Let’s talk about negative self talk. What epic stories do you tell yourself that are holding you back from creating at your highest potential? I told myself three whoppers and overcoming these lies took me ten years! Once I did the work, I could finally write my book.
Here is my experience:
It took me 10 years from the first spark of the idea of my middle grade fantasy, “The Author and The Illustrator,” to start writing it. Flash forward three years later, and I just submitted the fourth draft to my editor!
I am super stoked to finally make it to this milestone. But I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on why it took me 13 years to get here.
It turns out, my negative internal dialogue was a major block I needed to overcome in order to have the confidence to produce my book.
3 lies I told myself:
1.) I’m too ugly and fat. While this seems to have nothing to do with writing… no, it actually does. You see, I went on my first diet at 10 years old because peers and the world told me I was too fat. I spent my entire life from that point on hating myself and preoccupied with weight loss. Just think, if I would have put all of that energy into writing a book… I could have written a dozen by now.
It was 2010 when I discovered Intuitive Eating and began ditching diets; 2011 when I began yoga teacher training; 2015 when I discovered body positive yoga; and 2017 when I really adopted food freedom. That was also the same year I had my second baby and I gained more weight than I ever have in my entire life. Yet somehow, I could still look at myself in the mirror and think, meh not bad.
That the same year I started writing my book.
2.) Writing fiction will never make me an income. And maybe that’s true. But unfortunately this lie lead to me majoring in elementary education. Luckily, I had a professor challenge me. She said, “Why? You’re too good a writer.”
So I changed my major to journalism. Because in my mind that was actually a career. Post college I freelanced a bit, but I soon realized journalism wasn’t what I was passionate about either.
Recently it became obvious that I wouldn’t make money writing fiction unless I tried to write fiction. That’s when I found myself juggling a full-time day job, two kids, a home in need of updating, teaching yoga and writing in the evenings. But hey, my book went from “just an idea” to “in progress.”
3.) I’m not good enough. At one point after the initial idea for my novel, I purchased a bunch of books on writing. These bound pages with tips and tricks for my best seller haunted me. They were in the back of my mind taunting, “You’re not good enough. You’re not good enough. You need to read us!”
Well, I showed them. In 2017 I Kon Mari‘d my books. Shortly after, I hashed out the first few chapters of my novel. I’ve since repurchased some of those books. But the ceremonious purging of these negative thoughts helped remove that block.
Over the years, I’ve told myself many other lies and conjured up epic stories. I’ve berated and loathed myself to the point of crippling inactivity. It’s not easy work — tackling those inner voices. But if you find yourself unable to move forward, consider if your negative internal dialogue is the culprit to what’s holding you back.
The world needs you to create and tell your story. Your actual story.
Let me shower you with positive affirmations in this short yoga practice, Yoga for Creatives: Hips and Internal Dialogue.