I’ll start this week with a little info, just in case there are readers who aren’t familiar with the context this time. In fan fiction (stories written by fans about characters and worlds they enjoy) there is a genre called “self-insert.” In this kind of story the author puts themselves into the world they enjoy.
Trademarks of a self-insert fic are getting the love of the main character, having a good job, having money to do what they want, being able to overcome obstacles, and so on.
I got to thinking about it. How many times in real life do we tell ourselves we can’t have these things? How many times do we decide it’s not realistic and choose to settle for less than the best? I know I’m guilty of it.
I look at my life, and I think to myself, “What would I change if this were a self-insert?”
One of the things I’ve recently changed is that I’m not holding back and being silent when I have things to contribute at work. I’ve done that for a long time, always afraid of stepping on someone’s toes. I sat with my ideas and insights and just went with the flow.
If I were writing a self-insert, I wouldn’t stay silent. I’d share those ideas and ask the questions. They would be received well and I would become a resource for my peers and managers.
I started doing it and now my managers come to me for ideas. I’m given new projects to help my peers. I’m called a leader in my team.
Lo, self-insert-me just walked into real-life and it is GOOD!
It’s scary to do. I admit my heart was pounding the first few times I tried it, but when have any of us ever stepped forward and not had some level of misgiving? We haven’t had great experiences throughout our life, that’s why we hesitate. At the same time, if we don’t do it, we get exactly what we settle for. What we settle for isn’t what we’d write for ourselves in a work of fiction, so why do we settle for it in real life?
Look at your world. Look at what you have settled for.
Now, think about what you’d give yourself in a self-insert. Start claiming that in your real life and author yourself a great story!