Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Confidence: You're Driving!

I’m going to be bold and wager as a writer, you’ve had issues with self-confidence. More times than you care to count, you’ve met up with your little inner beastie critic who is all too glad to tell you your piece stinks, you have no talent, you’ll never find time to write, your dream of becoming a writer is unrealistic, you’ll never make money with your writing, your blog will never reach the right/enough people, you’ll never grab the attention of an agent and your work will never be published. Stop. Your inner critic loves to jump in and say can’t, can’t, can’t! Tell the nasty beastie to get lost, already. He’s being a drag! You wouldn’t actually hang out with someone like that intentionally, would you? Oh wait…you gave life to the little devil. Now what?

Bottom line, dear brilliant writers, is we give birth to our own negative critics. Through past failures (yes, we all have them), hurts, disappointments and other not-so-fun baggage, we choose to either feed the beast by affirming this negative garbage as part of our identity or we choose to chalk it all up to learning and growing and cultivate a sense of wisdom. Moving on from all that negative stuff is critical not only for your success but for your overall well-being. I’m not saying it’s the easiest thing to do; training your inner voice to speak optimistically takes time and a healthy dose of discipline, but it can be done.

Your confidence in your work and yourself is THE foundation of a successful writing career, period.

So when and where does all this unproductive, negative nagging end? Um, how about NOW?! It’s your choice. I know there’s a lot of literature out there right now that says the same thing I’m telling you: You’re your own worst critic. Get out of your own way. Tell your inner critic to shut up! Nothing new, right? You’ve heard it all before. It’s a hot topic right now. No matter how you hear it, hear it. Listen up and take heed, writers. Along with clarity, which we’ll get into in the coming months, your confidence directs which path you take, for better or worse. The great news is you’re driving! Choose the sunnier path.

All this month we’ll be focusing on Confidence as a virtue no writer can succeed without. We’ll discuss: why comfort zones are prisons of our own making and how to break out of them; the power of positive feedback and the importance of affirmations (I know what you’re thinking…no, I’m not going to ask you to repeat, “I’m smart enough and people like me.”); and how acting like the bestselling rock star writer you want to be actually turbo charges your success. And all along the way, you’ll hear insights from authors and other creative industry pros who’ve been there and have made it happen.

Your exercise this week: Make a list of EVERY achievement you’ve ever experienced in the last 10 years. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Nothing gives our confidence a boost better than remembering all the cool stuff we’ve done. So get to it. Post it somewhere you’ll see it frequently. Or carry it around with you. Feel good about it and carry this feeling with you throughout the week. Sometimes all we need are reminders to get us on the right track.
Good luck and happy writing!

As always, I want to hear from you. What are your Confidence success stories? Any Confidence building tips to share? The floor is yours!

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