Discipline Creates Freedom And Here’s Why

Today is the first day in over a week where I’ve actually sat down at my normal time to write my daily blog post. For the last week and a half I’ve been moving and unpacking and setting my life back up here in Austin where I’m now living.

Yes, I gave myself permission to take that time off. It was intentional. It was a decision I made–to put unpacking and getting my life back to normal a priority over everything else. And I’m OK with that.

But it also brought up a lot of Resistance. And procrastination. And doubt. And fear.

Because when you’re in flow, when you’re showing up every day around the same time and putting words on the page; when you’re actually doing the work that’s required to bring your dreams to life, you’re actually doing yourself a major disservice to stop getting your writing done. Even temporarily.

For months now I’ve had serious discipline and habit around doing my writing every day–my Daily Think Different blog post, as well as working on my fiction and nonfiction projects.

But then I took the week off. Intentionally.

And now here I am, trying to get back into my usual writing habits and finding it INSANELY hard to have the discipline I had before.

My original plan was to get into my new routine on August 8, and then when that day came, I just kept giving myself permission to not do my writing. To just keep unpacking and setting my life back up, because that was what I felt like doing.

And I’m glad I did it, because in one week I was able to totally unpack, get everything set back up in my apartment and get the hang of living in a new city.

But it also set me back quite a bit.

Not only because I didn’t do my writing for the week–which is ALWAYS a set back–but also because I’m now having a hard time getting back into the flow that I was in just the week prior.

That’s why taking time off isn’t really a good idea.

Yes, in theory it sounds like a good idea. It even feels like a good idea while you’re doing it (although to be honest, all I did every day last week was think about my writing and worry about all the ideas I was losing by not sitting down and just letting the words out).

But it was THAT MUCH harder for me to get back into flow after a week of doing nothing related to my writing.

All last week while I didn’t do my writing I kept thinking that maybe I shouldn’t write a blog post every day. Maybe I didn’t have anything that was worth saying anymore. Maybe I was just totally out of ideas.

The fear, the doubt, the worry that I couldn’t or shouldn’t jump right back into writing every day again.

All those annoyances that actually GO AWAY when you just shut up and make time for your writing every day.

And that’s why, even when it seems like a good idea to take a break from your writing, you really shouldn’t. At least not for more than a day or two.

Taking a week off can set you back for MONTHS if you’re not careful. Because you’ll just keep telling yourself every day that you’ll get back to it tomorrow. And then tomorrow will come and you’ll tell yourself that you’ll get back into it tomorrow.

And then tomorrow will come and you’ll tell yourself that you’ll get back into it tomorrow.

And then tomorrow will come and you’ll tell yourself that you’ll get back into it tomorrow.

And then tomorrow will come…

Are you sensing a pattern here? Because that’s exactly what happens.

When you pull yourself out of flow, out of habit, out of having the discipline that you once had, it becomes damn-near impossible to jump back in.

Suddenly you have all these excuses you didn’t have before. Suddenly you have all these “legitimate” reasons why you don’t have time or you’re out of ideas or it’s just not the right moment to jump back in.

That was me for the last few days. I finished setting our new apartment up on Friday. All that was left was hanging a few pictures and then we were officially done (minus the few things left that we still need to buy, like a DVD player and a rug).

And yet I still couldn’t get back into my writing.

I procrastinated ALL weekend. And then yesterday I was supposed to get back to it for real (’cause I usually start my new habits on a Monday) and yet all these things got in the way–my dog had to go to the vet for an appointment, I had to go to the chiropractor, and then I had an interview for the Author Success Summit, etc.

And I let all that stuff be a reason–an excuse–for not doing my writing. For taking yet another day off. For not getting back to the habits and discipline I usually have around doing the things that matter to me.

Most writers call this their life. They talk about writing and they think about writing and they even make attempts to write here and there.

But they don’t have discipline or habit around doing their writing every day. And that’s really the thing getting in the way for them.

As creative people, we often believe that having habits and discipline makes us less creative. We’ve somehow bought into the belief that creativity requires chaos and so any attempt to bring order and consistency into the picture is met with extreme Resistance.

But the truth is, discipline and habit are the ONLY way to create consistency. And consistency is required if you want to actually get somewhere in your writing life.

For months now I’ve sat down every morning–before I do anything else in my day–and I’ve written my blog post and worked on my books. And then I take a week off and it almost all falls apart.

I could’ve just continued my do-nothing streak. Most writers would. Most writers would totally fall off track and not get back on. Because that’s the easy thing to do.

