In 2004, I travelled to California, on impulse. I had the opportunity to be in a live seminar with Mark Victor Hansen, who is the co-founder of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Empire. At the time, Spirit Airlines offered ridiculous deals. My Mom, my sister and I drove to Detroit and flew for $79, plus tax each way, to the sunny south.
As my family browsed the California attractions, I listened, like the disciples listened to Jesus, on the riverbanks of Jerusalem, to one of the men responsible for millions of Chicken Soup books being sold around the world.
A Chicken Soup for the Soul book was one of my first gifts of self-help and positive reading, which I am so grateful for, and I wanted to know the secrets of what they did to thrive in their mission.
I was stunned to learn that Chicken Soup was first rejected by 140 literary agents and publishing companies before they landed a deal. What I heard, from this dynamic man and speaker, was that asking and being rejected was one of the keys to their success.
I later listened to a program, created by Mark Victor Hansen and his Chicken Soup business partner, Jack Canfield, called, ‘The Aladdin Factor’. The premise was that in order to achieve anything in life, you must not be afraid to ask.
‘What is the worst that can happen – some will say no?’ They explained that if someone says no, then you are in the same position you were in, if you didn’t ask at all. On the other hand, if you ask and you receive, then it was worth getting out of your comfort zone to inquire.
I use this philosophy regularly. I believe that we can only progress when we put ourselves out there and release our fear of asking for what we want; even if it is only in prayers or to the universe.
Back in my early days as a speaker and writer, over 11 years ago, I began asking myself the question, ‘What would I want to do if there were no restrictions or limitations?’ I would constantly come to the conclusion that my heart’s true desire is to share my messages of hope, healing, life fulfillment and overcoming adversity through my words as a speaker and writer, with millions of people around the world.
Even saying the word, ‘millions’ was scary. It seemed crazy, impossible, far-fetched and even cocky. How was I going to reach that many people? Who would notice me? Why would I be so lucky?
Yes, the doubt filters in, like a flood of water when a dam is broken. The internal dialogue berates, puts down and challenges every bit of confidence that we may have developed along the way. We go from stating our desires to almost instantly rhyming off all of the reasons that we will fail miserably at our grandiose dreams.
Although I have been challenged, set back and even buried in the complications of life, throughout my journey, I have always believed that anything is possible.
On December 1st of 2015, in this very month and year of my life, I received the following email, out of the blue:
‘Hi Julie: My name is Sharon, and I’m the Director of Experts Services at SheKnows Media. SheKnows is a site and a community that inspires and empowers women to pursue their passions.
I’m a fan of your work, and am happy to invite you to join the Experts Among Us community at SheKnows.com. As a SheKnows Expert, you’ll publish original content on SheKnows.com, and I know that your voice will resonate with our audience of more than 78.9 million women each month on our sites and blogs, and 162 million fans in social media. I would love to welcome you into our exclusive group.’
I feel blessed, ecstatic, elated and excited that my message now has the opportunity to reach almost 80 million women each month! I have just submitted my first official article and photo today and it feels fantastic.
Every time we set a goal, we likely get butterflies, in our stomach, at the idea of the goal coming true. How will it feel to accomplish this? What will change in our lives, as a result of the successful attainment of our desire? What will it mean to us, when our dream actually comes true?
All I know is that I hope you never let anyone tell you, convince you or keep you from striving toward the very goal that fills your heart and mind with passion and energy. You must be very, very protective of who and what you allow to derail you from your intentions.
Surround yourself with information, people and environments that fuel you, inspire you and motivate you to become a better version of yourself. Be your own best cheerleader, align with the yaysayers and keep pressing forward with the conviction that anything is possible.
For you, I send thoughts of encouragement, support, strength and confidence to ask for what you desire, to follow your intuition and inner guide, as you make your way through this thing we call life and to make the most of every day, along your precious journey.
You are a superstar at something. Believe it and proceed with vigor!
‘Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.’ ~ Mark Victor Hansen