Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

How To Overcome Your Internal Naysayer Using Affirmations

Sometimes you’re sitting there waiting to start creating something interesting, something of value you hope will have an impact on others.

But you can’t. Something is stopping you.

You’ve got the idea and you know exactly what you want to say. You’ve written thousands of pages before, but today is one of those days you are all too familiar with, because you’re stuck.

Creative Commons by Amy Palko

The Voice

There’s a voice, you can hear it – it is telling you that you’re not good enough, that what you’ve got to say is irrelevant and worthless. It wants you to give up, give in and go do something less risky.

I know what it is like. I hear the voice, too. The good news is there’s a way to overcome this internal naysayer and write anyway.

There are mornings, even this morning, when I get ready to type my first word and I hear the voice. It starts by asking me questions. It asks specific, deliberate questions which cause me to doubt myself more.

Am I good enough?

Will anyone read what I write?

Will I have an impact?

Then the voice answers the questions for me with a resounding NO on all counts.

However, I know this voice and I know what it is about.

It’s the Id inside of me, the instinct to seek comfort and to avoid being in a situation where I doubt myself. It’s there to protect me from taking risks.

The Id is a natural part of all of us, it’s a device our minds use to keep us from hurting ourselves. The Id is there to stop us when we are about to walk off of a cliff or turn into oncoming traffic, but it also tries to stop us even from perceived danger.

Sometimes the Id is overprotective and doesn’t realize when you’re about to create something that you want to create, even if it is risky.

If you regard your work with any kind of doubt, even if it is just for a fleeting moment, the Id will jump into action and try to stop you.

If you are not prepared for it, the odds are it will stop you.

In order for you to get back to work and overcome the Id’s incessant warnings, which often come in the form of overwhelming doubt, you must have counter measures ready.

One way I counter my Id’s overprotection is with affirmations.

Self-affirmations are powerful tools.

Many of us see them as ways to build confidence and that’s true, they can do that for us. But affirmations also calm the Id and let him (or her) know that what we are about to do is okay and the risk is calculated and worth it.

Until I convince my Id that what I am doing is okay, I remain inhibited or outright stuck.

Here are my counter affirmations to the Id’s questions I listed above:

“I am Good Enough.”Tweet this.

“People read what I write.” – Tweet this.

“I am having an impact.” – Tweet this.

 “I am confident and certain of my words.” – Tweet this.

Affirmations take practice with constant repetition to work, and they must be bold, sincere, and confident statements.

Imagine trying to stop a baby from crying. You know it will take some time to soothe him, but after a while you get to know what works best, especially since a baby often cries for different reasons.

It’s the same thing when using affirmations to calm the Id. After using them a while you discover which ones are the most effective and how, when and where to use them.

My affirmations are written on sticky notes attached to my monitor. I see them every day and repeat them to myself even before the Id starts protesting. The affirmations have become quite effective over time.

I got the idea of attaching the sticky notes to my monitor when I saw that fantasy writer Terry Goodkind uses this method.

Everyone uses affirmations for their own reasons.

The Id is one of my reasons and if your internal naysayer needs to be reigned in, affirmations may help you the way they help me.

Fellow Tribe Writers affirmations.

This week I asked my fellow Tribe Writers to share their affirmations. They agreed to allow me to share them with you:

(If an affirmation resonates with you, feel free to tweet it and visit the author’s website.)

I am whatever I think I am. – Tweet this.

Jeff Goins goinswriter.com

I love to write! Writing energizes me. – Tweet this.

Stacy Claflin stacyclaflin.com

My voice matters. – Tweet this.

Chris Morris sometimeshope.com

I AM a writer! – Tweet this.

Sundi Jo Graham sundijo.com

God gave me something to say, that only I could. – Tweet

Christa Sterken christasterken.com

I’m not an aspiring writer… I’m a writer. – Tweet this.

Staci Troilo stacitroilo.com

I can only do one thing at a time and I’m writing now. – Tweet this.

Renee Baude reneebaude.com

I just need to do the next thing. – Tweet this.

Anne Gollias Peterson annepeterson.com

I was created to write. – Tweet this.

James Prescott jamesprescott.co.uk

I write because I am a writer. – Tweet this.

Brianna Thompson Wasson andthensomemore.net

I am intentional about writing. – Tweet this.

Joan hall joanhallwrites.com

I’m the only one who can tell MY story! – Tweet this.

Janet Kawamoto Hertogh blessed2bmomof3

My words matter. – Tweet this.

Janelle Ross mymenandme.com

I don’t have to be perfect. I start something and finish it. – Tweet this.

Pamela Fernuik Hodges ipaintiwrite.com

I make connections through writing. – Tweet this.

Amy Young messymiddle.com

The world is hungry to hear what I have to say.– Tweet

Sharon Rose Gibson 15minutewriter.com

“My journey has value and I have a message to share.” – Tweet this.

