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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!