And no one would’ve given me a hard time about it. After all, I did just move TWICE in the last three months, and I did just relocate to a totally NEW city, and I did have A WHOLE LOT of unpacking and resettling to do.

No one would’ve blamed me for continuing to take time off and not doing the things I usually do.

Except for one very important thing. Without discipline, you don’t have freedom.

And freedom is my most important value in life.

Sounds a bit strange. Maybe even a bit counterintuitive. How can being disciplined create freedom?

Discipline. Habit. Those words, by definition, are the opposite of freedom. Or so it seems.

But the truth is, having habits and discipline are the only real way to create freedom. Because freedom is a MINDSET.

Freedom is a way of thinking and being.

And when you’re not doing the things you want to be doing; when you’re not making space every day for your writing, your mind will constantly be cluttered with stories and ideas and unwritten words. Your head will spin all day long and you’ll guilt trip yourself for not doing the writing. And then you’ll get angry and resentful of all the other things you have to and need to do in your day.

Guilt trips. Resentment. Anger. There’s no freedom in that.

It’s only in having the habit and the discipline to sit down and do your writing and spend time every single day–even for a few minutes–doing the things you really want to be doing, that creates freedom.

Because now your mind is clear. You’ve got discipline and habit, so you sit down every morning and put words on the page. And then you can go about your day.

Already feeling accomplished. Already feeling like you did everything you really needed to do today.

Because your writing got done. That is always–and forever will be–the most important thing you can spend time on each day.

And it’s the habit and discipline you create around doing your writing every day that gives you the freedom–mentally and in the rest of your day.

Anytime I don’t do my writing, I spend my day feeling totally out of control and like time is flying by and nothing is getting done. I go to bed feeling like I accomplished nothing and berating myself for not doing what really matters.

That’s not freedom.

Freedom is me sitting here right now, in the business center at my new apartment complex, typing this blog post out. Putting the words on the page. The words that have wanted to come out for a week now.

I can already feel the sweet release that comes with doing your writing. I can aleady feel that sense of, YES!!! I got my writing done!! And anything else that I accomplish today is a BONUS on top of that. Knowing that my mindspace is clear and I still have more than half a day left to do whatever else I feel like doing or need to do.

That’s freedom.

On the days I don’t do my writing, time zooms by and I feel like I’m living without a purpose and just drifting along, wasting away.

Putting words on the page is the only thing that gives me the freedom I so love having in my life. And that freedom always, always, always starts with habit and discipline.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. I’ve got a KILLER 48-Hour Flash Sale starting tomorrow that will help you finally create the discipline and habit you need in your writing life. Stay tuned for more details…

WOWZAS — I’ve Added More Than 100k Words To My Blog Over The Last Six Months! This Calls For A Celebration!!

There was a time in my writing life when writing a blog post was a serious chore. When I’d put it off and felt like it was gonna be so much work and so hard to do.

And then six months ago I just committed to writing something every day. I didn’t know what would come out, I just knew I wanted to write more.

So I bought WriteRoom for Mac and started a file called Daily Think Different, which is the title I use to describe the blog posts I write and send out each day. And then I just started writing.

Writing whatever I was feeling or thinking or experiencing in that moment. Telling stories and sharing the results of my energetic experiments as I create my dream writing life. Letting out the words and messages that were constantly bouncing around inside me.

And here I am, six months later, with more than 100k words written.

To some people this isn’t a lot of words. There are people in my writing group working on 1 million words for the year! But for me it’s a lot of words and definitely more than I’ve ever added to my blog in this short of time.

But that’s what deciding will do for you. Deciding that you’re all in on your writing dreams and that you’re committed to showing up every day and doing the work.

And then not just deciding and committing, but actually stepping up day in and day out and having the discipline to follow though and do the work.

That’s what I’ve been doing the last six months. I don’t usually write a blog post on the weekends unless something comes to me that needs to be written down. But Monday through Friday, I’m writing something.

Even when I don’t want to. Even when I don’t feel like it. Even when I think I have nothing to say.

The funny thing is, when I think I have nothing to say, whatever comes out usually ends up being THE thing that people needed to hear in that moment. Resistance is powerful like that.

So when you bust through the Resistance and actually write the words down and get them out there, people are moved by it and they feel connected to something bigger than themselves.

Writers are messengers for the world. That is one thing I deep-down truly believe. Writers have a gift of taking random words and putting them down on the page in an order that flows and makes sense and inspires, empowers, entertains and motivates people.

Words have power. Always have, always will.

And I’m so happy and proud of myself for sticking with the commitment to just let my Daily Think Different posts out.

Because that’s one thing I know I’m meant to do: change the way people think and challenge what they believe is possible.

