343 – December 9
“Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger.”—Franklin P. Jones
At lunch with a group of friends, we were dreaming about the big time. We wanted to fill more classrooms, write bestsellers, and help more people with our heart-felt work. We dreamed of appearing on Oprah, Rosie, Sally, Montel, Charlie, Today, Good Morning America, Good Night Whatever. Of sharing the lessons we had learned through difficult, personal traumas so that others might take a shorter road to success and happiness. And of course, we hoped to be listened to, acknowledged, photographed, loved. We smiled at the thought of how our lives would be perked up, new, improved, bigger, better, richer, more.
Then, because we are a thoughtful, balanced group, we talked about the down side of the big picture, of even fifteen minutes of fame. The long hours, the responsibilities, life on the road in a series of hotels, airports, endless smiling, and talking with countless strangers. And criticism—in print! I thought of all the terrible reviews I had read in the papers and how they must have hurt the people they criticized. As my friend Ann Hancock says, they’re called critics, not praisers. I saw the sacrifice that is involved in going wide with your dream.
“Oh, I don’t like that part at all,” I gulped. “Can’t I just have the good stuff?”
That’s when Rhonda Britten, author of Fearless Living: Live Without Excuses and Love Without Regret who had been listening to the discussion, nailed me. “You have to be willing to pay the price,” she said, “or your fear of it will stop you from getting it. To take a stand in the world, you have to be willing to be loved that much—and hated that much.”
So I take the risk; I make my stand. Maybe my message will reach thousands—or maybe only a few. Armed with the power to say no, if I remember to stay in the balance of what I have written in these pages, I will retain control over my life. I will march to the drummer I hear, with faith that there will be others who hear it, too.
Stand for what you believe. Do your work in the world, as wide as your purpose will allow. Your People will find you. There will be praisers who love you, and you may learn something from the critics. Faith, courage and your mission will sustain you. Everything else will fall away.
Success is not a place you get to—it’s a state you live in. If you enjoy the process, instead of being attached the result, you will be a success every day of your life.
“I enjoy my process and live in the state of success every day!”
Wild Women Writers Victoria, Linda, Rhonda, Chellie & Carol
Rhonda and I formed our writers group, “Wild Women Writers” or “W3” for short, back in 1998 when we both attended Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen’s weekend seminar “How to Build Your Speaking and Writing Empire”.
We were both speakers and workshop leaders and were writing our first books. We had met at the WRS (Women’s Referral Service) networking group before, so when Jack said, “You’ve got to create a writers group for support, encouragement, and feedback” I went up to her and asked her if she wanted to do that with me. We met for lunch and subsequently invited our friends Carol Allen, Victoria Loveland-Coen, and Linda Siversten to join us (Carol and Victoria were WRS members, too. It’s amazing how many fabulous connections I have made through that group! For those of you in Southern California, go to www.WRSWRS.com and find a meeting near you to attend!)
We met every 2 weeks for many years as we all developed our businesses and wrote books, supported each other through the down times and celebrated the up times. Our schedules no longer allow that many meetings, but we still get together often, brainstorm ideas, encourage each other, and celebrate our wins with a big slice of See’s chocolate cake with whipped cream at our regular haunt, Marmalade’s on Ventura Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley.