Did you know that every time you sit down to write, and even a sentence makes it from your head to the page, you are betting on yourself? You are betting on yourself, because subconsciously, to even get the words down, you are saying, “These matter. These matter so much right now that I’m not going to filter what’s coming out of me.” The best part is, you’re not even consciously thinking these thoughts. You’re just doing what is natural, creating.
The BLOCKS come when you start to DOUBT this flow. When you let a sentence out, and say, “Oh my God, what if that’s not good enough?!” That doubt grows and grows and becomes a black cloud over your head and forms into what is commonly known as writer’s “block.” It has nothing to do about the potential of your ideas, or how “creative” you’re feeling at the moment. It has everything to do with how much you believe in yourself to become a creative vessel for something important.
Here, I’ve composed a conversation around the things that keep you hidden in your shell. These are thoughts and beliefs that sabotage your chance for recognition and connection in the world via the work you create.
First of all, how do you know if you are sabotaging yourself?
If you check “yes” to any of the below, it’s likely that your beliefs about yourself are getting in the way of your creative freedom.
- You are reluctant to let friends, family, and co-workers read your writing, because you are afraid of how they will perceive it and you.
- You are diligent and committed to writing, but you keep avoiding the submissions process.
- You avoid editors. You don’t want someone closely scrutinizing your work and asking you to change things.
- You start a million pieces, but do not finish. Finishing would mean you’d have to do something with it.
- You keep getting rejection after rejection from magazines, journals, and publishing houses.
- You’ve stopped writing completely, and you want to again, but it feels impossible to start.
Before we go on, I invite you to step into grace, love and healing when it comes to other people judging your work. Right now, no matter where you are in your writing process, say a little prayer for yourself. Surrender your inner bickering. Be with the love that is you, so we can move forward powerfully and create an impact together.
What’s holding you back from the success you want to see is a belief about yourself. That you are not good enough. Or that others will not understand you, because you are not clear enough, or you are too different and not well-received. It all comes back to you and how you fit into the world, even if the blame is being targeted on “the world.” This belief has become conditioning. It might not even be 100% true. Given the possibility that you might be operating under a belief that is holding you back, allow yourself to admit your true feelings for a minute. Write down the number three causes that get in the way of you sending your work out to people.
I don’t send my work out to publishers because. Or, I keep getting rejected because. Or, No one wants to read my work because.
Your beliefs probably have to do with something you feel you are LACKING. I.e. SKILL, EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, TIME. No one wants to read my work because. . . [insert the blank]. . . and because of this, it makes me VULNERABLE.
The belief is ALL about vulnerability. When you’re writing, you are connecting with a pure, deep space inside of you, regardless of the content, genre or whatever. It’s the part of you that’s been begging to speak up and be heard. Because you are honoring that voice, your ego eventually juts in and says, “Uh, excuse me, what are you doing with this information? You don’t plan on sharing it, do you? This is sacred stuff! This would EXPOSE you! Do you want to give people that power over you? I don’t think so!”
Luckily, that dialogue is not the truth. It’s just one perspective of a possible outcome. And there are many other possible outcomes to consider. Like… maybe you aren’t so vulnerable after all? Maybe your vulnerability is a belief in itself!
The truth is, if you really wanted to remain in hiding, you wouldn’t let your words see daylight. Ever. You’d keep them buried deep inside you, probably repressed to an awful extent, and would feel zero need to turn them into art, or an active memento of experience. But because there is a desire in you to turn your words into something that exists outside of you, like a story or a novel or a poem, you don’t want to remain in hiding, after all. You just don’t want to be judged for the truest parts of you, or the parts you’re experimenting with at the moment and revealing through your work, because it could create a consequence or response you’d rather avoid.
So what is the fear exactly? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Relenting control? Criticism?
Sort of, kind of, not really and yes. It’s deeper; it goes to the root part of you that decides what is safe and what is not. It goes to the root of what you think you deserve.
Somehow, you’ve associated showing your work to others with being unsafe. There IS a control factor in this, in that, when you reveal any form of perspective in ANY media, it immediately becomes subject to the opinions of other people. They naturally look at a statement and ask, “Do I agree?” or “Do I disagree?” because your statement becomes a barometer of truth for them. They are trying to understand the world just as much as you are.
Regarding what you think you deserve: sometimes we forget our holiness and divinity and ability to co-create ANYTHING in the Universe. Sometimes we forget our power and beauty and guidance, when the doubt creeps in. Find compassion for yourself and forgiveness, and move into the fun part of changing your beliefs: creating new ones.
When we hide, it is because we are in a dark dream of fear. We crave protection, because the dream feels so scary and real. Truth is, it’s just a dream, and we’ve made it all up! And because we choose our perspective in this life, we get to change the dream. If the perspective we’re seeing is not the one we want, with all of our being, to see, it is our main responsibility to QUESTION the very design of the perspective we’ve woven together in the first place. Perhaps the perspective is outdated, or is not currently in alignment with the reality you wish to see? There is no reason for you to not have the reality you desire if it’s in harmony with the divine inside of you, which is love. When you connect to your divinity—the part of you that is not bound by time or space or human restriction—you will know that there is no reason to fear. There is only love. And in this love, you are allowed and encouraged to co-create something wildly significant that will bring you and your peers to a state of enlightenment they didn’t have before. Maybe that enlightenment is harsh. Maybe it is kind. These are temporary terms, showing us where our consciousness is registering at the moment. The only truth, and the truth you deserve, is love.
Write down three things you WANT to be true about yourself and your work:
Embrace them. Keep betting on yourself.