I’m the Queen of What If. Nobody does it any better than me.
“WHAT IF I make a mistake?”
“WHAT IF this doesn’t work?”
“WHAT IF I’m following the wrong path?”
“WHAT IF I’ve forgotten to problem solve for a key ‘what if’?”
Fun fact: I’m completely OCD. No joke. And it’s held me back in so many ways throughout my life. (Seriously. You have NO idea.) But through a lot of experiences (both good and bad), I’ve learned to use the stumbling blocks of OCD as starting blocks for bigger and better things in my life–both personally and professionally. For me to take even small steps forward, I’ve had to learn how to summon up a mindset of “Screw it. Let’s do it!”. Otherwise, I’d stay stuck in places that I really don’t like very much.
Getting to the “Screw it. Let’s do it!” mindset is truly mind over matter for me. It doesn’t come naturally. I’m not a “throw care to the wind” kind of gal. Quite the opposite, in fact. But every time I make the conscious decision to live by this mantra—I’ve found that I come out on the other end a much better, stronger and smarter person. And that’s the case regardless of whether I’ve succeeded or failed when taking that leap.
So, what does all of this mean for you as a writer? My guess is that if you’ve read this far, you probably have those whispers of “what if” running through your head from time to time, too. You might not be OCD. But you’re creative. And because of that, you have to deal with the evil villain called RESISTANCE. In The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win You Inner Creative Battles, Steven Pressfield explains the danger Resistance wreaks in the lives of writers:
There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.
How true, huh? Whether it’s sitting down to write website copy for a client or to start a new novel or to develop a new online course or to draft an outline for that fantastic “how-to” book you want to self-publish, Resistance can be a killer. And it’s not going away on its own–so don’t even think about not addressing it. We’ve basically got two options: We can give into it and remain stuck. Or we can confront it and fight our way past it, allowing us to realize the awesome potential each of us has within. It’s up to us to make the choice.
Now, back to the “what if” syndrome. What if…we turned those doubts into positive challenges that pushed us past the long and powerful reach of Resistance?
“WHAT IF I stopped putting off contacting potential new clients for my freelance writing?”
“WHAT IF I figured out a way to build a writing business that allows me to quit the job I hate and provide a great lifestyle for my family?
“WHAT IF I developed an online course that really helps people AND creates a significant passive income for me?”
“WHAT IF I contacted a few of the popular blogs I’ve been following and write a guest post for them that gets me a lot of new subscribers to my own blog?”
The positive “what ifs” are endless. And they’re certainly life changing. So, here’s my challenge to you:
Instead of wishing you made a better living as a writer or hoping a new client will call or dreaming about the life of being a published author or thinking how cool it would be to create and launch an online course—SCREW IT. LET’S DO IT!
I’m not just issuing the challenge. I’m taking it. Although I make a very good living as a freelance copywriter, I want to push myself further with my writing skills. I want to use them to build my business, to create new revenue streams, to help others, and to inspire myself in ways I never imagined. The list is long and I’ll be sharing my goals, my successes and—yes—even my failures with you along the way.
Let me know in the comments if you’re taking up the SCREW IT. LET’S DO IT! challenge and what that’s going to look like for you. We can all learn from each other—and it surely makes it a lot more fun when we know we’re sharing the journey with a lot of other kindred spirits!
To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less that we are and were born to be.– Steven Pressfield
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