I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “success signs.” As in, the little signs that start to show up in your reality the more consistent you are and the more progress you make.
As I’ve really thought about my “success signs,” or patterns that tend to repeat themselves every time I have a success of some kind, I’ve noticed 2 main signposts. Most people would probably freak out when they see these signs showing up in their lives (I know I used to!).
But now that I’ve been doing this whole pro writing thing long enough, I’ve discovered that similar things happen to me over and over again, the more success I achieve.
Here are the 2 things that I find to be signposts for success, or at the very least, signposts for, “Yes, you ARE moving in the right direction. Keep going.” Those signs are:
Whenever I’ve reached a place in my writing business where I’m being bombarded by haters or by people who don’t like what I’m doing/who I am and want to give their two cents about it (which, to be honest, isn’t even worth 1 cent, but I digress…), I know I’m doing something right.
I used to take haters as a bad sign. I used to think if someone didn’t like what I was doing or how I was doing it, that I was in the wrong and should change in some way.
But after the last few years of working my ass off to up-level, I’ve realized that whenever haters show up in my world, it’s because I’m on the cusp on something awesome. For me, haters come out of the woodwork when I’m about to push through an old way of being/thinking and achieve a whole new level of success.
Now, rather than see haters as a bad thing or as a sign to retreat, I see it as a sign to PUSH HARDER. To KEEP GOING. To STICK WITH the path I’m on.
So that’s what I do now. I push through. I keep doing what I’m doing. I commit, in that moment, to NOT letting it get to me, to NOT giving in and to NOT being deterred.
Because that’s what the haters want. They want to stop you, to drag you down with their bullshit. But the thing you need to always, always, always remember about haters is this: it’s NEVER about you. It’s ALWAYS about them.
Sure, maybe there’s something about you or something you’re saying or doing that’s pushing their buttons and causing them to feel reactive. But, again, that has nothing to do with you and everything do with them.
When I get haters (and I get them often these days), I do the following:
- Avoid reacting to them, as much as possible–yes, sometimes it’s impossible and a hater has said something so ridiculous and unnecessary that you have to write back, reply and tear them a new one. BUT most of the time haters are just a test from the Universe to see if you’ve really got what it takes to do this writing thing for real. So by not reacting, you’re pissing the hater off more AND showing the Universe you’re ready to go pro.
- Write my reality–even when I know the things a hater is saying are totally wrong and not at all valid, that shit still gets into your head. It still nags at you and irritates you and annoys you to no end. BUT most writers would let that spin into complaining and the total ruination of their day (it’s happened to me before). Talk about an energy drain. So what I do now, is take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, let it out slowly and then I grab my journal and write out the reality I want to create. I write out who I am, what I stand for and what I want to see happen. Mindset work–especially in the face of a hater–is the most powerful tool for overcoming whatever negativity is being spewed at you.
- Dance–sometimes to “Shake It Off” and sometimes to whatever song feels right in the moment (this morning that song was “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow). Dancing always gets me out of my head and into a flow state.
Haters are gonna happen. How you deal with them is what really matters.
2. Feeling Really, Really, Really Good
For me, feeling really good is now the norm. It’s how I choose to live my life. It’s the intention I set for my day, every day.
Problem is, as humans, we’re taught BS things like, “what goes up must come down” and “don’t be too happy or you’ll be crying later.” We “knock on wood” when something good happens because we’re afraid that if we don’t, something bad will follow.
We’re taught by the people we love most that feeling good and having good stuff happen is a fluke, but not the norm. And so we actually believe that shit. We actually take it in and believe it.
I can’t even count how many times in my life I’ve had good stuff happen and then immediately my thoughts went to, “Be careful, something bad is always on the tail of something good.” What???!!
Say it with me now… THAT IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!
You are allowed to feel good. All the time. Good things are supposed to happen to you. You were born into an abundant universe where anything is possible when you set your mind to it.
So feeling good SHOULD BE the NORM. It should not be a fluke and you should not feel like you “got lucky.”
Happiness, joy, feeling fucking amazing is YOUR BIRTH RIGHT.
But it’s up to YOU to claim it. To decide that you’re going to feel good every single day, no matter what.
