My husband & I did this exercise once at a motivational seminar:
He stood directly in front of me, telling me: you’re capable, you’re intelligent, you’re driven, you’ll succeed. Two other people from the seminar stood on either side of him saying things like: you’re going to fail, it’s too hard, you’ll never make it, you don’t have what it takes. When I looked my husband in the eyes and listened to him, I believed. My faith in myself ticked up a notch. But when I took my eyes off of him (so as not to be rude, ha!) and looked at the other people, listened to their negative voices, I could just about feel my heart drop. My energy level & enthusiasm took a dive, too.
So what’s the point?
Be careful who you listen to, who you let rent space in your head. It’s hard enough to write (or follow any dream for that matter) with people around you demanding your time & attention. It’s nearly impossible if you don’t believe in yourself, don’t believe that someday you’ll make it, don’t believe you have the strength & determination to finish what you started.
Take a lesson from me: Be rude if you have to.
Unfortunately, there are probably some people around who, for whatever reason, don’t want to see you succeed. Or maybe the negative voices banging around in your head come in the form of a reviewer who didn’t like your work. Or an agent who said no. Or, maybe, an editor who carved up your manuscript. Or, perhaps, an old disgruntled teacher. Whatever the source, the worst thing you can do to yourself is to start listening to them. Take your eyes (and ears) off them & listen instead to the people cheering you on. (Here’s something interesting to note: at that seminar, when I listened to my husband intently, I barely heard those other people’s voices at all ~ they were more like static in the background.) Change your focus & you can, truly, change your life.
What voices do you listen to? And, more importantly, what are they saying?