The following is a step-by-step action oriented worksheet that will help you take each and every negative thought or limiting belief and turn it into a positive and empowering statement – a statement that will boost your confidence and help motivate you to achieve your writing goals.
Step #1 List It
Make a list of all of the negative thoughts and limiting beliefs you have about your writing path, skills, and dreams. We’re talking about limiting beliefs.
They often begin with:
- I can’t
- I’m not
- I’m unable to
However, they can be more pervasive. For example, you may believe them to be a “rule” that you must follow. For example, “I have to write every day to be successful.” If you’re unable to write every day and you believe that thought then it can hold you back from your writing goals.
Step #2 Track It
Spend at least one week keeping a notebook with you. Track each limiting belief and negative thought that pops into your mind when you think about yourself and your fiction writing endeavors. Note: This will require you to be aware of your thoughts. Consider placing a rubber band or bracelet on your wrist to remind you to think about your thoughts.
Step #3 Identify and Prioritize
Assess your list of limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. Which of these thoughts has the largest impact on your writing confidence? Which thought or limiting belief deserves to be eradicated first?
Step #4 Write it Down and Turn it Around
Write down that limiting belief or negative thought. For example, “I can’t write dialogue.”
Then turn it around to be a positive “can do” statement. “I can write dialogue.”
Step #5 Present, Positive, and Personal
Write your affirmation in the present tense and embrace the positive – Use words and phrases like, I am, I know, I have etc… for example, “I know I can write dialogue.” Then personalize it and make it yours. For example, “I know I can write great dialogue. I close my eyes and imagine what my characters say. The words flow effortlessly onto the page.”
Step #6 Practice It
Finally, decide how you want to embrace your new affirmation. There are myriad options to consider including:
1. Place your new affirmation whenever you will see it often and where it will be most effective. For example, if you’re writing at your computer you may want to print out your affirmation and tape it over your monitor so you can see it.
2. You can also make it a mantra. You might wake up in the morning and repeat the affirmation three times. Then repeat it three times before you sit down to write and repeat it three more times before you go to bed.
Repeat the mantra when you feel the limiting belief sneak in. So if you find yourself thinking that you write terrible dialogue you immediately replace the thought with your affirmation.
3. Journal it. If you have a journaling habit consider including your affirmation in your daily journal entry.
Decide how you’re going to embrace your new affirmation and document the process.
Tips for Success
- Focus on one affirmations at a time. Make it part of your life and don’t start another affirmation until you’ve changed your limiting belief or gotten rid of it entirely.
- Start with the limiting belief that has the most power over you. The one that affects your confidence and stops you in your tracks.
- Remember that there are no “rules” to writing anything. Sure people like to tell you that there are rules but they’re all meant to be broken. Make your own rules. You’re a creator.