For me, when I’ve had too many days in a row where things are working out or I’m feeling really, really, good and really really happy and really, really loving my life, I usually sabotage it. Find a way to do something that will push me back down in the dumps or make me feel bad again.
That’s just how it is…right?
When I realized that wasn’t “just how it is” but instead was “just a choice I was making,” I decided to make the opposite choice. Now when I have days where I feel awesome and weeks where everything is flowing and success is literally just falling in my lap, I do the following:
- Repeat life truths over and over to myself–“I am allowed to feel good. I am allowed to keep this good feeling going. Bad stuff cannot touch me when I am feeling this good. THIS is how it’s supposed to be. This is what I’m meant to feel. And, most importantly, it is OK for me to feel good and to be happy every day.” Doing this immediately changes my way of thinking and shifts me to a higher vibration where I am actually able to keep the good feeling flowing.
- Focus, focus, focus on what’s going well–when things go well, a lot of times we sabotage it by turning to the negative and telling ourselves all the things that could go wrong or worrying about what might go wrong. This is when you must have an unbreakable mindset and force yourself to IGNORE all the bad stuff that could happen and all of the worry and just stay focused on the good stuff and on what you want to create and on what could go right. What you focus on expands.
When I’m feeling really good, I know it’s because I’m on the right path and that I have arrived at a new level. And I know the success I’m starting to see will keep going and will expand even further if I just stick with it and don’t get deterred by haters or by feeling good or anything else.
Now sometimes you may feel like you’re on the wrong path because “nothing is working out” or “it’s not working out fast enough.” And I get it, believe me. I am the Queen of Impatience. (I wanted to get to where I am right now like 5 years ago, so by this point I could be where I actually will be 5 years from now.)
But success requires patience. (As one of my favorite musicians, Tom Petty, says, “The waiting is the hardest part.“)
So even when things aren’t totally working out, if you’re seeing some signs of success, then you’re doing something right. Just keep going.
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What are your success signs? How do they show up in your life?
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4 Replies to “2 Signs You’re Moving In the Right Direction (And Should Keep Going)”
Good, thoughtful ideas there.
I always think of haters as mostly driven by envy and shame. It’s the implied “you think you’re better than me?” that covers up the dread “you think there’s just a choice that can make you better off than I am (and I could have made it too)?” If growing up in the proverbial cave makes someone afraid of the light, how else can they react to someone who learns to face it?
And envy’s such an insidious kind of conflict, because there’s nothing you (or even they) can recognize you’ve done that had “hurt” them in any visible way. And nothing you could do to make the problem better except convince them to risk what they won’t– or just plain give up on your own awesomeness.
Happiness… I’m still trying to get the hang of that one. One idea I’m trying now is that it isn’t the absence of “negative” thoughts, because those are the problem-solver drives I know we need. The key might be to get comfortable holding worry and hope in my head at the same time, so I can deal with each thing without losing the energy to enjoy the ride.
@Ken Yep, I agree. I think the key to happiness is realizing 1) it’s a choice and 2) the negative stuff will always be there, it’s just whether or not you choose to activate and/or engage with it.
Generally, I agree with you about haters/feel good, but what about those who “hate” Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? There are principled reasons to truly dislike and feel a need to respond to some “writers”. Do we tell ISIS members to push on with their beheading and perversions of thought by vocally opposing them? I take it that wasn’t what you were referring to in the blog, but perhaps not. When we write these days, we tend to be faced with a disassociation from the world and growing into ourselves — not a bad thing necessarily, and something that will seed jealousy and motivated hatred from some others that should keep us going in the same direction — or we write directly about the tension that has grown in the world during the past fifty years as World War 2 and the Nuclear bomb as reality grow more distant, at least for a moment. Enjoyed reading your posts [so far], and completely agree with you that Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering is a treasure. You might like “The Selling Writer” by Dwight Swain also, as it was fascinating for me to overlay the two systematic outlines in the search for writing structure.
@David I’m not referring to anything political. That is all opinion and each person’s principles are different. I don’t involve myself in that stuff. Thanks for the book rec! I’ll have to check it out.