people want to give you, give them back to God and thank Him for choosing you as a vessel.
These Flowers Belong to You
Although the lesson I learned last weekend was a hard reality check, I promise to move forward with an open heart to receive affirmation and blessings. How dare I, or you, deny other people the opportunity to celebrate us and our accomplishments? You can move in silence while you work, but when you finish, throw some confetti in the air.
Celebrate what you have accomplished starting today—you are a vessel, and your obedience will help someone else see their value.
If you want to talk more about this, schedule your free 15-minute consultation and let's unpack the barriers. Let me know how your short-term goal for August is progressing and if you still need one, get your digital inSCRIBE Me Planner to help you with a short-term goal.
Your Scribe Coach,