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Sabotage Yourself

June 8, 2021– As we continue to talk about author mindset this month, I hope that you’re getting a lot of valuable information from our blog and podcast. Today we’re talking about self-sabotage among authors!

Self-sabotage is anything that you do to come between you and your goals, whether consciously or subconsciously. It’s anything and everything that you do or believe that holds you back.

So what does self-sabotage among authors look like?

  1. Procrastination-It’s not just putting things off; it’s seeking out other things to do instead. So, instead of writing, we do laundry, or we clean out a junk drawer that has never seen the light of day for fifty years, or we scroll through social media or venture down the rabbit hole that is the internet. Whatever it is, we’re sabotaging ourselves by not doing what we need to do when we need to do them.
  2. Excuses– My laptop is too old, I am too old, I don’t have enough knowledge to start, I don’t know where to begin, I have no money, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We self-sabotage when we invent excuses. If you really want something, you will find a way to get it no matter how hard it is and no matter how long it takes.
  3. Looking for evidence-When we practice self-sabotage as authors, we often find ourselves looking for evidence to support our limiting or erroneous beliefs. For example, self-published authors only make a few thousand dollars over their writing careers, so why should I even bother? (not true). No one liked the last book I wrote, so why should I write another one? (False).  Studies show that most authors never make the bestseller list and that publishers are only looking for celebrity-written books, so why try? (not true). And the list goes on. Stop with the bs story you keep telling yourself and get the work done.

Why do authors self-sabotage?

  1. Fear of success-Yep, you read that right. How can anyone be afraid of success? Well, success equals change, a change in attitude, outlook, work ethic, and discipline. Plus, you may be afraid of being a successful author because of the change people in your circle don’t recognize in you. Most people don’t want you to change; they like what they know and are familiar with, and that is predictable. Success is scary, but what’s worse? Being in the same mediocre life, you were a year ago and living it year after year.
  2. Fear of failure– When we boil it down to the bones of the issue, authors self-sabotage because they are afraid to fail. They don’t want the feeling of being unsuccessful in what they set out to do, so that’s why some people don’t even try. Have you automatically been an expert on everything you’ve ever tried? Did you come out of the womb, walking? Or did you practice and try and fail and try again until you got the hang of it? That’s what I thought. Stop using FEAR of anything as an excuse. Use your fear as an indicator of what you need to do next!
  3. Laziness and lack of discipline-Also known as the easy way out. It’s easier to eat a box of donuts than to get up at 6 am and go for a run. The same goes for writing; it’s easier just to put things off or give up than it is to roll up your sleeves and put in the effort, especially when things get difficult.

Why are you sabotaging yourself and your future as an author? Because it’s easier that way. Get real with yourself and answer the hard questions. Change only happens if you change from within.

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Don’t Stay Stuck

February 17, 2021– Fear can be paralyzing. Our brains are wired to be on high alert for threats and haven’t evolved too much since the days of sabretooth tigers. Often, we live the same day over and over and call it a life because it’s safe and comfortable; that’s the furthest thing from actually living a life that is meaningful, exciting, and makes an impact.

Have you heard of the saying, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”? What does it mean? It’s a silly sentence that basically says I’d rather be comfortable keeping the status quo and being safe rather than take a risk in case it doesn’t work out. This mindset and way of thinking keeps us stuck in jobs we hate, relationships that should be ended, and in situations that don’t serve our future. Sure, things might suck now, but what if they got worse, is often used as a crutch and keeps us living a life that’s mediocre. Change can be painful, but it hurts a whole heck of a lot less than staying stuck and miserable. Sometimes, we only take action to change because we’ve been forced to e.g., we’ve been laid off or have gotten sick etc. I’d rather live a life on my terms and change because I want to, not because now I have to.

So, how do we start to change our lives?

  1. Be mindful.  It’s time to start looking at your behaviour and find patterns/habits that are keeping you stuck. Are you lazy? Do you procrastinate and do everything except write when you’re supposed to? Do you take the easy way out? Do you leave things until the last minute? Do you have a bad attitude or think that you know it all? Are you arrogant and think that no one can teach you a thing? It’s time to be honest with yourself. What are all the things that make you unhappy in your writing life? List them.
  2. Be disruptive. Break out of the negative cycles that you’ve become accustomed to. Let’s use procrastination as an example, you procrastinate because you feel overwhelmed or because you don’t know where to start. Then, instead of getting to work right away on what needs to be done, you clean out the junk drawer, play on your phone, or check social media. How do we disrupt this negative cycle? We could set a timer for ten minutes of writing a day, or we could get up earlier to write when we have less distraction, we could commit to rewarding ourselves after ever five pages written, and so on. The point is, we need to disrupt the cycle of procrastination by changing things.
  3. Be direct. Create a new routine that’s positive and will help you reach your goals. Perhaps we need to change our writing environment, find new inspiration, upgrade our skills, or find new tools for our writing tool box. Whatever you need to do, do it. Achieving success is all about looking at the big picture and focusing on your goals. Take things one step at a time and take the first step!

Remember, we can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. Be truthful with yourself about what you need to change in order to live the writing life of your dreams!