Discover your Own Hero
When I was eleven, my English teacher said to me that my writing would amount to nothing. It was not worth me considering writing in the future.
Her advice re-directed me into becoming a professional photographer and then business analyst. Yet I realise now that what she said was a defining moment that sent me on my own Heroâs journey; a journey that took me around the world numerous times and onto a ship that almost sunk in Antarctica. In fact, I lived life completely by the seat of my pants because I knew life would take care of me.
One of my favourite examples was when I needed a plane in Namibia to take aerial photos. A plane and pilot miraculously turned up against all the odds. During these travels I wrote and wrote. Yet the dream of being an author evaded me because something inside me told me I was not good enough.
After close to ten years of travelling and working on ships, I returned to land to study my Masterâs Degree in Television Production. It coincided with when the British media industry was in a state of decline. While I studied I worked in a bookshop, that way I could gain an idea of what sold and what didnât. While I worked in the shop I stumbled across The Secret. After reading it numerous times I realised I needed to follow my dreams.
Once I finished my Masterâs degree I could not find a role in Media so I worked in an office for a large corporation. I watched what went on and how lacking life people were, so I started to find ways to âfollow my blissâ.
That was when I started writing again and one of my friends asked me to write a story about Gargoyles for children. I then drafted a story about synchronicity, the eye and the inner labyrinths which appeared to me in a dream after photographing an eclipse in Madagascar. It was a vision so full of wisdom that the story had to be written because I felt blessed to be given such an insight. Unfortunately, as I started to focus on writing, I lost my job due to cut-backs, my grandfather died, I crashed my car and I got extreme food poisoning. Talk about the universe redirecting me.
After losing my job, I had a year where I worked as a free-lance photographer and sold everything of value. All the while, I had the burning desire to complete my books. During this time a top literary agent considered me and then dropped me. It was more proof that I was not good enough. I then took another job in a bookshop. I thought I could self-publish my books and then put them on the shelf. The plan worked, the manager of the bookshop wanted my books! The following day the company announced it was bankrupt. That same week my car broke down on a roundabout in a rain storm. I lost my phone and wallet, my boyfriend and I split up and I was redundant! Beautiful!
After this I found my book of The Secret and wrote a list about the job qualities and how much money I needed to feel safe to write.
Within two weeks the job appeared and I started work. It paid precisely the money I asked for.
While I worked for the corporation some very strange things happened. They noticed that I wrote so I was asked to write inspirational and motivational articles. In addition, I interviewed leaders on their approach and attitude.
Within a short time I became the European Social Media Lead. Outside of work I wrote and wrote. I loved it so much. Yet I realised that I needed a proof-reader. No matter how good an author is, they need a second set of eyes. Well a lady who happened to be a proof-reader was offered a job in my department. She sits at the desk next to me! I then needed a way to publish my books. One of my friends gave me an article and my parents sent me some magazine cuttings on how to self-publish. At the same time, one of my friends needed someone to cover the teaching of her creative writing classes. I did not feel that I had the right to teach and she laughed at me. âDarling you write for an international audience of around a quarter of a million in that corporation of yours. I donât think many people write for such an audience.â It was then that it hit me. I actually did write for that audience. The universe had found an alternative way for me to reach people with my writing. All I had ever wanted to do was inspire through writing and I was unaware that I was doing it.
When I started teaching I experienced a huge realisation: most of the students thought they were not good enough. So I taught them how to battle the inner critic and inner saboteur. I had fought all these archetypes because they are part of the shadow. Whatâs more, one of my writing classes took the students on the Heroâs journey. It was then that it dawned on me how we face our shadows through challenge. By teaching I learned more about creative writing than I could have imagined. Every lesson was diligently researched so that I felt that I really knew my stuff.
At the end of the course my students asked me to publish a small book filled with my Creative Writing Lessons. So I released that. My books were selling, yet in my stomach I felt ill at ease. Whenever I thought of being a successful author I felt sick. I realised that what had been stopping me from being a fully successful author was me and my beliefs. I did not have true self-esteem or confidence in my books, even though the reviews and feedback were excellent.
It was then that I realised I had handed over my power to an English teacher at the age of eleven. I had to re-instill my belief in myself. To do this I used affirmation and Emotional Freedom Tapping. I wanted to establish true self-esteem so I down-loaded some audio books on self-confidence. One of these books was Hero. I listened as I walked to work one day and I felt a tingle on the back of my head. I realised I had been on my own Heroâs journey. I had faced obstacles, climbed mountains and stepped into my shadow. I had experienced my ultimate obstacle a few months before when I fell pregnant and lost the child. At the same time my partner left and I was back at rock-bottom. Yet I had faced so many obstacles I knew that I could use my strengths as fuel and drive. From such a hideous experience I could not see any good. Yet when I was quiet I had an inspiration. I had not been ready. How could I bring a child into the world if I had not been true to who I really wanted to be?
So I took my upset and used it as fuel to drive me to release my outstanding books. Being published had stopped being about money or prestige but âdeliveringâ and contributing to the world. I was going to write whether the books were successful or not. The universe heard and that was when things shifted. I said I would love my books to be on audible. The next day I received an email showing me how. Within a month three extremely talented audio producers were transforming my books into stories people could listen to in the near future.
If that is not success then I don’t know what is. In truth I am now grateful to that teacher because she gave me someone to prove wrong. She was my monster to slay.
On the Heroâs journey there will always be adversaries and obstacles but these are precisely what make you grow and become the best you. We all have Hero’s in us, we just need to find the courage to transform adversity into opportunity and follow our heartâs desire.