Would you be surprised to learn that all writers suffer from doubts and fears and insecurities?
I’ve written and have had published more than twenty-five novels. Each time I start a new book, I find myself wondering if I can pull it off.
When I’m halfway through, I wonder if I’ll be able to finish.
And as I get close to the end, the doubts creep, my negative self-talk making me question whether or not it’s good enough.
At some point, I realized that I was letting my negative self-talk have too much power. As a teacher, the concept of growth mindset is very present, and very powerful.
A growth mindset means you push forward through obstacles, and failure is not an option. Instead, it is a springboard to a new way of thinking or a new path. Obstacles aren’t roadblocks that make you stop; they are opportunities to grow and develop.
A writer’s journey is often paved with landmines. They come in the form of self-criticism, rejection, doubt, naysayers, and fear.
Instead of giving in to insecurities and looking at obstacles as roadblocks that stop your forward momentum, think of them as opportunities to figure out a new way around.
Today, I have an exercise for you. I want you to think of a few obstacles or insecurities you face in your writing life, and then come up with ways to navigate through them, over them, or around them.
I’ll start with a few examples of obstacles and insecurities I’ve faced on my writing journey, and how I’ve changed them into growth mindset opportunities.
Obstacle/Insecurity #1: The What Ifs… What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t finish? What if I can’t do it?
Growth Mindset: Instead of getting mired down with the What Ifs, I realize that I can’t possibly answer those questions unless I actually try.
What if I’m not good enough? Well, what if I am?
What if I don’t finish? I certainly can’t finish if I never start.
What if I can’t do it? Anybody can do anything. It may take determination, but I have plenty of that.
Obstacle/Insecurity #2: I don’t have time to write!
Growth Mindset: Time may be limited, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Cliché, yes, but also true. Ten minutes a day, five days a week, equals fifty minutes. Fifteen minutes a day, five days a week, equals seventy-five minutes.
You’ll be surprised at just how much writing you can get done by logging just a few minutes a day.
Obstacle/Insecurity #3: My writing isn’t good enough.
Growth Mindset: Whose writing am I comparing mine to? What am I basing my self-criticism on? Instead of focusing on the things that may be lacking in my writing, I focus instead on my writing strengths. I choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative.
Your turn! What are some of your self-imposed obstacles or insecurities? How can you turn them into growth mindset opportunities?