No one is paying attention. No one is interested. No one is buying.
That’s a question I ask myself A LOT. What would I need to believe to create the reality I want to see?
Because your thoughts and beliefs create your reality.
So if you want to achieve something or have something show up in your life, you need to be directing your thoughts and beliefs toward that goal or that thing. And the more you do that, the more your brain will accept it as real until one day it actually will become real.
You’ll be able to see it, hear it, touch it, maybe even taste it and smell it (depending on what it is). It will have manifested in your life.
The more you give your time to directing your thoughts and beliefs, and focusing on the things you want to create, the easier and faster you’ll see these things show up.
This whole ‘thoughts become things’ may seem crazy when you first hear it. It’s contradictory to everything you’ve been told about life and how the world works.
But even as contradictory as it sounds… there’s this weird feeling in you that, it may actually be true. Because when you hear it, your ears and your brain perks up. It resonates with you.
Or it might scare the fuck out of you.
Because the idea that you’re in control of what shows up in reality and that your beliefs and thoughts create the reality that you see around you… that puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.
You have to actually take control of yourself and your life.
The whole ‘thoughts become things’ scares me at times, too. But I’ve practiced it enough now to know that it actually DOES work. And it’s INSANE at times when stuff shows up in your life after you’ve thought about it.
And the Universe is always giving you little signs and signals to tell you that what you’ve been thinking about and focusing on is showing up. I see signs of my dream life ALL the time.
Lately I’ve been writing in my journal that my novels get turned into movies. This is my ultimate dream for my fiction—to turn my novels and my stories into movies on the big screen, with big-name actors and actresses. And of course, I get to help with the screenplay and have a cameo in the movies 🙂
Now no one would know that I’ve been writing about this in my journal unless I told them, right? (I haven’t told anyone until right now.) And yet the other day, a girl in my free Facebook group posted the craziest message… she had a dream that she was on the movie set for my novel, SoundCheck.
HOW CRAZY IS THAT??!!
OK, maybe that’s too woo-woo for you and you’ll brush it off as coincidence or random. It’s totally fine if you want to do that.
But here’s what I know: coincidence doesn’t exist. It’s not random when things happen that you’d usually call a coincidence.
It’s a sign, a signal from the Universe that what you’re asking for is unfolding. All you have to do to continue seeing signs and signals, is to KEEP GOING.
So I ask myself all the time what beliefs (and thoughts) I’d need to have to see what I’m asking for show up in my life.
When I look at this novel-to-movie dream, some of the limiting beliefs that pop up for me are:
- No one I know has ever done this
- What makes me think my stories are good enough to be on the big screen?
- Being a Hollywood screenwriter is a pipe dream
- There’s too much competition for me to achieve this dream
- Millions of other novelists have this exact same dream—to see their novels as movies on the big screen—what makes me think I’ll be one of the novelists who actually does it?
Thoughts and beliefs like that are NOT going to help me achieve my goal of having my novels turned into movies.
That’s why I have to ask myself what I’d need to believe in order to create what I want to see, so I can dig out those limiting, negative beliefs and thoughts that are going to hold me back.
When I think about the beliefs I’d need to have to align with my novel-to-movie goal, I think of:
- Nicholas Sparks, Sophie Kinsella, JoJo Moyes, Stephenie Meyer, Kathryn Stockett… just a small handful of novelists who have seen their novels turned into movies. If it can happen for them, it can happen for me.
- I know my genre and I know my readers and I know my stories would make awesome chick flicks
- You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to… even this
- There’s no such thing as competition because no one else can ever be me
- Shared dreams are powerful connectors between writers, and it motivates and inspires them to know what’s possible for one writer is possible for another
Beliefs and thoughts like that are much more likely to get me to my end result of seeing my novels turned into movies.
And that’s why I spend time each day creating and crafting my reality, exactly as I want to see it. First by writing about it in my journal as if it’s already my real life; and then visualizing it and feeling as if it’s already real; then going into my day acting like it’s already real and taking action in alignment with the belief that it’s real.
I taught a workshop locally last weekend all about my Bestselling Author Mindset Formula, and after I explained my daily mindset practice to the group, one man raised his hand and said that what I’m doing is a self-hypnosis exercise that focuses your brain.
And that’s really what writing your reality and crafting your thoughts and beliefs is. It’s reprogramming (or self-hypnotizing) your mental computer to focus on, think about and believe what YOU want it to.
Not what society has told you to think and believe. Not what you were taught to think and believe. Not what you see other people thinking and believing.
But what YOU want to think and believe.
That’s what matters. That’s the only thing that matters. Yes, action is involved too. You’re not gonna create your dream life sitting on the couch watching Netflix. You have to take daily actions that align with your goals.
But you knew that already.
What’s hard is getting yourself to take the actions and take them daily and consistently, like you know you need to be. And that’s where the beliefs come in.
