A Proven Technique for Pushing Past Your Fears and Achieving Your Dreams

“One supreme fact which I have discovered is that it is not willpower, but fantasy-imagination that creates. Imagination is the creative force. Imagination creates reality.”
Richard Wagner

The biggest challenge you’ll face as a new copywriter is getting started … getting clients … marketing yourself … networking. In short, getting your copywriting business up and running.

Usually, it’s not because you lack knowledge …

… It’s because it’s scary.

Taking that first step toward your dream career can be the hardest. It was for me. It wasn’t until I used a powerful, time-tested technique that I was able to push fear aside and take that all-important first step.

Having been shy most of my life, I was never one to constantly promote myself. But I’d gone from job to job, only to get a paycheck that barely covered the bills. So I decided I had to do something about it. I had to really become a copywriter … not just pretend I was one.

I’d studied the AWAI Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting for two years. As soon as I’d get to the last page … instead of going out and doing something with what I’d learned … I’d go back to the beginning for “one more review.” That’s how scared I was to really put myself out there.

Then one day I just did it. I quit my job as Starbucks Barista. The next morning, I put on my best suit and set out, door to door, to businesses I’d researched and knew were involved with direct mail.

It was one of the most frightening things I’ve ever done.

The whole time, all I could think was “Am I crazy for doing this?”

Mustering all my courage, I walked toward the entrance of the one business I really wanted to work with. My hands trembled. My knees went weak. But I thought, “I’m this far. There’s no turning back now” … and I opened the door.

Now, before I tell you what happened, I want to share with you the proven technique that gave me the courage to push past my fears and push open that door: visualization.

For a long time, the scientific community thought visualization was a bunch of new-age mumbo-jumbo. But visualization and its benefits are now backed by scientific research. In just the past three years, the National Institutes of Health has funneled over $350 million into mind-body research, including visualization.

And it’s no secret that many of the most successful people in the world – including entertainers, athletes, and CEOs – used visualization to help them reach amazing success.

Take Tiger Woods …

“Visualization has become a major part of my shot-making, especially as it pertains to shaping shots. … It makes a huge difference in your performance.”

And Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers to ever grace the game, said, “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie.”

Famed sports psychologist Bob Rotella charges thousands of dollars per session to help pro athletes and business executives achieve success through visualization. In addition to coaching PGA golfers and top athletes in the NBA and NFL, he coaches high-ranking executives at Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, General Electric, Coca-Cola, and many other companies.

If it’s good enough for CEOs running billion-dollar companies …
it’s good enough for me.

And visualization can help you too … no matter what your goal is.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics, said, “When you see a thing clearly in your mind, your creative ‘success mechanism’ within you takes over and does the job much better than you could do it by conscious effort or ‘willpower.’”

As a young boy, entrepreneurial genius Dan Kennedy stuttered severely. This made him incredibly shy and self-conscious … especially when it came to public speaking.

Through visualization, Dan eliminated his stuttering and conquered his fear of public speaking. Today, Dan speaks to thousands of people nationwide every year, sharing podiums with ex-presidents, Olympic athletes, and entertainers.

Matt Furey – world-class martial artist and top Internet marketer – credits visualization for his success. Matt’s wrestling coach told the scrawny, uncoordinated high school teen he never had a chance. But using the power of visualization, Matt became a champion wrestler in high school and college.

Later, Matt became World Kung Fu Champion – thanks to visualization.

Here’s how visualization works …

Find a comfortable place to sit and relax. Take five deep breaths to calm yourself. Continue to breathe deeply. Then begin to imagine, visually, the results you want for yourself. While you’re imagining these positive results, focus on the feelings you’re getting from the visual images. Make those feelings as positive and fulfilling as you can.

When I visualized achieving my dream as a copywriter, I imagined walking into a business, introducing myself, and meeting with the person in charge. I then pictured everything going well, and walking out with a smile on my face. And then I pictured receiving a check from them.

Did it work for me?

Back to the story about my first experience promoting myself as a copywriter …

Even after pumping myself up by visualizing my success with the business I wanted to work with, I still walked in sweating bullets. But I walked in. At the front desk, I blurted out, “I really want to work for you as a copywriter.” (Not one of my most poised moments.) Fortunately, the Executive Director was nearby.

She talked with me for five minutes, and gave me a spec assignment. I immediately went home and got to work on it. I sent it in.

A couple of weeks passed, and I visited them a second time – and landed my first paid project. I had my first client!

I couldn’t have done this without visualization. Visualization relaxed me and gave me the confidence I needed.

I’ve photocopied and framed my first check. Now it hangs on the wall in my office, reminding me what can happen when you decide to take action and push past your fears.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you one more thing.

That much-desired client is AWAI. The Executive Director who gave me a shot is Katie Yeakle.

Fast-forward a few months: Today, I’ve got my own desk next to Katie’s office. Michael Masterson’s office is a 10-second walk from my desk. Paul Hollingshead and Don Mahoney are only a phone call away.

How’s that for glicken … all from using the powerful, proven technique of visualization!

[Ed. Note: We welcome Guillermo Rubio as a first-time contributor to The Golden Thread. Look for more articles from him as he continues to share his experiences as an AWAI staff writer.]

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: January 21, 2008

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