Mel Ann Morales melannmorales.com

“I envision a world of written embraces” – Tweet this.

Laura Wallis webnavigatorgal.com

I’m a positive writer and when that doesn’t work, I eat chocolate. – Tweet this.

Bryan Hutchinson positivewriter.com

Thanks everyone for sharing with us.

I’d love to know if you use affirmations. If so, what are they? Share in the comments.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • Great post.lmc

  • Bryan – thank you for putting this together, and as always for being a positive writer!

  • printing this off–

    thanks Bryan!

    Be Blessed.

  • Even more inspirational than I imagined. Thanks Bryan.

  • Rick Gibbs

    Great start to a snowy Monday morning!

  • Mary Meyer

    As I have been healing from a brain injury for the last two years, I’ve
    studied the effect of positive thinking on mind and body. For most of
    my life, I thought that the practice was in conflict with my Christian

    Then I read the book, “Who Switched Off My Brain” by Caroline
    Leaf, M.D., who demonstrates that God designed the brain to react
    differently to positive and negative thoughts. There are very real
    changes that happen in the brain (and subsequently the mind and
    body)with both kinds of thinking. Even thinking something like, “I’m
    not going to be defeated today” is considered by your brain to be
    negative because it grabs hold of the word “defeated”. 

    The beauty of positive thinking is that you really don’t have to believe what you are saying/thinking, you’re brain will “hear” it and respond regardless.  I’ve since
    focused on very empowering thoughts and it has made a tangible
    difference in cognition, mood and motivation.  Thanks so much for addressing this topic Bryan and have a beautiful and fulfilling day!

    • Mary, I found that interesting. Thanks for sharing and so glad you are recovering!

    • And thank you for sharing your story. I have found that people tend to get the results they believe they will get, so why not believe in positive results?

  • Hey Bryan, why not add it among the Tribe’s affirmation line up above: “I am a positive writer. If not, I eat chocolate.”

  • Ntathu

    Thanks Bryan. Words have power and we all need a helping hand to share our voice. Affirmations form part of my daily self care routine. I am beautiful and atract only good souls into my world. Take speciall care and thanks for putting together a stirringselection of words.

  • LadyMcKermit

    Thank you Bryan, I needed to read this today. My positive affirmation. “My story can only be told by me, with my words and my word choice. I choose to tell it”

  • Wonderful post! A few tears ago, I was in a pretty dark personal place. Through lots of prayer, I turned to affirmations instead of the tired old New Years resolutions. The idea was to spend a whole year working on what I felt God wanted me to grow in over the next twelve months. I do it every year now. Has literally changed my life, my outlook, and my impact on this world. 

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  • Maffy

    Wonderful article with a surprising angle!

  • Sharronwriter

    I like your ideas and your intentions, but what you’re speaking of is not the id, but the ego.  The id is instinctual and doesn’t really know much about the real world.  It would let us walk off a cliff if it saw something it wanted at the bottom.  The ego is protective and negotiates between the id and the superego (which is kind of like an inner parent).

    • Bryan Hutchinson

      Hi Sharron, yes and no. I had thought about including a short disclaimer about the I’d, ego and superego, but then thought why split hairs. I interpret the Id as I described but others consider this more the ego’s role. That’s okay, it works out the same 🙂

      • Sharronwriter

         Hmm.  Well, I really don’t think it’s “splitting hairs.”  Isn’t it important to use words correctly?  (I am aware that this is not a popular stance on the internet.)  As a psychologist, I shudder when people appropriate psychological terms and misuse them.  I don’t want to fight, just to clarify.  And, I love you anyway.

        • Bryan Hutchinson

          Lol, that’s okay, Sharron. It’s not being misused. I call it the Id 🙂 Freud’s ego moderator doesn’t work for me. You can call it wrong, though. 🙂 still works.

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  • Hi, Bryan

    I use affirmations for just about everything, including my writing. There are few professions where you are in as much direct contact with your negative thinking as when you are writer. Fantastic stuff!

  • Thanks for the inspiration. Bright blessings, MG

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  • AnthonyDejolde

    As always, very inspiring Bryan. Thank you. Glad I found your blog.

  • I’m adding this book to my wish list now too.

    And Thank You for One Boy’s Struggle. I’m telling everyone I meet to read it. In less than a week it’s been a turning point for our family so I’m glad you didn’t doubt for long and wrote it. Thank you for being brave. It was a gift to the world.

    I read Napoleon Hill’s classic a few weeks ago and positivity they say is the secret of success. It’s the why and how a person doesn’t give up. There’s a daily mantra at the beginning of chapter 3. He makes the point that this can be as destructive as constructive so it’s best to choose goals wisely.

    I don’t think positivity means anyone has to be blind to reality. It’s an inner light. It’s how you weeble and you wooble, but don’t fall down.