Because when you believe something is already true, you’re much more likely to take action and do the work. When you believe it’s possible for you to have, do and be something, you’ll turn off the Netflix and get to it.
But when you have beliefs and thoughts that contradict the goal you have, that’s when you’ll use Netflix (and procrastination, and binge-eating, and wasting time on Facebook) as a way of sticking your head in the sand and avoiding the work.
Which is why you’ve gotta get your mind to your goal before your life will get there. Beliefs create thoughts which create actions which create results.
Want to hear the best part?
You can get wherever you want to go in your writing life, by starting right where you are right now. And by consciously deciding that you will direct your thoughts and beliefs toward the outcomes and results you want to see in your life.
I really challenge you to take this one on. To spend 5-10 minutes a day consciously directing your thoughts and beliefs to where you want to go. Do it first thing in the morning if you’re able to. (Here’s a book and journal that can help you do this.)
Direct your thoughts and beliefs every day for the next 90 days. Report back.
Share With Us
What old belief(s) are you going to let go of? Create a new belief(s) and share it in the comments.
Want to reprogram your beliefs and thoughts so you can align them with the writing goals you have? Grab a free copy of my eBook–The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1 here.
As writers and storytellers, we’re often thinking about the fictional stories we want to tell and the fictional reality we want to create for our characters.
But we don’t often think about the fictional stories that we’re telling ourselves. The fictional programming we’ve had since childhood that’s creating our lives and our realities right at this very moment.
While the fictional stories we want to tell are important, what’s more important is the fictional stories we’re telling ourselves.
Because it’s THOSE stories that are causing us to either have it all or have nothing. To love ourselves and our lives or to dislike all of the above.
You may not realize it because it’s a mostly subconscious thing, but there are stories you’ve been telling yourself your entire life—or that you’ve been told your entire life—about the so-called reality of the world and of life and of you.
But here’s the thing… just because you’ve had those stories and told those stories for so long, doesn’t mean you have to keep telling them. Because you don’t.
You can create ANYTHING you set your mind to, and ANYTHING is possible and achievable when your mind believes it is.
So with that kind of knowledge and that kind of power… what would ever make you think that you have to continue living those old stories that you’re telling yourself? And you know the stories I’m talking about…
- I’m broke
- I can’t do this
- It’s too hard
- Money is so hard
- Life is a struggle
- Writing is a struggle
- Writers are broke
- Writers don’t make money
- Writing isn’t a real career
- I can’t get paid to do what I love
- Doing what you love is for retirement
- I’m fat
- I’m ugly
- I’m too old
- I’m too young
- I’m not good enough
- [insert your own BS stories and excuses here]
All of these (and more) are just FICTIONAL STORIES!! They’re made up, bullshit things that you’ve been telling yourself your whole life—or have been told your whole life. BUT—you don’t have to keep CHOOSING to tell this story or to let this programming run in the background of your mind.
You can consciously CHOOSE every single day, to write a new story. To wake the fuck up and realize that you are the only one who creates your reality. YOU. No one else. And no one else has ANY control over you or your life—unless you CHOOSE to give your power and your control over to them.
Life doesn’t happen to you. You DON’T have to live your life just reacting to what’s happening around you.
You can CHOOSE to create the day, week, life, MOMENT that you want to have, right fucking now. You can choose it and you can create it. All you have to do is set your mind to it and not deviate from that thought.
And you do not, do not, DO NOT have to do what everyone else is doing. In fact, you shouldn’t. Even if your best friend is doing it. Even if your siblings are doing it. Even if your parents are doing it. Even if every damn person around you is doing it.
That is their choice—and yes, they are making a choice, even subconsciously—to buy into the bullshit. To believe that reality is what’s true and imagination is what’s fictional.
When the TRUTH IS, it’s the OTHER WAY AROUND!!!!
Your thoughts and beliefs are CAUSE, the current reality you see around you is EFFECT. Which means your imagination and thoughts are what’s actually REAL and your reality is FICTION.
Because you can change and shift your reality anytime you CHOOSE to. You can wake up today and think a new thought and create a new, empowering belief, and act in a different way.
Normal people who know me think I’m out of my damn mind. People tell me on a regular basis that I live in La-La Land. And you know what?
I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!!
Because I KNOW what’s true about the Universe that we live in and I KNOW that living in La-La Land is the ONLY WAY to make your dreams a reality.
Yes, you have to take real, practical and consistent action in your actual physical reality, every single day. BUT—if you can get your mind to your destination first (via your imagination), you WILL see the results you want to see.
It’s literally IMPOSSIBLE for you not to. Because THAT’S HOW IT WORKS!!
If you keep showing up, keep directing your mind to where you want it to go, and stay entirely focused on your dreams and on the goals you have for yourself and your life, you will get there. It’s inevitable.
