“You are what you believe yourself to be.”
~ Paulo Coelho, The Witch of Portobello
This idea has been floating through my mind a lot this month. It led to Buddha’s wisdom: “We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
I translate this to my life: Take joy in every moment. Do what you love. Writing is not “work,” it is bliss. (That is, when I allow myself to get lost in the creativity and don’t allow clients to mess with my scheduling.)
Joy, talent, inspiring others. These are what is important to me. Success truly does come down to personal beliefs and positive self-speak. These ideas have been in my thoughts during March for several reasons. First, it’s the height of season which means teaching numerous writing workshops. Second, I dedicated March to rethinking the business side of my writing. And, third, I have listened to workshop participants lament finding time for writing yet not making it important in their lives. Do you believe you’re a writer? Do you refer to yourself as a writer? Though I couldn’t quote Buddha at these moments during writing workshops, I recall saying, “You are a writer. Call yourself a writer. You are what you believe you are.”
Negative self-talk is hard to overcome but it’s easier to spin it into positives if you think of yourself as a writer. One site that helps me stay positive and inspired is MayYouBloom.com. I’ve received Lia’s weekly messages for a couple years now. (Actually, I’m thrilled to use her planner this year because it’s filled with motivational quotes and ideas that have helped me keep my goals in line.)
She has a blog about believing in yourself on her site with a fun activity for “jailing” the joy snatchers in our lives. I’ve heard many writers (and life coaches) refer to the “gremlins” that cause negative self-speak but I like this Joy Snatcher idea much more. During some of my workshops I’ve guided the participants through “gagging their inner critic” complete with drawing a picture of this negative ninny and visualizing hauling it to the attic to free the mind while writing drafts. (You’ll use that critic later during revision.) But at May You Bloom, Lia created a “Wanted” poster to help us identify the things (and people) that snatch away our joy. It forces you to consider why and how these negative thoughts are blocking your creativity. It’s helped me and aligns with the progress I’ve been trying to make this month.
Whether you visit her site or not, take time to find your joy, love your work, and believe you are the best writer, or poet, or artist, or [fill in the blank] you can be. Now go find your joy in writing/creating!