Regardless of your passion and pursuits, sometimes self doubt creeps in. You begin to think:
- Is this what I’m really meant to do?
- Maybe I’m not good enough.
- I can’t seem to get over this hurdle
- Maybe I should be doing something else.
- I’m going to fail, again.
These thoughts are destructive.
They’re like bulldozers in your brain.
Each one pushes and pushes gathering momentum until you give up in despair, anger, and frustration.
You have the power to make it stop.
I spend about 6-8 hours every day writing for clients, blogging, and working on personal writing projects. I spend one hour a day at my local CrossFit gym. It’s a great way to get rid of my writer’s butt and get energized for the day.
It’s also teaching me many important things about mindset and pushing back the self doubt.
The co-owner of the gym is a remarkable woman. She’s intelligent and kind. She’s passionate about CrossFit and sharing her love for the sport and she’s a competitor.
She competed in the Southwest CrossFit Regionals this past weekend and placed 9th in the region. It is a tremendous accomplishment. One would have never known the demons she was fighting – this lady had some powerful bulldozers trying to destroy her mindset. She wrote a beautiful blog post about battling these negative thoughts. (The essay begins under the picture.)
It brought me to tears and as I read it, I couldn’t help but relate it to my writing path.
There have been many times when I have questioned if this was my path and purpose. Should I be writing? Am I good enough?
- These feelings creep in after a rejection.
- They creep in after I read a really good book.
- They creep in when I am struggling with a scene or character.
- And of course the creep in when I read news about how difficult it is to publish and sell books.
So What’s the Answer? How Do You Push Through Self?
Well, I find denial is my friend sometimes. I just set aside the self doubt and perhaps the reality of the situation and I focus on the goal in front of me – whatever that goal is. That usually works to get me past the small niggling doubts that enter my thoughts from time to time.
But sometimes the thoughts are larger and more destructive – like a huge industrial yellow bulldozer bearing down on me.
To combat this, I’ve found that it really does all boil down to one simple question – If you knew you’d never be successful, would you still write?
For me the answer is yes.
Even if I knew that I’d never sell a single book I’d still write. Would you?
If the answer is yes, if writing is your passion then it makes managing the self doubt much easier because ultimately it just doesn’t matter.
Now that doesn’t mean you don’t try. You keep trying and striving to achieve your writing goals. You be the best writer you can be. What it does do is take the pressure off. Like letting the air out of the bulldozer’s tires.
That’s what works for me…
Everyone has their own trigger or way to let the air out of the bulldozer’s tires It is about finding the right mental energy for success.
Maybe one of these approaches will help you push through self doubt:
#1 If you love what you do and you’re driven to succeed then you are doing what you are meant to do.
#2 Listen with half an ear to the negative thoughts and use what is relevant to help you improve and succeed.
#3 Use the rejection or negative thought as a personal challenge to show them what you are capable of.
#4 Gather support, positive feedback, thoughts and successes. Hold them to you like a precious keepsake and pull them out, metaphorically or literally, when you need them. For example, keep all of your positive feedback and successes in a scrapbook. When you’re feeling self doubt, look through the scrapbook to boost your confidence.
#5 Affirmations. Create a motivating statement that speaks to you and helps you regain your positive attitude.
Find your trigger and use it to push through the tough times because there will be tough times.