You just have to find a way to IGNORE everything in your current reality that you don’t like, don’t approve of or don’t want to live as a story anymore.
I get up every single morning and spend 30-60 minutes journaling and creating the reality I want to see in my real life. Over and over and over again programming into my mind and into my beliefs what I know and want to be true for me and my life.
Some might call that insanity. I call it using your power to intentionally create the life you want.
I no longer let life’s little BS get to me. Because I know that will always happen, and it’s my perspective, attitude and choice how I respond to it that really matters.
It’s time to release the old stories. Time to figure out what you actually WANT to see and have happen in your life, and then reprogram any thoughts and beliefs that oppose it.
Because it’s totally up to you. And a belief is just a thought you keep thinking. Which means you can CHANGE IT anytime you CHOOSE TO.
No, it won’t be easy. But it WILL BE easier than continuing to live a life that makes you miserable, depressed and causes you to wonder if this really is all there is.
I’m here to tell you it’s not. Not even close. Because the reality you currently see around you is just a product of—the EFFECT OF—your previous ways of thinking, believing and acting. And your thoughts, beliefs and actions are ALWAYS in your control.
Really, they’re the only things you need to be in control of. Because once you’re in control of your thoughts, beliefs and actions, you can and you will be able to create absolutely ANYTHING you want for yourself and your life.
Even if what you see in your current reality is a million miles away from where you want to be.
That gap can be filled QUICK when you tune into your inner world and connect with the power of your mind. A current reality that looks dire right now can totally transform in a matter of days—even minutes—when you get your mind in the right place.
Transformation does not have to take years and years of your life. Transformation can happen in an instant—if you’re open to it and believe that it’s possible.
Because that’s what it all comes down to. What do you believe is possible? And not just what do you believe is possible, but what, specifically, do you believe is possible for YOU?
Most people won’t take on the responsibility of caring about how they think, what they believe, how they act and how they feel. They won’t because it’s easier to just keep focusing on the negative stuff and to keep telling yourself the same old BULLSHIT stories that you have up to this point.
But really… is it?
Because living a life of struggle, of lack, of limitation, of NOT ENOUGH is one of the HARDEST things I’ve ever lived through. And it made life SUCK.
What I do now is so much easier. I get up every single day and I journal and I set intentions for my day and my life and for who I am and want to be. And then I do the work, I take action and I show up for my dreams. All the while trusting that it will all work out, because it always does.
Do I have days where I get caught up in my current reality and worrying that I’ve lost my mind thinking that things will ever change for me? You bet. We all do. It’s part of being human.
But I REFUSE to stay stuck in that. I REFUSE to let that take over my mind and all the work I do to keep my focus on my dreams and where I want to go.
I REFUSE to live my old stories of struggle, lack, limitation and not enough anymore. I just flat out fucking refuse.
Because I’m better than that (and so are you). And I know what’s possible when you believe it is. I’ve seen it and I’ve experienced it and I’ve lived it.
And that is what I will continue living. A life of ease. Of flow. Of abundance. Of unlimited possibility and potential. A life where dreams come true, success is inevitable, and I can HAVE IT ALL and ON MY TERMS.
That is the life I CHOOSE to create. And so it is.
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What life are YOU choosing to create? What old stories are you telling yourself? What can you let go of right fucking now? I wanna know! Share in the comments.
For a long time I dreamed of seeing my book at #1 on Amazon; of more readers finding my books and transforming their lives, because the books is at #1 and actually has a chance at being shown to potential readers.
Problem was, I had no idea HOW I was going to make this happen. I didn’t know anyone who’d done it. And I had never done it before, so the steps were unknown to me.
So because I didn’t know HOW I was going to get my book to #1 on Amazon, I didn’t allow myself to want it. I just pretended that I didn’t care and that it didn’t really matter to me.
I even recall making fun of authors who called themselves “best selling authors” just from hitting #1 on Amazon. (And now I do it–ha!)
The point being, I did everything I could think of to downplay the fact that I really wanted to hit #1 on Amazon. Just because I didn’t know HOW to do it.
Thankfully this year, I finally accepted the lesson that was given to me over and over again for years… the HOW is NOT up to you.
What that means: HOW you do something isn’t what matters. It’s DOING SOMETHING that matters.
In February I came across an author who has published 47 eBooks–46 of which were best sellers on Amazon. It finally made me realize that if she could do it that many times, I could do it at least once.
Suddenly my fear of not knowing HOW I was going to do it shifted to a belief that I could do it.
At that point, the specifics of HOW didn’t really matter, because I was finally to a place where I not only wanted it, but I believed I could have it. It finally felt possible for me to be #1 on Amazon.
So I started writing in my journal every day that, “I am a best selling author” and “I am #1 on Amazon.” And then I started talking about wanting to hit #1. I even told my accountability buddy about it.
