Mandy Nicholson

The Creative Genius Corner

Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’

Recognise your gifts – it will change everything!

Something normal to you might be completely life changing to another.

 

Your story will have twists and turns, ups and downs. It has shaped who you are right now and will continue to shape you tomorrow! That fact really hit me hard when I lost the first six chapters of my next book, all thanks to a stupid mistake I made.

 
Lesson learned: back everything up to at least two places!
 

I started writing my first book in 2013, just three years after the tragic series of life events that I bore a story to be told. I had painstakingly written almost 10,000 words before I’d knocked that cup of coffee over my laptop and lost it all, including the laptop! I couldn’t bring myself to go back to the book until 2019, a full ten years after the events.

 

In that moment where I decided to just do it, I managed to write 18,000 words over a single weekend.

 

Book one was finally published later in 2019 and was a success, but there were two more books in the story yet to unfold. So I sat down in June 2020, started writing book two and reached about the same point 10,000 word mark before disaster struck again! With a single mis-click, I’d wiped my entire hard drive. Painful!

 

It wasn’t until 20th December 2020 that I mustered up the will power to sit down and plan a new draught of the second book, and it came out completely different to my first attempt. What can I say? The universe is mystical and clearly has plans of its own!

 

When I lost the first book I’d cried, wailed, fretted and stressed. When I lost the second? ‘Oh well, the time mustn’t be right.’

 
Here’s how you can recognise the gifts you have…
 

1. WHAT HAVE OTHER PEOPLE SAID TO YOU?

Does anybody ever tell you ‘I wish I could be like you?’ Or maybe, ‘I wish I had your patience, determination, motivation…?’ Get yourself a notepad and really think about when someone has said something like this to you. Write down all that you can remember.

 

2. HOW DO YOU REACT TO THE SAME MISFORTUNE?

Think about what happened to my two books, how I reacted the first time and how I reacted the second. Write down if you have ever had something happen to you twice and note your different reactions.

 

3. REFLECT!

Sit with this for a while, look at what you have written and think about the reason that someone may have said something like the above to you. What were you doing or saying at the time? Put it into context and really try to understand why someone would have that reaction.

 

4. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR GIFTS

This is what makes you special. You have a gift that has made an impact, so ask yourself how you can use it to help others or to monetise it in your business or life.

 

My examples of double book loss and how I reacted both times have been pivotal to my story. I can use this past experience to help myself react in a more measured way in the future, and I can even teach others to do the same!

 

I can tell the story just like I am doing in this blog and it may give others the hope and strength to keep going when they just want to give up. It may even become a story, fable or Facebook post that I can use to illustrate something.

 

The duplicity of the incident demonstrates that I am human and make mistakes; people can connect to that. The loss of work only to uncover something better is the lesson I can teach to others and use as an example when they disbelieve.

 

Something that you may have ignored or shrugged off as ‘just life’ could change somebody else’s in a moment, if only you took the time to acknowledge and accept that you were given a gift.

 

Humans are great at being self-critical, so it can be difficult to acknowledge that our little stories can change anything. However, what you consider to be small could be life changing to another person. If you don’t acknowledge it and share it, how will you ever know?

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