Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”
350 – December 16
“We are each the parents of our dreams, so we must support them as best we can until they can support themselves.”—Paul and Sarah Edwards
Two of my favorite singers are Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, so I eagerly bought their Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions CD as soon as it was available and enjoyed it immensely.
Robert Hilburn interviewed them for the Los Angeles Times. One of the things that most impressed him was how much they talked about other artists they admired. Generous in praise of each other, Emmylou spoke of having seen Linda for the first time in the late sixties. Harris was living in New York then and trying to get started in her music career. She said, “I thought I was pretty good. But when I heard Linda do this a cappella thing, I thought that no voice could be that beautiful.”
Hilburn asked if that intimidated her, and I was struck by her reply: “Absolutely. I knew I could never sing like that. It really shook my confidence. So for a while, I thought I’d concentrate on writing songs. Then I went to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and I heard Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt. I thought, ‘How can I compete as a songwriter?’ because Joni was singing my heart and my soul. Then Bonnie got up there, playing slide guitar and singing great. At that point, I sort of gave up pursuing a career for a short period of time.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Emmylou Harris, with one of the most beautiful, angelic voices I’ve ever heard, felt intimidated by the competition?
Then Linda was asked the same question about the first time she heard Emmylou and she answered: “It was really a crisis for me. I felt she was doing (country rock) much better than I was. She was so much farther down the road. It was a time where I had to say I can either let this make me feel really terrible and I won’t get to enjoy the music or I could accept it as really great and enjoy it. And that’s the choice I made. And it was a great lesson, because music isn’t a horse race and you can’t have it be a competition….There’s room for us all, and we all have our own stories.”
This interview was amazing to me. Here they were, two wonderful, brilliantly talented, successful musicians—and they were talking about their feelings of inadequacy! I had forgotten that incredible people have doubts, too. Sometimes I think I’m the only one who thinks like that. Who do I think I am to be writing a book? I’m not as funny as Annie Lamott, I’m not a financial planner like Suze Orman; I’m not as good at sales as Zig Ziglar….Thanks, Linda, for reminding me: There’s room for us all, and we all have our own stories. I’ll be the best me I know how.
Today’s Affirmation: “I am loved and acknowledged for my unique and wonderful talents!”
I wonder if this feeling of being “not good enough” is something innate or if it’s learned– the old “nurture or nature” question. We just don’t know exactly how it happens. This article in the paper really helped me the day I read it, because I was struggling with getting my book finished. I was getting close to the finish line and beginning to doubt myself.
Isn’t it comforting to know that others—even talented, successful celebrities that we admire—feel the same way sometimes?
Soon afterward, a student of mine Donna called me the day after class. Intelligent and warm, I enjoyed meeting her and was glad she enrolled in my financial workshop. She worked selling advertising for a small publication and wanted to increase her sales and income. I wondered why she seemed a bit anxious that first night as each participant introduced themselves. Now on the phone, she explained.
“Last night, listening to the other people talk about their goals, I didn’t feel I belonged in the group. I felt their goals were so much higher than mine; that they were smarter, better, more experienced—more whatever—than me.
“But I had a realization as I walked down the hill to my car. When I arrived for your class, I had parked at the bottom of the hill, thinking that others would have gotten there first and taken all the convenient parking spaces. But I was the first to arrive! Why did I assume that others would be there before me? Why did I park at the bottom and walk up that steep hill without even trying to see if I could park at the top?
“I saw that this was a metaphor of how I have been living my life. I have assumed that others will take the top spots, so I automatically settle for the inconvenient place, the lesser place—and lesser income, too. But now that I’ve seen it, I’m going to stop it. I will find my space at the top of the hill from now on.”
Do you park at the bottom of hills? Do you take a back seat, let others do the talking, let others get the clients, the sales, and the cash? Who told you to do that? Who told you that you had to go last? The little child inside us needs nurturing and support as much as the little child in our arms. As Marianne Williamson said, “Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” We don’t encourage others to shine when we hide our own light. Let us strive to be the best we can be, and empower others to do the same. Let us all look for the top of the hill. And if today, you don’t get the premium space, oh well, there’s another day tomorrow. We can fail sometimes and be last sometimes. But we don’t have to settle for last as our default position every time. At least drive up the hill and look around. You may find you’re the first one up there after all.
Whatever work you do, you have to fight inner demons as well as the outer ones. You have to stay focused on positive thoughts in order to have positive outcomes. The first positive is you. You are the only you on the planet and there are people out there just praying for you to show up. They want what you have to give and will pay you richly for it. But you have to reach out and ask. To do that you need confidence in your self-worth, which is what it takes to produce your net-worth. You are worthy, worthwhile and worth it! You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t. You can do anything you want. Fill your mind with positive statements, repeat affirmations, listen to encouraging audio tapes, read enlightening books.
See you at the top of the hill.