And then I made a decision: I would hit #1 on Amazon in 2016.
(Still at this point had no idea HOW I’d do it.)
Not long after, I got an email about a tool called Bestseller Ranking Pro. Out of no way, a HOW had shown up.
I could use this tool to find the right category to put my book in, so people can actually find it. And that will help me get to #1. Boom! I bought the software.
After looking through the BRP categories and info, I decided I was going to write an eBook about the structure of love stories. The “craft” category was a good fit for this book.
I wasn’t totally thrilled with that book idea, but it was an idea to get me started. Thankfully, right after that I got another idea–what if I took the 30-day challenge I just did to help me revamp my writing habits and turned it into an eBook?
That idea really inspired me, so I decided to put that book together and publish it first, and then go back and write the structure of love stories one.
The more practical side of me also had a thought: if I’m going to hit #1, I need to write and publish more books.
So I announced that I was going to write and publish 9 books in 2016. And then I got inspired to invite people to watch me as I wrote and published these books and turned one of them into a best seller.
(Still no real idea HOW I’d do this. Just some nudges and ideas.)
I published “Align Your Writing Habits to Success” in May and two days after it went live it hit #1 on Amazon. (And then my book, “The 15-Minute Writer”hit #1 in multiple categories two months after!)
I had achieved the goal of hitting #1 and being a best selling author on Amazon.
Looking back, I never had any idea HOW I’d do it. I just took whatever actions I could think of.
And that’s the whole point.
It’s NOT about the specific actions that you take. You can take actions that seem random and if you’re still moving in the direction of your desired outcome, the right HOW will eventually show up and you’ll get there.
My story is the perfect example–I was planning on a totally different book hitting #1 by me using the BRP tool and writing a book for a specific category; and a book I never even expected to have hit #1 did, multiple times. (Pretty much shuts up the “you need to know HOW” argument, right?)
How I achieved a #1 best seller on Amazon didn’t happen because of any one thing I did. It happened because of ALL the things I did–this year and all the years leading up to this one.
The HOW that gets you to your desired end result can only be found by creating momentum. And you create momentum by taking action–any actions–that move you in the direction you want to go.
The actions can be simple, easy things and still be powerful enough for the Universe to meet you half-way.
Because the Universe doesn’t care what actions you take. Big or small. Super risky or playing it safe. It just cares that you’re DOING SOMETHING. (Although the bigger, bolder actions always pay off more than staying in your comfort zone.)
Want to become a published author? Write a book. Show up every day and put words on the page. Learn the steps in the self-publishing process. Do your research.
The specific HOW that gets you to the desired end result of being a published author will show up as a result of you doing all those other things.
What you don’t want to do is decide you want something and then sit on your ass thinking it’s just going to show up one day. ‘Cause it doesn’t work like that, sorry.
10 Steps to Making Shit Happen
If you’re been feeling stuck or frozen because you don’t know HOW you’re going to achieve something, or because you’re overwhelmed by HOW much there is to learn and know and do… I’m gonna simplify it for you in 10 basic steps:
- Take a deep breath and relax–it’s not that serious.
- Remind yourself that you’re in the right place, exactly where you are right now.
- Write down your desired end result (one or more).
- For each end result you want, make a list of all the things you can think of right now that you could do to move in that direction. It doesn’t matter if the steps are out of order, totally random, or make no practical sense; just write everything down that comes to you.
- Choose one of the steps/actions you listed and do it right now.
- When that action is done, do the next one. (Whichever one pops out to you as the one to do next.)
- Repeat steps 5-6.
- Add any new inspired actions and ideas to the list as you go.
- Act on as many of the actions and ideas from your list as you can.
- Trust that any specific HOW you need to get you to that final end result will show up as a result of you doing steps 5-9.
And there you have it–get the hell out of the HOWS and stay focused on the end result.
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What have YOU been holding off or playing small on because you don’t know HOW you’ll make it happen? Share in the comments!
So many writers and creative people hold the belief that, “it has to take a long time” and “you’ve gotta pay your dues.” And yeah, it’s also true that A LOT of people hold this belief.
But you know what isn’t true?
That belief. It’s not true. Not even remotely true.
Unless YOU decide that it is.
I’ve decided that 2017 is the year I break six-figures from my book sales. I’ve decided it’s the year I’m going to thrive in my writing career like never before.
Sure, this year has been amazing and I’ve built up some killer momentum. But it’s not enough.
Because I want to blow the ‘starving artist’ mentality OUT OF THE WATER. And, yes, it IS a mentality. One that’s keeping most authors insanely broke and unfulfilled.
But here’s the great part–you can change a mentality.
You can actively choose the thoughts you think and the beliefs you hold. You can choose to create exactly the writing life you’ve always dreamed of having.