That’s why I write my daily blog posts. That’s why day-in-and-day-out I sit my ass down in a chair and I write what’s going on in my head and share what I’m feeling and experiencing.

Because I know that my people need to hear it. Because I know it’s going to reassure them and reinvigorate them and give them a kick in the ass when they need it.

Truth be told, I write my Daily Think Different posts for me more than anything else. I write what I most need to hear in the moment. But then I share it with my community and so many of them need to hear it too.

And the best part of all of this is writing more than 100k words on my blog over the last 6 months hasn’t at all felt like work. It’s felt fun and inspiring and now it’s a habit for me to sit down every morning after I do my mindset work and just let out on the page whatever’s going on for me.

That’s exactly as it should be. And that’s how you know you’ve found something worth doing.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. To celebrate my accomplishment of writing more than 100k words on my blog over the last six months, I’m doing a series of giveaways over the next couple days. If you want to be IN on the giveaways, all you have to do is go to the post I link to each day and leave a comment. That automatically puts you in the running to win. More details coming tomorrow…

What Would It Take For You To Go To The Next-Level Version Of You Right Now?

When it comes to making changes in my life, one of the things that doesn’t work for me is to just jump in and do it right now in this moment. If I do that, I’ll end up sabotaging myself or making excuses.

I like to set a date for when the change will be implemented. That way it’s on my terms and I can get prepared for it.

It takes being mentally ready for a change before you’ll ever be able to implement it and make it stick. So I like to work my way up to a change, by setting a date and deciding that once the date comes, I will officially be implementing the change.

For me, that date is August 8, the day after I move to Austin. I’m ready to go to the next level in my writing life and life in general, and so I’m bringing on a lot of changes once I get to my new home for the next year.

This morning I spent an hour journaling and doing mindset work. Daily mindset work is a non-negotiable for me, but as I’m approaching August 8, the mindset work is even more important.

Because I’m about to embark on a whole new way of being.

These changes I’m making aren’t just things that sound good to me, these are things I absolutely know on a soul-level that I need to do if I want to get to the next level in my writing career and more. They’ve come up over and over and over again for me over the last couple years and I know it’s now time to implement them for real.

How did I figure out what changes I needed to make? I just asked myself one very simple question: what would it take for me to step into the next-level version of myself right now?

I journaled on it. For pages and pages and pages.

And some of the answers that came up looked like this:

> Stop eating refined sugar and carbs
> Break a sweat for at least 20 minutes a day
> Strict discipline around doing the things that matter, first things first
> Try/learn something new on a daily basis
> Create more passive income through my business
> Unleash my super-secret project on the world (that only five people besides me currently know about)
> Only say yes to things that are a HELL YES!!
> Continue up-leveling and creating bigger, bolder beliefs that support me achieving all the things I dream of

That’s quite a load to take on!! If you choose to see it that way. But I don’t.

I choose to see it as, this is who I now get to BE.

I now get to BE someone who takes care of their body and mind and who is disciplined as fuck around doing what matters and who creates more and more success by releasing the old and embracing the new. I get to BE this person.

And by being this person, I get to receive more of what I’m asking for in life… more success, more money, more impact. That’s what the next level looks like for me.

So, what would the next level version of YOU look like? What would she be like? What would she spend her time doing? What would she look like, physically? What choices would she make? What kind of mindset, habits and discipline would she have?

I want you to grab your journal and really dig in and answer those questions. Because the answers that come up for you could be exactly what you need to get to the next-level version of yourself.

But you have to be willing to make the change. You have to be willing to take the actions that are aligned with you now being that next-level version of you.

Or you have to be OK with things always being the same as they are now (or a slightly different version of how they are now). Because changes can’t make themselves. You have to make them.

So journal on the question I just gave you–what would it take for you to step into the next-level version of yourself right now?–and then set the date and start acting from that place.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. It’s the FINAL 24 HOURS to join us for Freelance to Freedom: Get Gigs. Get Paid. Make A Living Writing. This is an action-taking workshop where you’ll step into being a freelance writer and actually begin taking the actions to create a side (or full-time) income for yourself.

You’ll get experience with everything from finding freelance writing gigs to how to interview sources to writing and formatting for the web and everything in between.

>> Details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/landing/freelance

I Sometimes Wonder Why More People Don’t Finally Choose To Wake The Fuck Up And Live

As I write this I’m sitting at a table in the corner of the Starbucks down the street from the place I’m staying right now. To the left of me are two people–a guy and a girl–sitting with their Teavana drinks and talking about work stuff.

They clearly work in an office and are likely on a team of some kind together. The guy is talking animatedly, making his pitch for why they need to move in this specific direction with their project.

The woman seems to be there. She’s looking the guy in the eyes as he talks, she’s nodding at everything he says and she’s even throwing in a, “uh-huh” and “yep” every now and again. All signs point to she’s paying attention.

Except her posture and the emotion on her face. Her posture says this is the last place I want to be right now. And her face says my eyes are looking at you, but I’m really imagining myself thousands of miles away, swimming in the tropical waters of the next vacation I plan on taking when I have enough vacation time built up.

So essentially her body is present, but her mind is elsewhere.

And the sad thing is, this is life for many people. They’re constantly going through the motions but their minds are never present, because they’re always day-dreaming.

Dreaming about that thing they really want to be doing. That creative thing. The one that calls to them from somewhere deep inside. The one they keep pushing away by numbly going through the motions in their daily lives and telling themselves that it just is what it is.

Most people don’t believe they’re meant for greatness. And many that do still don’t believe it’s actually possible for them to achieve it.

So they settle. They call the reality they see around them currently their life and they plant roots by buying a house they don’t really want (’cause what they really want is to be off traveling the world), working a job that makes their soul feel dead (’cause doing anything but your soulwork will always make you feel that way), and numbing out with food and TV and alcohol and whatever else they do instead of doing the thing they really want to be doing. They just give up on their lives being any better, so they go through the motions that they’re told they should be going through each day–get up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, clean up your house, watch TV, go to bed, do it all over again–and wait to die.

Now we’re obviously all dying, and since we’re not vampires in Twilight, we all get closer to it every day. But it’s what we do with the days inbetween the day we’re born and the day we die that actually matter.

And sadly, most people are not really living.

Most people are on autopilot, going through the motions, ignoring the stuff they feel inside them and numbing out. Because they think this is just how it is. Because they’ve been told that this just how it is.

Because they choose to believe that this is just how it is.

But you don’t have to fall for that bullshit. You can choose, right now, to wake up and LIVE.

You can choose to never live another day on autopilot. You can choose to never again have a conversation with someone where you’re nodding and pretending to listen to what they’re saying when you’re really daydreaming about the life you really want to live.

You can choose to go let go of a life of complaining about how bad things are and how much things suck for you, and step into a life of gratitude and freedom.

A life that you love. A life that feels like a dream. A life where you get to wake up every day, do the things you love doing and get paid to be you.

You can create a life where you have it all (however you define “it all”) and all on your terms.

That was a belief I took on as a young child… that I could live a life that where I have it all and on my terms. And that belief is what has allowed me to create the life I’m living right now.

A life where I get to choose. How I spend my time. What I do all day. The projects I work on and who I work on them with. How I work, when I work and where I work.

I no longer feel like a victim in my life. Because I’m choosing everything now, intentionally, instead of living on default, like I used to when I was still working my soul-sucking corporate job.

Back then I was just like this woman sitting to the left of me, doing stuff I didn’t really care about, spending 8+ hours a day adding value to someone else’s business while the dreams I had were slowly dying inside me, complaining all day (and night) because life is so unfair and that was not how I wanted to be living.

Until I finally decided to take back control.

There’s a misconception that just because you have a dream means you’ll eventually live it. Not true.

I had a dream and felt on every level of my being that it was meant for me, but that didn’t mean I was gonna live it. And the same goes for you.

You may have big dreams inside you (and I know you do ’cause you wouldn’t be here right now if you didn’t), but that doesn’t mean you’ll ever get to live them.

Not if you continue to live a life of default where you just look at the reality around you and call it “your life” and then spend your days reacting, by default, to the things that happen to and around you. Default living will never get you to your dream life.

Your dream life is absolutely and totally out there and available to you and possible for you. But it’s not just gonna magically show up one day.

You have to go out there and create it. You have to take action, daily, with intention and purpose.

You have to decide that you’re no longer gonna hit the “snooze” button on your life. You have to decide that you’re gonna wake the fuck up and LIVE. Right now.

You have to decide that your dreams and the stuff you hear and feel inside you is what you’re meant to be doing and spending your time on. No matter how unrealistic or illogical that stuff may seem.

It wasn’t realistic OR logical for me to quit my $70k+ a year corporate social media strategist job five years ago to pursue a calling I felt in my heart to be a full-time writer, entrepreneur and creator. It was actually a pretty stupid decision in most people’s minds.

Why would you ever leave a job that paid so much to go and do god only knows what and have no idea where your money will come from? That was the question on most minds when I told people what I was doing.

Without a plan. Without a savings account. Without knowing what would happen next. I just jumped and believed it would work out.

