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.
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.
I love to write! Writing energizes me. – Tweet this.
My voice matters. – Tweet this.
I AM a writer! – Tweet this.
God gave me something to say, that only I could. – Tweet
I’m not an aspiring writer… I’m a writer. – Tweet this.
I can only do one thing at a time and I’m writing now. – Tweet this.
I just need to do the next thing. – Tweet this.
I was created to write. – Tweet this.
I write because I am a writer. – Tweet this.
I am intentional about writing. – Tweet this.
I’m the only one who can tell MY story! – Tweet this.
My words matter. – Tweet this.
I don’t have to be perfect. I start something and finish it. – Tweet this.
I make connections through writing. – Tweet this.
The world is hungry to hear what I have to say.– Tweet
“My journey has value and I have a message to share.” – Tweet this.
“I envision a world of written embraces” – Tweet this.
I’m a positive writer and when that doesn’t work, I eat chocolate. – Tweet this.
Thanks everyone for sharing with us.
I’d love to know if you use affirmations. If so, what are they? Share in the comments.