But you have to CHOOSE. Consciously. Actively. Every single day.
You have to decide that you’re not going to accept the ‘starving artist’ mentality as truth for you. You have to decide that you’re going to be an author who THRIVES.
Yes, it will take time to create this in your physical reality. But it will happen a whole lot faster if you get your mind there first.
And yes, there are people in the world who refuse to see past the limitation that is the ‘starving artist’ mentality. These are the creative people who say things like, “I can’t quit my job and become a full-time writer or I’ll end up living in a cardboard box” or “writing is a hobby” or “one day I’ll make it happen” or “writers are broke” or “it’s just a pipe-dream” or [insert whatever lame excuse you give or have been given for why you can’t thrive as a writer].
Those are the creative people who will never see their full dreams come to fruition. Because it’s impossible to create a big, successful, thriving creative career with a belief like that.
And what’s sad is, just by changing that mindset and by seeing themselves as thriving artists, those same creative people could have a totally different experience.
Because you create your own reality. And you do it with your thoughts, your beliefs and your actions (or inactions).
So if you’re looking around and you don’t like what you see; if you’re dreaming of being a thriving author, meanwhile you’re still holding a day job and barely making book sales, it’s time for a mindset intervention.
It’s time to go within, dig around, pull out those limiting beliefs–the ones that are stopping you and holding you back–and GET RID OF THEM!!!
And you really don’t even have to dig around. If you want to know what limiting beliefs you currently have, you can find out by doing 2 things:
- Looking around you–your reality is a reflection of all that you’ve thought, believed and acted on up to this point.
- Start telling yourself new, empowering beliefs–just by doing this, you’ll start to catch all the limiting beliefs because they’ll show up as that negative voice inside that tells you you’re wrong or that you can’t do it, etc., whenever you say the new beliefs.
You really can change your life by changing your thoughts.
So your choice is to either continue buying into the ‘starving artist’ mentality, and believing that it has to be a struggle, that you have to work insanely hard and pay your dues, and that even if you do eventually make it, you’ll be lucky to earn low five-figures a year from your creative work.
OR, you can tell yourself something different.
You can tell yourself that you make millions from your books. And that you quit your job and become a full-time writer who thrives and has more than enough, always. And that your books hit the NY Times Best Seller list and get turned into Hollywood movies. (‘Cause that’s what you’re really dreaming of, right?)
Which one inspires you? Which ones makes you feel better? Which one motivates you to take action?
Exactly. The thriving artist version.
And when it all comes down to it, it’s just a perspective. If you choose to believe in ‘starving artists,’ then that’s what you’re going to find in your experience. And if you choose to believe in ‘thriving artists,’ then that’s what you’re going to find in your experience.
The reality you choose to experience is totally up to you.
For example, a few months ago I decided that I’m well-known in the writing industry and that big-name people contact me and want to partner with me and work with me. I decided that my podcast is a must-listen for writers everywhere and that big-name people want to be interviewed by me.
This past weekend, I booked a big-name guest for my podcast AND I got contacted by a big-name author who wanted to talk to me about how we can help each other out.
Your reality is what you decide it’s gonna be. So decide you’re going to be a thriving author and you will be.
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Do you choose “starving artist” or “thriving author?” Declare it in the comments!
Are you ready to drop the ‘starving artist’ mentality and learn how to sell more books? Check out the masterclass I’m hosting: www.jenniferblanchard.net/sellmorebooks
In this episode, I talk you through my bestselling author mindset formula–the one that helped me go from unfulfilled author to 2x best selling author in multiple categories, with 5 new books written and launched in the past 5 months, and selling an average of 1,000+ books a month. THIS will change EVERYTHING for your writing life, if you let it.
Here are links to things I mentioned in the episode:
- The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1 (FREE eBook)
- Esther Hicks, “A belief is just a thought that you keep thinking“
- “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety“–A Course in Miracles
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What’s the biggest takeaway you got from this episode? Share in the comments.
And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunes and share it with your writer-friends (share links below)
Elizabeth writes the Southern Quilting mysteries and Memphis Barbeque mysteries for Penguin Random House, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink, and also writes and publishes independently. She blogs at ElizabethSpannCraig.com/blog, which was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers. Elizabeth curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine WritersKB.com.
The thing I enjoyed most about talking to Elizabeth is how freaking strong her Pro Writer Mindset is. She was rejected by agents 110 TIMES!!! Most writers would’ve thrown in the towel long before that, but she just framed it in her mind as “this wasn’t the right agent for me.”
Some additional takeaways I had from this interview:
- Elizabeth actually got the “rights to her characters” back from her publisher so she could continue writing stories about those characters and their worlds, but self-publish them instead.
- She recommends using your book reviews as feedback for how you can improve–especially if the same problem is mentioned over and over again.