I just decided to WAKE UP AND LIVE.

Now your version of waking up and living may look totally different than mine. For you, waking up and living might mean finally calling yourself a writer and allowing yourself to put words on the page or hit “publish” on that book you’ve been revising for years. Or it may be something else completely.

The point isn’t what you do when you finally decide to wake up and live, it’s that you finally decide to wake up and live and then actually go and do it.

I get to live my dream life every single day now, because of the decision I made 5+ years ago that I was no longer gonna settle for anything less than my dream life.

It hasn’t been an easy road, I’ve had a lot of setbacks and struggle moments and times when I thought I made the biggest mistake of my life and should just go back. But I didn’t. I stuck with it and I stayed the course.

And I still am.

Because living your dream life is not a destination. You’re not ever gonna get to a point where you’re done and you can just hang up your hat and retire. Living your dream life is a constantly evolving and up-leveling and shifting journey.

A journey that starts with a decision to finally wake up and live.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. The doors to the Bestselling Author Mastermind are CLOSING soon!! And they may not open again ’til 2018. Which means if you want to be part of the BEST group online for writers and authors who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms, now’s the time to get in.

>> Join us here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/landing/mastermind

When Something Feels Wrong, Change It

A lot of the times in life and business, we tell ourselves that our intuition doesn’t matter. We feel something but we ignore it because we’re told that’s not the way to do things.

We listen to the opinions of others and trust what they say more than trusting how we really feel about something.

As you may know, I’ve just reopened the doors to the Bestselling Author Mastermind and we’re now accepting new members. I’m SO pumped about this as BAM is one of my most favorite things that I’ve ever created and it just keeps on getting better and better.

But something that’s been nagging me for days now is the new price for joining BAM. I was advised by several people that I should be charging $97 a month for all of what’s included in the BAM membership.

That price didn’t really feel right to me. So I went with a price that was slightly lower and a number that I really, really love ($77). But it still hasn’t felt right.

Because I want this group to not only be accessible for most writers, but I also want it to be the most insane value EVER for what you’re paying.

I believe it is. And I believe it still would be at $97 a month or $77 a month or even $197 a month. The value is more than there.

But here’s the thing… just because you can charge that much, doesn’t mean you should.

Yes, the BAM membership is worth that much, it’s worth much more. You get an insane level of access to me in a private Facebook group, you get tons of kick-ass trainings and resources in the member’s site to help you write, revise, publish and sell your books, you get weekly accountability check ins and work sessions so you can get shit done, you get free access to all of my workshops and digital products that cost $100 or less (and let’s be honest that pretty much means EVERYTHING), and you get to be part of the best community online of like-minded writers and authors who are all heading in similar directions and are super supportive of each other.

So I originally made the price what I was told it should be for all the value I’m delivering.

But it hasn’t been sitting well with me. I’ve actually been thinking about it all day long since I launched on Friday.

And the truth is, I’d do the BAM site for free. I love it that much and believe in it that much. So it didn’t make sense for me to be charging a price that felt out of alignment for the goal I have for the group, which is to make it a killer deal and easily accessible for most people.

If I was in it just for the money, maybe I would charge more. But I’m not. I’m in it because this group is amazing and because it has helped me to step up in my own writing life in so many ways.

I love delivering the trainings and I love having BAM members in my workshops that I run. It’s a blast to get to hang out with the members and get to know them and support them in their writing lives, wherever they are in their journey so far.

So I’ve decided to throw the price I was told I should be charging out the window and just charge what I feel in my gut is the right price.

Maybe I’m totally insane and maybe I’m “leaving money on the table” by not charging more. But I honestly don’t give a fuck.

I believe that you should LOVE your business and LOVE the work you’re doing and I also believe you should always, always, always follow your heart and do what feels good for you.

And the higher price just didn’t feel good to me.

So I changed it.

You can do this too, with anything in your life that doesn’t feel good to you. You don’t have to stick with something just because at one point you committed to it and decided you needed to do it. You don’t have to keep doing something that sucks or that makes you feel like shit.

You get to choose.

And changing your mind doesn’t at all make you flaky or irresponsible, either, as so many people will tell you that it does. In fact, changing your mind and having the courage to own it and then move in that new direction is extremely brave in a world where people will suffer ’til their last breath just to keep other people from judging them for their choices.

The BAM community is a place for learning and for growing. It’s a place for finding out who you are as a writer and author and stepping into the identity of who you want to be.

Running this group has changed so much for me, and it’s also allowed me to finally give myself permission to make a massive change in my writing business and life… one that I can’t tell you about right now (but I will very soon!!).

