I’ve learned that if you want to make a change, you have think about it a lot, work on it consistently, examine it from several angles, and be willing to get there slowly.
Want to become a better writer or push through the fear of publishing a new book or course? These things take work—they won't happen overnight. But I believe that when you place your awareness on a problem, you’re making progress just by thinking about it, and you'll naturally move toward a solution because it's on your mind.
But I resist this idea a lot—I'd like things to change NOW!—and I’m guessing you may feel the same sometimes. So how do we push through impatience and let awareness begin to bring change?
Think about it. A lot.
Keep an awareness of the change you want to make. I’m trying very hard to simplify and refine my life, my writing, and my work, and I spend a lot of time just thinking about it. What would life look like? What changes could I make? What adds value to my life? And how can I add value to others' lives?
Do some research.
Trying to become a better writer? Look up some books and articles to read or take a class. Trying to get past the fear of publishing something new? Find someone who has recently done just that, and ask them how it felt, how it's gone, what struggles they faced, and how they pushed through. No matter what your intended change, I bet there’s someone out there who has written about, spoken about, or faced the same thing.
Write about it. Publicly or privately.
I’m a HUGE advocate for free writing. Just open up a notebook or blank document, or even just get out a spare piece of paper (I like to use the back of something I printed and no longer need), and just start writing. It’s easy to get paralyzed—what do I write about?—so I find it best if you start with a simple statement. “I feel overwhelmed because…” “I want to change…” and just let yourself go.
You can also write about it on your blog, in an email to a friend, or as a question to an expert. If you post or send that thing you’ve written, you could get some feedback and support from people outside your own head. But even if you never show another soul what you’ve written, framing the issue in a different format can sometimes help.
Talk about it.
In many ways, I’m a verbal processor. Sometimes just the act of framing a question or an idea out loud to someone else is enough to bring clarity. So chat about the big change you want to make to a friend, your family, a coworker, a coach, a therapist, a mentor—you know, whoever is appropriate.
Do whatever it is.
Want to be a better writer? Join a writers’ group. Blog more. Write long emails. Write a short story. Want to embrace fear? Intentionally do something you find a little scary, maybe by posting a blog post on the topic of your book or class to get warmed up.
Make it visible.
Write down the things you want. Feel better about my writing. Publish that book. Pat my kitties for twenty minutes a day. (Heyyy now, kitties, quit messing with my blog post!) You get the idea. I think there’s some pretty big power in writing something down and then looking at it every day.
Be patient and repeat.
I know. You want it NOW. (Are we the same person?) But you know just as well as I do that patience is required. Enough said.
So keep on going! You’ll sometimes feel discouraged, but one day you’ll realize you’ve made progress. Your writing sounds better and you get more compliments on it. You no longer feel paralyzed by the thought of hitting "publish." Celebrate every victory, small or large, and keep trying!
P.S. Some other posts that could help:
P.P.S. A fun announcement!
I’m sending out an email later this week with a fun announcement. You can sign up in the blue-gray box to your right (head over to the blog if you're using a feed reader).