- Collect all the stuff you’ve written that you really love–blog posts, passages from your fiction, emails from readers–and keep them all in a folder on your computer. On the days when you’re feeling like you suck, are feeling overwhelmed or like you can’t do this, you can go back and read through these passages and be reminded of why you’re doing this and how good you really are. It really puts it into perspective.
- Ask yourself–what’s the bare minimum I know I can write every day? 100 words? 1 page? Figure out what the bare minimum is for you, and then commit to doing at least the bare minimum every day. This will create consistency and progress, and that will motivate you to keep going.
- Pro writers have a BUSINESS mindset–they think about their readers when they’re writing and creating their books and other content.
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What’s the biggest takeaway you got from this episode? Share in the comments.
And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunes and share it with your writer-friends (share links below).
Here’s something you may not know about me… I used to be addicted to feeling not good enough and constantly telling myself that I didn’t measure up. That I didn’t quite have what other people had.
I was plain. Unoriginal. BORING.
Brown hair and brown eyes. Five-foot-five-inches tall. Size 9 shoe.
I had a middle-class lifestyle. Nothing was picture-perfect, but everything was status quo.
And there was nothing special about me. Nothing that made me stand out. Nothing that made me feel like I mattered.
Yes, I was always surrounded by love and support, but I still felt alone. Because deep-down inside, I knew something.
I knew that I was born for more. I looked around me and at what I saw in the mirror, and while it all felt average to me, I didn’t feel average on the inside.
As a young child, I saw myself as a star. I saw my name in lights. I imagined myself hanging out with all the celebrities, just like I was one of them.
And when I was young, that’s always what I was: a star. I would find ways to get myself on a stage whenever I could.
I took dance classes and performed on stage with the older girls. I was chosen to speak on the microphone and introduce my first-grade chorus during our school event. I went to an art camp where the final project was to create a piece of art (a mask) and then stand on the stage and show it to everyone.
I used to find a million different reasons why my summer camp leader should let me go up on the stage in the gymnasium and perform for the group (one time she actually let me when I’d been reading a book on magic tricks from the library and wanted to show everyone what I learned).
I was always in the school musicals and plays. I was always performing and showing off and putting myself out there.
Because that’s how I felt inside. I felt like this amazing super-star performer who people needed to pay attention to.
I WAS BORN THIS WAY.
I didn’t know any different. It’s just who I was.
And then somewhere around middle school things started to change. Suddenly I found myself being made to feel not good enough… by the girls who bullied me, by the guys who called me ugly, by the people who treated me like I didn’t matter.
I didn’t know how to deal with any of this. It was like a barrage of feelings and thoughts I had never, ever had about myself before, coming at me at a speed I couldn’t stop. It overwhelmed me and freaked me out and made me retreat.
And that’s when I turned to writing.
From a young age I was fascinated with words and most especially with reading. I couldn’t get enough of it. I carried books around with me everywhere.
I had always been a writer, but it wasn’t until middle school that the writing came pouring out of me like a spout that couldn’t be turned off.
Suddenly I had poems, I had short stories, I had ideas, coming out of my freaking ears.
I couldn’t write them down fast enough to capture them all.
All of my life up to that point I felt so average. Like there was nothing special or important about me. Sure, I was creative and had some talent. But I just never felt good enough.
When I was at art camp making my mask for the final presentation, all I could think about was how weird and crazy mine looked compared to everyone else’s. I just wanted my mask to look as good as the girl sitting at the table with me.
When I was in dance class we painted t-shirts to wear for our final recital and everyone else’s shirts had their names in the center with perfect little dots and squiggles surrounding them. I drew a big-ass hot-pink flower with a giant green stem and a bunch of other random things. And then I squeezed my name in at the bottom.
When we looked at all the shirts, everyone’s looked pretty similar and mine looked like a crazy person painted it. All I could think was–why can’t I do it like they do? What’s wrong with me?
I felt this way about pretty much everything. Except for writing.
Writing was always that thing that made me feel good enough. That made me feel special and talented and worthy. That made me feel like I was more than enough. That I was so much, I actually had something leftover to share with others.
My words. My writing. My stories.
And looking back now, it all makes sense. I wasn’t average. I wasn’t unoriginal. I wasn’t not good enough.
It’s that I was always hanging out with people who were further along than I was. Older, more experienced, not beginners. (I was always very mature for my age and I had a passion for learning new things, so I participated in stuff kids my age weren’t interested in ’til they were older.)
Connecting the dots now I can see it so clearly.
I am good enough. I always was good enough. I just always liked to push myself more than most people and try things I wasn’t very good at and fail and fail and fail and keep going.
And now I’m choosing to SEE MYSELF this way.
I’m choosing to feel like that little super-star girl who just wanted to perform and be on stage and have all eyes on her.
