Monday, October 14, 2013

How to Succeed Despite the Naysayers.

Do you have a naysaying voice in your head?  A little devil that jumps on your shoulder and whispers in your ear.....

"That's the silliest idea I've ever heard."

"Don't waste your time." or " It'll never work."

I certainly have. It's the same voice that tells me I did not complete a project perfectly. I ate too many cookies, didn't exercise enough, should have preempted my children leaving their cellphones/homework/ PE kit at home and should have written that thank you letter 2 weeks ago.

Perhaps you have real live Debbie-downers  around you who say things like, 

"Why would you want to run a 5K/ climb Machu Pichu/learn to sculpt/open a bakery /change careers/write a blog?  

All these questions remind me of a delightful, beautifully illustrated children's book called Duck On a Bike by David Shannon. It begins.....

One day down on the Farm, Duck got a wild idea. 
'I bet I could ride a bike!' he thought.
At first he rode very slowly. And he wobbled a lot, but it was fun! 

......When cow saw duck...she thought,
 "A Duck on A Bike? That's the silliest thing I've ever seen!"

and when sheep saw duck she thought, 

"He's going to hurt himself if he's not careful." 

and so it goes on with each animal in the farmyard projecting their own neuroses/laziness/ superiority/ interest onto  Duck's  unlikely antics.

 Dog thought it was, "A neat trick." and Mouse wished he could ride a bike like Duck.

It was my son's favorite book when he was 4 because it made him laugh and he understood that Duck had done something daring, risky and unlikely. Eventually through Duck's  enthusiasm all the farm animals  join him on a bike ride and realize they are having fun too. (You'll have to read the book to see how they get hold of all the bikes!)
The duck's risk-taking reminds me about how it felt to begin my blog. 
I started out very slowly and wobbly. 

I hesitated and doubted. 

I panicked, I had run out of things to say. (I still panic!)

But I persevered and just kept writing and risking and publishing.

 Over time I gained confidence, took one hand off the bike handles and even tried some tricks! Those of you who have given me constructive and supportive feedback have helped me keep my balance and advance my skills.

And the farm animal skeptics in my head, still rear their heads every Sunday when I am thinking about my next post. They hang around when the blog goes out to try to prove to me that this time no one will read it and I will finally have to stop writing.  

But Brainstorm is still here and this post you are reading is my 100th post! 

With time and your feedback,  my confidence is building and the naysayers are dropping in volume and numbers. Thank you for being the encouraging, supportive  'farm animals' who have joined me on the bike ride. I look forward to continuing the journey with you by my side! 

Watch this space for my next leap of faith. ( Next, Duck eyes up a tractor ride....!)

What is your own 'Duck' trick? ( What have you or do you want to achieve in spite of the little devil on your shoulder?)

Who is your sternest critic? Is it your internal voice or a colleague or family member?  How do you respond and how do you quiet them? Tell me your story below or leave me a comment.

Have a great week.

Many thanks to you all for your support of  Brainstorm. Please help spread the blog readership by sharing this post or others to your face book page. It's very simple to do. Click on the F icon at the very bottom of this post, write a comment if you like and post the link. 
Thank you! 

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  1. Mazel tov on your 100th post, Gilly!
    And this book looks so cute - must get my hands on it for my boys!

    1. Melissa -They will love it! So will you! You can borrow our copy if you like.

  2. Gilly, You are always a pleasure to read! Congratulations on your 100th post!
    Hope that there are many more to come...

    1. Thanks Lynn, for all your support right from the start. Glad you've hung in with me.

  3. Gilly, Congratulations on your 100th post! Thank you for writing your blog and getting me to stop and smell the roses so often. It is so easy to get caught up in life's busy pace. You really have such a way of telling stories. I used to get those "pause" moments from listening to Oprah...but now I have Gillly! You are a gem.

    1. Aww thanks Tobi! I always wanted to be Oprah with her aha moments!!! Have you read Duck on a Bike with your kids? It's such a perfect readaloud book and the humor and message makes it a pleasure for adults to read a 100 times!!The simplicity makes the message that much more powerful.

  4. Oh, Gilly, this just happened to me yesterday with my husband. His meds are working brilliantly right now, and he's feeling great, so we've been getting caught up on so many things. So yesterday I mentioned how nice it would be to replace the screen door on the patio. He began telling all the ways it would be too hard to do. Mind you, I've taken over almost all the home improvement tasks, so I have NO intention of him doing anything except helping me pick out a door.

    I finally just asked him why it is so hard for him to say it CAN be done, just because I'd like a new screen door? I hated getting short with him, but right now I'm in the business of YES!!! it CAN be done.

    Keep up the encouragement!

    1. Marie - I'm glad to hear your husband is responding well to his meds. Hurray! And good for you for sticking to your convictions. If you can install a screen door, I believe you can do anything!!! It is hard to keep up your courage and confidence in the face of dissent from people close to you, but if it feels right in your gut then I think it's always worth trying. Gilly

  5. I tried to post this on your blog and didn't do it right…please feel free to copy and paste.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful, healthy autumn.

    Dear Gilly,
    Congratulations on your 100th posting! You always present such meaningful, heartfelt, humorous and informative ideas to think about and incorporate into our lives. I look forward to your every blog.
    Warm regards, Judy Portnoy

    1. Thank you Judy for following and reading! Great;y appreciated. Gillyx

  6. Congratulations on your 100th post! I may be slow to read them all of your posts but I adore your blog. This one with "Duck on a Bike" is perfect.
    Have a great week ahead and here's to your next 100 posts! :)

  7. Thank YOU for all your support and feedback! I'm glad you love the blog! Isn't Duck on a Bike wonderful for all ages? As a children's book author I trust your judgement on that. So glad to have 'met' you through Twitter. Have a great week. Gilly

  8. I haven't read this one but we most definitely will. We have read other DUCK books. We adore picture books. I can't begin to claim to be a children's book author - that designation goes to my daughter - I'm merely her website marketing and social media manager. With years of homeschooling and reading, I do have a fairly decent sense for a what makes a good children's book. Happy to have met you as well, Gilly!

    1. Well, I'd very interested in your take on it!Let me know what you think! I think authorship is rarely down to one person! It sounds as though you make it happen for your daughter and you have given her all the background skills......You are a very COOL MOM!

  9. :) You are kind.
    The book itself is definitely all hers.
    She had editing help and such as do all authors but I simply read it, fell in love with it and I'm good at marketing things I believe in. Darling Daughter and I keep saying we make a good team. I love the online stuff - she has no interest and this way I feel like I'm keeping my skills up while being at home. Win-win.
    It is interesting where life takes you when you are open to anything. It has been a ton of fun - the rest is just bonus. Have an awesome week ahead, Gilly!

  10. I love this book too! Coming by via the Mommy Monday Blog Hop.

    1. Thank for visiting! Been a fan of yours for a while!