How many of you out there are a part of a social network? Lots of friends, lots of followers… I’m willing to bet there are several of you. The only reason I don’t say MANY of you is because, well…there are only several people reading my blog at this point. It’s okay, I can be honest with myself – I know when I’m not the “popular kid.” That's the whole theme of today's post - breathing through rejection. I have very few followers and every time I lose one, I try not to panic. “Why did they stop following me?! I'll make funnier Tweets, I promise! Come back!” And it doesn’t help knowing that some of my mama-blogging counterparts have thousands, THOUSANDS of followers! Does this make me feel inferior? NO. Well…kind of...yes. Here’s a little Michelle 101: I never considered myself a competitive person growing up. I avoided sports, cheerleading, pretty much any activity that involved try-outs. I didn’t like the idea of someone else deciding my fate, is what I’m saying. And I was okay with seeing my overachieving peers in their letterman's jackets. I was convinced I didn't care about that sort of thing. However, now that I’m a big girl and all mature and stuff, I have realized how much I was kidding myself during my youth (even up into my 20’s). My avoidance of competition had absolutely nothing to do with me being non-competitive. Quite the contrary, I know now that I’m extremely competitive – excruciatingly so. The kicker is, before, I never had the confidence to compete, so I figured I would simply avoid it as to prevent the devastation of failure. Straight up and simply said, I chose to ride the bench because I wasn’t confident that I could be the best and if I couldn’t be the best, it wasn’t worth the effort. I wasn’t willing to put myself out there to be rejected. Ironic, isn't it? After years of avoidance, here I am, trying to build a following as I break into the literary industry, one of the most competitive fields I could’ve chosen. Every day I wake up knowing that I could face someone rejecting my book, or my blog, or my follow request. Every day I decide that I’m creating space for success, only to fall in bed every night feeling defeated. It's frustrating and hard. Mainly because when you're competitive with no confidence, you're a train wreck. You want it SO bad, but don't believe in yourself to get it. It's a vicious cycle. If this were a High School track meet, I would’ve shot the peace sign and walked by now. "Buh-bye, coach!" But this is a different kind of race. First place doesn't matter. It's all about crossing the finish line and, right now, it feels like my life depends on it. Confidence be damned, quitting isn't an option. FAILURE is not an option. So I'll keep running. One of these days I'm going to look back and be like, "Dude, remember when I only had 26 Twitter followers?" And Perez Hilton's gonna be like, "OMG, YES! I'm so glad we're best friends, Michelle." And I'll be like, "Me, too, Perez." Michelleread more
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