These days I’m choosing to “perform” through my writing (though you never know when you might see me singing, dancing or doing some acting some day!) To take center-stage with my words.
To share what I believe to be true about me AND about YOU.
And that is this: you have what it takes. I have what it takes.
You knew from a very young age that you have what it takes. You’ve always felt different inside. You’ve always felt like you have star-quality inside.
You just didn’t always see that inner feeling reflected in your outer reality. And because you were so young, you didn’t know yet that reality is relative.
It’s relative to the thoughts you think and the things you believe.
So you chose to believe the reality that you saw around you. Just like I chose to believe it.
And then we internalized what we saw and made it mean something about ourselves. That we’re average. Not special. Not good enough.
Yet deep-down we still felt it. We may have pushed that feeling away, squashed it with negativity or just flat-out ignored it.
But it was still there.
And it’s still there right now.
Because here’s the thing–what you feel inside is real.
Your dreams, your desires, the things you want to achieve and create for your life. It’s all real. And it’s all possible for you to have all of it (if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t feel pulled to it).
You just stopped believing that it was real. You were too busy shoulding yourself about nonsense and telling yourself you’re not good enough, not special enough, not talented enough… not enough.
So here you sit now. Still with that deep-down feeling that you were born for more.
Born to write. Born to create. Born to put words on the page.
Well, let me tell you something right now…
If you feel this way…
If deep-down inside you KNOW…
If every part of you rings true with the things I’ve said here…
Then it’s time.
It’s time for you to drop the mask and drop the false-front. Time to stop pretending that you’re something other than what you really are.
Time to come out to the world and BE the author you are meant to be. That you’ve always known you were born to be.
It’s time to come to terms with the fact that this feeling you have inside–this feeling that you were born for more, born to shine, born to share your words with the world–it’s never gonna go away.
Are you hearing me?
You will wake up with this feeling every single day for the rest of your life. You will go to sleep with it, nagging you, begging you to let it out.
It will taunt you, it will haunt you. It will follow you EVERYWHERE.
You cannot escape it. It will be there until you are no longer here.
So the choice is yours… do you take this feeling to your grave and bury it with the shell of who you lived this life as?
Or do you let it out RIGHT NOW? Unleash it to the world and finally realize that if you are born to write, if you are called to put words on the page, if you feel deep-down inside that you were BORN FOR THIS…
Then it is your RESPONSIBILITY to STEP THE FUCK UP. It is your PURPOSE to serve the world with your gift of the written word.
You are doing the entire world a disservice by not showing up every single day and doing your writing, by not pushing through the BS and the excuses and finally finishing and hitting publish.
That not good enough feeling? It’s always gonna be there too. And right now, if you’re MIA in your writing life, then most of the time, you’re letting that feeling win. You’re letting it win over the feeling you have deep inside that you were born for more.
It’s time to CHOOSE to let that other feeling become the priority. To stop listening to the BS and realize once and for all that feeling not good enough DOES NOT COME FROM YOU.
You are NOT born feeling not good enough. You are born feeling that feeling inside that says YOU ARE A STAR, BORN FOR MORE, HERE TO DO BIG THINGS, HERE TO SHAKE THE WORLD.
THAT feeling is real. THAT feeling you were born with.
Feeling not good enough came as a byproduct of your environment, programmed into you without much you could do about it.
But just remember that feeling not good enough does NOT BELONG TO YOU. You may have claimed it all these years, but it’s not yours.
Once you realize this–once you really, really take it to heart–you can finally choose to let it go and to focus on the feeling you were born with… that feeling that says, I AM BORN TO WRITE.
You’re here for a reason. If writing is it, then it’s time to put on your big-girl pants, step up and do your part.
The world is waiting for you.
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Are you BORN to write? Are you ready to claim it? Claim it in the comments!
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I’m about to hit “publish” on m 9th eBook (fourth for the year), and the more I think about it, the more freaked out I get.
I start to question everything–is the book too short? Is it valuable enough? Are people going to like it? Is it going to be useful for writers? Am I doing a good job?
Even though I’ve already done this 8 other times, it still doesn’t make it any easier. The same doubts are present, the same fears are still there.
The only difference now is that I always push through and keep going.
Before this year, I’d have let that shit stop me for days, weeks or maybe even months. I’d have sat on the eBook and not put it out there.
But I’ve done it enough now, where I know fear, doubt and Upper Limit Problems are all a part of the creative process. Now I feel the fear, the doubt…and I send the book to my editor anyhow. I feel the worry and the “not enough” and I hit publish anyhow.
Something you may not realize is that fear you feel, that uncertainty, that doubt you have inside… it will never go away.
It’s always gonna be there. Trying to knock you down, trying to sabotage you, trying to get in your way.
And rather than getting easier, it gets worse the most successful you become.