Being a BAM member will change your life and will make you a better, happier and more productive writer and author. And all for the price of one dinner out a month.

If you’re ready to step the fuck up in your writing life and get your book written or finished or start selling more copies of the book you’ve already got out there, there’s no better place in the world for you then right here in this group.

>> Details and sign up here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/landing/mastermind

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. The price of BAM has gone down but the value keeps on rising!! I just added a new BONUS… everyone who signs up by Sunday July 23 (when the doors close) gets FREE access to my upcoming workshop that launches soon: Freelance to Freedom–how to make money as a writer.

>> Sign up for BAM here: www.jenniferblanchard.net/landing/mastermind

You Don’t Have To Settle For Less Than Exactly What You Want

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a “bottler.” I tend to bottle up how I’m feeling about something until it pushes me to the point that I explode.

Maybe you can relate? But I really hope you can’t, because that is no way to live your life. And truth be told, walking around with bottled up emotion or unexpressed opinions actually blocks you from receiving what you’re asking for.

Why?

Because when you push your voice down and act like what you think or have to say doesn’t matter, it’s like you’re sending a message to the Universe that says, “I don’t matter” and “I’m not good enough to have a voice.” And that unworthy feeling will only attract more things that you feel unworthy about.

One area where I tend to shut up, even when I’m having a bad experience, is customer service. I tend to have a bad experience with a service provider and then instead of speaking up and letting them know that I’m having a bad experience, I just shut up and continue to let the bad experience go on.

It’s annoying, really. Because then not only do I get bad customer service, but I also block myself from receiving what I actually want.

But today, I didn’t do that.

My old MacBook has been at the computer shop for three weeks. I was told it would be there for three days. Then they didn’t even fix it (too much water damage, wasn’t worth it). I’m not sure what the hell they did with it over the last three weeks.

And then I was told I could come by this morning to pick it up at 9:45 a.m. So I dragged my ass out of bed even though I slept like shit last night and I went to pick it up.

But when I got there the shop was closed and the guy who runs it wasn’t there to meet me like he said he would be.

Normally this is a situation where I’d just shut up and not say anything. But a friend of mine reminded me the other day of why it’s so important to have standards and not be willing to negotiate on receiving what you want.

And what I wanted was good customer service from the guy fixing my computer. I felt I deserved it, especially considering how much he was charging me and he didn’t even fix the computer.

So I spoke up. I shared my truth, and that is, I am paying a lot of money for your service and I deserve to be treated better than this.

I actually said this to him, as nice as I possibly could. I didn’t say it in a mean way and I didn’t call him names or anything like that (that’s the wrong way to speak your truth). I just let him know that I feel that I deserve better customer service than he was giving me.

Simple.

And then again, at Starbucks this morning, which I went to after the computer pick up fell through, I couldn’t get what I wanted. They were out of the gluten-free sandwich and didn’t have the syrup flavor I wanted.

Ordinarily I would’ve just picked something else from whatever they did have. But, again, I knew that would mean I was settling for less than what I wanted.

So I left and went to another Starbucks. The second Starbucks had what I wanted, and I also had a great conversation with the barista who I could tell actually wanted to be there and actually cared about what she was doing.

Something my friend made me realize this week is how often we’re willing to settle for less than what we really want. Because we’re afraid we can’t have it or can’t get it or because we believe that it’s rude or not “nice” to speak up or have standards.

I used to think and believe that stuff too. I used to tell myself that it was wrong to expect more or to want more. I used to believe that you have to settle if you’re not getting what you want right in that moment.

But you can’t live the life of your dreams if you’re always settling or if you never speak up and share how you really feel about something.

You don’t have to be rude and you don’t have to make a big deal about it. Just hold yourself accountable for speaking your truth and for not settling and not bottling up how you really feel.

My friend really inspired me. She’d been house-hunting for a while and had a list of things she wanted in a new place. Her realtor told her that she probably wouldn’t get all of it and to be open-minded.

But she knew what she wanted, and she wasn’t willing to accept anything less.

As the days wore on and as she looked at more and more houses that were close to what she wanted but not quite everything, she began thinking about settling. In fact, she almost did settle, for a house that was very close to what she wanted.

But something in her knew that she deserved more and believed it was possible for her to get what she really wanted.

So she held off. She decided to wait it out. She made patience her new best friend.

And not long after that, she found the perfect place. It was exactly what she wanted. It checked off every item on her list. And they even gave her a killer deal on it, which was a bonus she hadn’t even asked for.

It all came out of her willingness to not settle until she got exactly what she wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, compromise is a part of life and sometimes what you want isn’t available in that exact moment. So you may have to hold out. It all depends on how important it is for you to get what you want right then and there or if you’re willing to compromise or wait it out.

