That’s something you probably hear from people all the time. Just believe in yourself and you’ll be successful.
You’ve seen other people adopt this philosophy and find success, but…
How do you make it work for you?
In order to start believing in yourself, you need to develop confidence.
Writing confidence comes from practice and from learning how to turn your inner editor off.
As you start writing more frequently than you have been, you will start to notice your writing confidence growing.
You’ll no longer tell yourself that you’re a terrible writer or that you’re not as good as XYZ writer. You’ll no longer use “I’m not a good writer” or “I don’t believe in myself” as an excuse not to write.
As you begin to gain confidence in your writing ability, you’ll find it becomes easier and easier to get your words down on paper (your first draft).
When you get to this point, you’ll learn that just getting the words down is far more important than how good or bad the writing is.
After all, that’s what your second draft is for.
Gaining Confidence by Reprogramming Your Self-Talk
Building confidence starts with reprogramming your self-talk.
After all, when you believe something, it means you accept it as true and real, and you won’t gain confidence or belief in yourself by speaking negatively.
For example, you can’t expect to build your confidence when you tell yourself, “I can’t do that,” or “That’s too difficult for me.”
The great Henry Ford once said:
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
Ford hit the nail right on the head with that statement. You are whoever/whatever you say you are.
So if you say you are a talented, confident writer—that’s what you are!
Here are some of the most common negative statements writers tell themselves and ideas for turning them around:
Change “limitations” to “possibilities”—When you tell yourself that you are limited, you are. But your limitations are self-imposed.
As you make this realization, you will start to see the possibilities that are all around you. Then you’ll start to realize that maybe you really can do what you want to do: write!
- Instead of “I can’t do it” say “I can do it”
- Instead of “It’s impossible”say “Anything is possible”
Change “have to” to “want to”—When you tell yourself you have to do something (i.e.: write), you start to feel pressured to do it, which then makes you not want to do it. This happens all the time to procrastinators.
Overcoming it is all in your wording.
If you truly want to write, if writing is a priority for you, then you are choosing to write. You don’t “have” to do anything.
- Instead of “I have to write” say “I want to write”
- Instead of “I need to write” say “I choose to write”
Change “if” to “when”—This is a biggie when it comes to believing in yourself. Using the word “if” means you don’t truly believe. “If” means doubt is present. You don’t want to use the word “if” when you’re talking about or thinking about yourself, your writing, your career, etc.
“When” has a much more positive connotation. It tells you and those around you that you mean what you say. It shows your confidence in yourself and your writing. It shows you are expecting what you say to happen. You believe.
- Instead of “If I finish my novel” say “When I finish my novel”
- Instead of “If I get a publishing contract” say “When I get a publishing contract”
An affirmation is a positive statement that you say to yourself to replace a negative thought. Many writers work with affirmations.
Creating a writing affirmation for yourself is another effective way to build up your belief in yourself and your writing.
- “I’m a talented writer”
- “I inspire others”
- “I write brilliantly”
Choose a phrase that most makes you feel inspired and confident.
How to work with an affirmation—To start out working with an affirmation, you want to say it to yourself at least three times a day (feel free to say it more than that!). I suggest in the morning when you first get up, in the afternoon when you have a minute and at night before you go to bed.
You also want to post it near where you write—and repeat it often—so you can refer to it when you need to.