But the difference is in how you deal with it.
An amateur writer lets that stuff get in the way. An amateur writer gets stopped by that stuff. A pro writer knows different.
Because a pro writer has been writing and publishing and continuing on long enough to know that the icky stuff–the negative voices, the fear, the doubt–it’s always there. Sometimes it shows up in different forms, as life chaos, as inner noise, as haters on the outside.
But it’s all the same thing. And it never goes away.
What does happen, is the more you deal with it head-on and the more you push through anyhow and keep going, the easier it will get to keep doing that.
When you’ve written and published enough, you will start to recognize your self-sabotating patterns and what it looks like for you. For me, I know after I launch a book my Upper Limit Problems usually kick in and I start napping more, stuffing my face with junk food more and causing life chaos in my reality.
So now when I notice this stuff–and especially when I notice it right after a book launch–I can recognize it for what it is… Resistance, fear, ULPs… and just keep going.
How do you do this? Here’s how I do it:
> Daily Mindset Practice–this is a non-fucking-negotiatble for me. I do mindset work two-to-three times a day, minimum. Usually includes writing my reality (1-3 pages), visualizing and setting intentions.
> Hire a good editor–my editor knows me and my writing very well, so she’s great at pointing out changes or things that will make the book better.
> Build support and accountability into your life–I work with a private mentor and I have several accountability buddies that I check in with throughout the week, and I’m part of a writers mastermind group. All of which keeps me in check and moving forward.
> Set deadlines and announce them publicly–this is the best way for me to keep going even when I don’t feel like it or don’t want to. Because I’ve set a deadline and announced it publicly, I can’t not hit it. So I always do.
The fear, the Resistance, the “noise” in your head and in your outer world can only get to you and can only take you down if you let it.
And if you choose not to let it bother you and to keep going regardless of what comes up, you will win. Every single time.
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How do you push through and keep going when you don’t feel like it? Share in the comments.
Ready to push through the BS that holds you back and step up to a whole new level in your writing life? Check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, strategy, motivation and success mindset group for emerging authors who want to create their dream writing lives all on their terms.
A few minutes ago I was thinking about my August goal to sell 10,000 books. And something I kept hearing was the word “try.”
In my head I was hearing myself say, I’m trying to sell 10,000 books this month. I even said that to a few people the other day, that I’m trying to sell 10,000 books this month.
And tonight as I heard the word “try” bouncing around in my head, I realized something: by saying “try” I’ve already failed.
Because there is no try. There’s either make it happen or make it happen. That is the only option.
There’s ZERO point in trying to do anything.
Sure, try something new now and then, but don’t ever try when it comes to your dreams and your purpose as a writer.
If you’re trying to make your writing dreams happen, you’ve already failed. You’ve already doomed yourself to staying stuck, continuing to buy into the BS and giving yourself a Plan B just in case.
If you have a Plan B for your writing life you may as well just go after Plan B right now, because you’ll never have Plan A. Not with that kind of thinking.
You can’t have a backup plan for your dreams.
You either want something and are willing to do what it takes, for as long as it takes, until it takes and then keep going. Or you’re not.
Having a backup plan shows a lack of belief. It says to the Universe that you don’t believe you can have Plan A or you don’t believe that you’ll get Plan A, so you need a fall-back plan.
And when you send that kind of message out to the Universe, what do you think you’ll get back?
Definitely not Plan A. Maybe not even Plan B.
The Universe will send back to you what you’re putting out there. So you can’t try to make something happen. You have to just decide you’re making it happen and that you’re unwilling to accept anything else.
This all begins in your mind.
When you do enough mindset work, you will very easily be able to give yourself new beliefs and accept things as true that you wouldn’t have been able to before.
For years I dreamed of being a best seller on Amazon, but I never allowed myself to really want it or to even say it out loud, because I had no idea how I’d make it happen. So I didn’t even bother to try.
Until this year when I decided that it was finally time. I was finally sick of my bullshit being bigger than my dreams. I set my mind to it: I would be an Amazon best selling author in 2016.
And amazingly, after doing this, it happened only a few short weeks later.
I literally called my best seller status into my reality by finally allowing myself to not only want it, but to actually go after it. Not by “trying” but by believing that it was already a done deal…because I decided that it was.
If you’re reading this right now and you’re resonating with it and realizing that you’ve been “trying” all these years to make your writing dreams happen, now is the time for you to STOP TRYING.
Now is the time for you to DECIDE.
Do you want what you say you want? Do you really, really want it? Are you willing to do whatever it takes, until it takes and then keep going?
Then decide. Decide right now that you WILL have it. There’s no Plan B, no just in case, no more trying.
Decide right now that your dream writing life is yours. And then burn all of your bridges.
It’s ALL IN or get the fuck out.
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Are you DONE trying? Share your decision statement in the comments.