But you always get to choose. And you don’t have to settle for anything less than what you really want.

Dream life or bust,

 

 

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. It’s coming!!! The doors to the Bestselling Author Mastermind are opening again next week!!! This is by-far the BEST way to work with me, as you not only get access to me in a private Facebook group, and the badass BAM member’s site with TONS of trainings and resources to help you plan and develop your story and then write, revise, publish and sell your book, but you also get FREE access to ALL of my workshops and digital products that cost $100 or less (and most of them do). If you can’t wait another minute, you can join my email list right now so you’re the first to know when the doors open (and you get a free copy of my eBook, The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula): www.jenniferblanchard.net/newsletter

The Idea Is You… It’s Not Separate From You

As a multi-passionate writer, creator and entrepreneur, I find myself bursting at the seams with ideas for things I want to do and create. It’s almost annoying at times, because I know I’ll never have the capacity for EVERYTHING.
 
Or so I thought.
 
But then last week I began a journey called “be consistent, do what matters and put first things first.” And it shifted everything for me.
 
To be fair, I’ve started this journey before. About a year ago, and about five years ago, when I quit my day job to become a full-time writer, creator and entrepreneur. But somehow something always got in the way and I’d stop.
 
Excuses. Life chaos. The old BS stories I’d been telling myself about what was true for me.
 
And I have a tendency to overcomplicate things, because I used to believe that it had to be perfect or things had to be fancy and have a lot of bells and whistles or they weren’t valuable enough.
 
So when I’d get an idea for something I wanted to create, I’d go crazy complicating everything about it so that it ended up feeling like this huge, overwhelming project and then instead of taking action on it, I’d set it aside.
 
For example, at the end of last year I had a Divine Download for a daily email called the Daily Think Different. And it would be a daily email for writers, authors, entrepreneurs and creators that motivated, inspired, educated and empowered you to think different.
 
I bought a domain name for it. I wrote up a whole page of notes on how I’d set the new site up where people could go sign up to get the daily email. And that’d be another thing to add to my writing task list for the day (at this point I’m writing between 5k-7k words a day). And I was excited about it.
 
I think about it all the time. I feel it’s something I’m meant to be contributing to the world. I know that my calling and my purpose in the world is to inspire, motivate, educate and empower writers and creators to change the way they think and challenge what they believe is possible.
 
But months went by and I still didn’t take action on it.
 
And then two weeks ago I met an entrepreneur in one of the groups I’m in who helped me make a huge shift. She had posted in the group talking about how she wanted to start getting up early every day. And I commented back that I wanted the same thing, but never thought I could make it happen because I’m a night owl.
 
She commented back—want to help hold each other accountable to getting up early? I felt like it was a nudge from the Universe to jump into the challenge.
 
So we agreed to check in with each other first thing in the A.M. to say what time we got up. And just knowing I had to check in with her and tell her the time I got up, made me get up early, even when I didn’t want to.
 
And since I was already getting up early, I decided that i would also challenge myself to be consistent, do what matters and put first things first—before I let the rest of the world in.
 
Every morning I’d get up, send her a message to confirm the time I got up, and then I’d do my journaling and mindset practice, write my blog post and work on my novel. I did this every single day for five days.
 
And then the weekend showed up and I had a choice—I could do what I usually do, which is skip the weekends, or I could just keep going and accept that when you’re creating a new habit, you don’t get to take days off.
 
So I kept it up over the weekend. By Monday morning I was feeling AMAZING! Not only had I been consistent all week on doing what matters and putting first things first, and feeling insanely free and productive in the process, but I discovered something… I was already writing my daily think different emails! I just wasn’t calling them that.
 
For so long I thought the Daily Think Different emails had to be something outside of the stuff I was already doing and I had to keep it separate from my Jennifer Blanchard brand. But here’s the thing—you can’t separate yourself from the idea. Because you and the idea are one.
 
So when you’re multi-passionate, like I am, there’s no way for you to keep everything separate and still be able to juggle it all.
 
Being multi-passionate and allowing yourself to indulge in doing it all requires you to be able to juggle a lot of things all at once. Totally doable for a multi-passionate person, by the way.
 
You just need to stop trying to separate yourself from it.
 

You are the brand. You and all the things that come with you, including your thoughts, feelings, opinions, likes, dislikes, preferences, non-negotiables, and multiple passions, talents and interests.

 
Trying to separate it will just stress you out.
 
