21 Days of Fearless: Day 4

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

7 Days Cover (c) Dian Reid, All Rights ReservedI finished a book. My book. The book I’ve been working on for over 3 years. The book I hired a life coach to coach me into finishing. The book I’ve poured my heart and soul into.  The book I handed out to nine people and asked for feedback on. What happens when you ask people for feedback? They give it to you.

Of the nine people I asked for feedback from, I ended up being most afraid of hearing from my best friend. Jenifer has a knack for being straight forward: brutal honesty at all costs. Especially when I ask her for it.Today Jenifer told me she was ready to give me the feedback on my book. When I found myself on the walkway approaching her apartment, I stopped mid-stride. My palms were sweaty, my heart raced, my breaths were short (this seems to be a pattern when I’m in fear, I’ve noticed). What is this about?

I asked for brutal honesty in her feedback. I told her to be fearless and to not worry about my feelings, that I needed to know the honest truth in what worked for her in the book, what didn’t, and her overall thoughts of the entire work. I told her that I was prepared for the kind of critique I had asked for. I’d even received feedback from seven of the other nine people already. What could she possibly say that I hadn’t already heard? And still, the heart palpitations, the sweaty palms, the shortness of breath remained.

I stood on the second floor walkway and held onto the rails for balance. Dizziness set in for a moment, and as soon as my hand touched the rail, it passed. Am I crazy? What is wrong with me? She’s my best friend! And that’s when it hit me: Jenifer is my best friend–I fear her feedback more than anyone else’s because she and I have more history than anyone else in my current friendship circle.

I feared that she would be biased. I feared she would tell me it was good, and that she’d be lying about it. I feared she’d tell me it was crap, and that she’d be telling the truth. I feared she wouldn’t know how to break that to me, and that I’d have to recognize it in her eyes. I feared that she hadn’t read the book at all, and would just tell me it was good to appease me and meet the deadline I’d set for her. I feared that I’d be crushed by whatever came out of her mouth. I feared that our friendship would end over the encounter we were about to have. And then all at once, I feared none of that.

It was as if the simple awareness of the fears made them disappear into thin air. My breaths became deeper. My heart slowed to a non-race. My palms were still sweaty. Of course, that may have been due to the 90+ degree weather this afternoon, so it didn’t really count. I took a deep breath and began to move my feet. One foot in front of the other, towards Jenifer’s front door. Another deep breath. It’s Jenifer. She’s my best friend.

The thought of sitting down with her to listen to her feedback and take it in no longer scared me. I simply trusted her not to break my heart with her feedback, and then trusted myself that if she did, I would survive. I walked into her apartment and sat down at the table with her. Butterflies came and went, sometimes just touching down in my stomach for a moment, and sometimes staying for a complete thought. I stayed. I listened. I survived.

The feedback came and went, and as I’m typing this blog, I’ve survived Day 4 of 12 Days of Fearless. Let’s see how tomorrow goes…

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