Are you holding yourself back from success? Do any of these statements sound like you?
“I’m not talented enough.”
“I’ll never get past the gatekeepers.”
“I’m wasting my time.”
“It’s really not that important anyway.”
In my work over the years with authors of all levels, I’ve heard it all. Writing a book can be an overwhelming task, bringing up all sorts of uncomfortable or negative emotions. But these thoughts are just limiting beliefs — those nagging thoughts preventing us from fully committing to finishing what we started. How do we stop them from interfering with our writing life?
Follow these steps to banish your limiting beliefs and regain confidence:
First, understand that you’re in good company.
All creatives battle with these beliefs. Many writers have uttered phrases like: “Who am I to think I could write a novel?” “What do I have to say that hasn’t already been said?” It’s the writers who acknowledge these woeful beliefs for what they are — beliefs, not truths — that can push them aside and truly focus on writing a publishable book.
Try this: Keep a pad of paper and pen next to your writing space. Every time a negative thought pops up while you’re writing, jot it down. Sometimes, just the act of writing down our limiting beliefs is enough to diminish them.
Second, realize that limiting beliefs arise from something in the past.
Perhaps a teacher told you a story you slaved over was riddled with errors, or a parent dismissed your creative writing as a waste of time. Maybe a loved one felt jealous of the time you spent writing. Perhaps you never got the support you needed from a mentor or an editor.
Try this: Review your past to try to determine the origin of your limiting beliefs. Ask yourself: Are these really true? Or are these more about the other person than about me?
Last, take charge of your desire to write.
It’s okay to have these thoughts once in a while, but if they prevent you from sticking with your writing, you need to take action to banish them for good.
Try this: Take each of the negative statements you wrote on your pad and re-write them into separate pieces of paper. Repeat each statement aloud. Then, burn it. (Be careful where you do this!) Watching your limiting beliefs go up in flames and turn to ashes is one of the surest ways to let them know they are no more than air. They don’t exist.
Now, get back to writing!
How do you banish your limiting beliefs? How do you regain the motivation to pursue your writing goals?