A few weeks ago I launched a passion project called the Bestselling Author Mastermind. The idea for a group like this had been in my mind for awhile. But I never acted on it, because it never felt like the right idea.
Until one Monday afternoon back in April. I had just gotten off a call with my accountability partner (one of many) where I told her I was going to write and publish one eBook a month for the rest of the year (and one novel). No idea how I’d do it, but that’s what I wanted to do.
Not long after our call, I was sitting at my desk thinking about how I was going to pull this massive, insane goal off, when an idea pops in my head: create a mastermind group for emerging authors who want high-level accountability, kick-ass motivation, success mindset and to see the behind-the-scenes of my writing life.
I was even being nudged to invite them to watch me as I became a bestselling author.
Now this was a seriously scary idea when I first heard it. I mean, really? Invite people to WATCH me as I become a bestselling author? (Talk about surfacing my fears and doubts!)
So I texted one of my other accountability buddies (well, she’s more like my save-my-ass, talk-me-off-the-ledge, idea-brainstomer-and-totally-amazing-writer-friend, but I digress) and told her what I was thinking. She wrote back that it was freaking genius and I should totally do it.
I then told her I wanted to call it the Bestselling Author Mastermind, but I was worried because how could I call it that when I wasn’t actually a bestselling author yet? Wouldn’t people judge me and criticize me for it?
A lame fear that had no merit, because as my awesome friend pointed out, I would eventually be a bestselling author, there was no doubt about it in her mind. And so calling my group the Bestselling Author Mastermind was totally in alignment with that goal.
I called the group the Bestselling Author Mastermind, and then I invited everyone in to watch behind-the-scenes as I became a bestselling author. I didn’t know how, I didn’t know when, I just knew it was a done deal.
The funny thing is, I was doing some very powerful intention-setting during that time, without even realizing it. I had not only called my mastermind group, The Bestselling Author Mastermind, but during the promotion of it, I was sending out emails telling over 4,000 people that I am going to be a bestselling author AND that they could watch me do it.
Almost 30 writers jumped in and my new mastermind group was born. I became a bestselling author on Amazon a week later (no joke!).
The crazy part is, this group was more about giving myself a boost of high-level accountability for my goal of writing and publishing one eBook a month for the rest of the year (’cause when you’re leading others, you’ve gotta walk your talk) than anything else. But it ended up becoming something that totally changed my writing life and is now going to be a main focus of mine moving forward.
This group has totally shown me what’s possible when people show up consistently and do the work. I’ve already watched so many transformations it’s incredible. And to hear people stepping up and claiming their dreams and declaring what they want for their writing lives is so beautiful it nearly brings me to tears every time I think about it.
There is so much power in knowing what you want and being willing to let the fear and the uncertainty be there and then acting anyways.
It’s a common myth that when you achieve success all the fear, doubt and self-sabotaging behaviors drop away. It’s the opposite, really. The fears, doubts and self-sabotage get stronger the further you push outside your comfort zone.
What changes is your awareness of them. Before you were blinded by them, letting them hold you back–even subconsciously–and not knowing it.
But once you know what fear, doubt and self-sabotage looks like for you, you will be more aware of it and more able to recognize when you’re repeating a pattern in behavior that aligns with those old ways of thinking and being.
For example, I now recognize my Upper Limit Problem in-action. I can even predict it’s arrival based on what’s going on in my writing life. Whenever I have a new book coming out, I know my ULP is going to appear at some point following the release of that book. So I watch for it. I look for the patterns in my behavior or the things I’m thinking over the next week or two after the book comes out, and if I notice anything self-sabotagy coming up, I stop it in its tracks and don’t give it any additional energy.
For me, the ULP usually looks like starting pointless arguments with the people closest to me, sickness (in myself or my dog) and accidentally hurting myself (like bumping into stuff and getting bruises or tripping or something like that).
Totally freaking lame-o stuff… but at least now I recognize it. That’s really the key. You have to be aware enough to recognize when you’re self-sabotaging or letting fear or doubt take over your thinking.
And then you’ve gotta axe it. Immediately if not sooner. Otherwise that shit will drag you down.
I’ve spent months nearly flatlined in my business because I was doubting myself so much and in so much fear that it had consumed me and I couldn’t take any action that didn’t feel totally desperate (and that’s not the energy I operate from). It wasn’t that I was doing anything wrong, per se, I just wasn’t aware that these behaviors were my ULP and human-nature self-doubt trying to “protect” me from leaving my comfort zone.
I get it now. I see that you never really lose the fear, the doubt, the self-sabotaging behaviors. They’ll always be there. (As one of my early mentors always said, “New level, new devil.”)
And that’s what you need to see too.
The fear, the doubt, the uncertainty that you feel around your writing, it’s never gonna go away. BUT you can learn how to recognize it in-action, so you can put a stop to it before it takes you down a path you don’t want to go down (the path of procrastination and not taking action).
And the only way to know your fears, doubts and self-sabotaging behaviors–inside and out–is to do the work. Every day, step up and do the work. As you run into the fears, the doubts, ask yourself: what I am doing right now that would cause thoughts like this to come up?
Nine times out of 10 you’re doing something that will help you make progress on your goals and move you forward on getting your book out there. I can predict this because that’s how fears and doubts work. They’re lazy and so they only come out to play when you’re doing something they consider to be “dangerous” or “unsafe” (aka: trying to leave your comfort zone or be consistent with something or, most importantly, finish a creative project).
If you’re just sitting on your ass watching Netflix and procrastinating on your writing, the fears and doubts will still be there, but not as strongly because they don’t have to be. You’re not doing anything they consider to be a problem.
But remember, the fear, doubt and self-sabotage can only stop you if you let it. So don’t.
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What fears, doubts and self-sabotaging behaviors surround your writing life? And how do you deal with them?