When I first started out online, I had a blog called Procrastinating Writers. Back then I was seriously struggling with doing the writing. It was a losing battle, but I was fighting it and I kept going. Years later, I created InkyBites, a site that focused on creative wellness. And then years later I realized that I if I wanted to be a successful author, at some point I’d have to brand under my own name.
 
So I launched JenniferBlanchard.net (‘cause someone else already had the dot-com, damn it). And I was trying to run three sites at once. Trying to balance and juggle all three brands, creating content for each one and promoting it on social media and I was failing epically. (I eventually merged all of the brands and content into my Jennifer Blanchard brand.)
 
Which is why when I get amazing Divine Downloads like my Daily Think Different emails, I get excited and want to take action… but then I often don’t. Because I still default to thinking that it has to be kept separate from my personal brand.
 
But here’s the thing—I’m me. Which means everything that I create, every idea I have, everything I write…that’s all me too.
 
I’m the multi-passionate writer, high-achieving, big-dreamer and believer in magic who I’ve always been. And my words are my legacy.
 
So it doesn’t make sense to separate it. (And let’s be real–it’s not really possible to separate it.)
 
But it wasn’t until I started doing what matters and putting first things first that I got clarity on that fact. This new habit made me realize if I don’t separate things and just let it all be me and be a part of my personal brand, I really CAN do all the things I want to be doing.
 
Doing what matters and putting first things first freed up so much of my time and mind space to focus on the other things I want to be doing (and am doing).
 
And that clarity forced me to see that what I want to do and the impact I want to have on the world, extends far beyond just writing about writing.
 

Sure, I’ll always write about writing because I’m a writer and it’s in me to do that. But now I’m allowing myself to let out that other side of me. That side of me who wants to see others succeed. That wants to inspire, motivate, educate and empower others to live their dream lives and know that anything is possible when you believe it is and and change your thinking around it.

 
THAT is what I’m here to do. Everything else that I do is secondary to that.
 
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to create and live my dream life and I’m going to be the writer and author I want to be. And I’m going to write about it and share my thoughts on it and share the things I learn, and inspire and motivate and empower you to create you own version of your dream life where you get paid to do what you love to do (write, create).
 
Now this isn’t unlike most of what I’m already doing. It’s just now I’ll be doing it with a vision and even more purpose and intention than before. (Purpose and intention are big for me.)
 
Over the next few weeks, you’ll be seeing some changes in my branding and website. I’ve got a new tagline (Dream Life Or Bust), I’m doing daily emails/blog posts and I have a new approach to the business that I’m creating.
 
I’m finally giving myself permission to fully be the writer and author I see myself as. To act like and think like and BE that writer and author RIGHT NOW. Even though I know some people may not like it.
 
Because there’s no point in waiting. Or trying to separate yourself from it. You are who you are.
 
The truth is, you’ll never be ready to go after your dreams or your dream life. You’ll never be ready to make the leap, invest in the course, step into the work you desire to do in the world, or write that book. You’ll never be ready.
 
And if you wait ’till you’re ready, it will be too late.
 
So that’s why you have to just jump, right now, into creating your dream life and creating yourself as the writer and author you want to be. Because tomorrow is never guaranteed. All you ever really have is right now.
 

And right now, you get to decide if you want to keep being who you’ve been being. Or if you want to be who you know you really are and who you know you’re capable of being, if only you gave yourself permission to play full out, trust that what you feel inside is real, and go after all your dreams.

 
Going forward, I’m choosing the latter.

Share With Us

If you gave yourself permission to play full out in your writing life… what would you do? Share in the comments. 
 
P.S. If you also want to choose the latter (fully being the writer and author you want to be), here’s an opportunity for you to step into that identity right now AND get your book written and published…join my Write and Publish Your Nonfiction eBook in 10 Days workshop. We’re hitting the ground running on Day 1 and will be writing, revising, prepping and publishing our eBooks over the course of the 10 days.
 
Jim Turnbo III, author of “Brainhacks: 10 Simple Strategies to Keep Your Mind Strong For A Lifetime”  had this to say about his journey in the workshop:
 
“I’ve been sitting on this “Brainhacks” book for the last 16 months. It was slowly hacking away at my brain. Never thought I would finish it. Too many thought processes to go here. But I finished it! The information is so valuable it would be a shame to let it sit tucked away. Thanks to Jennifer, I got the kick I needed to get it done. Getting a good quality book published ready for people to digest is very hard. Only a few will do it. But if you come into this class with an unstoppable attitude, failure becomes obsolete. The price of the class will easily pay for itself. I will use the 10 days template for all my nonfiction writing.”
 
If you’re ready to give up the excuses, get out of your head and get into action, this is the workshop for you.