Aim Higher

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”
Abraham Lincoln

As a kid, I loved reading biographies of famous people I admired — and still do. One of the things that appealed to me so much about these high achievers was that they had a sense of destiny and purpose; even as young children this was often apparent. They believed in themselves and felt, even in the face of huge obstacles, that they would ultimately be successful. They expected great things from themselves — and this sustained them and fueled their persistence.

What a wonderful way to be! Yet most of us set the bar for ourselves low instead of high. When it comes to our writing, we may feel that we’re too lazy or undisciplined or that we don’t have enough training to truly excel. And so we settle for less than we really want. It’s low expectations — our own self-imposed limitations — more than lack of talent or any external barrier that often keep us from fulfilling our potential and developing our gifts.

It’s not hard to understand why this happens. In one research study, grad students followed two-year olds and their parents around. On average, the kids heard 14 negative statements for every positive one.  It’s that kind of conditioning we need to overcome if we’re going to thrive and grow. How can we break through this barrier? By raising our expectations for ourselves: by raising the bar and aiming higher.

It’s not easy, but it’s doable. One technique involves immersing yourself in the writings, biographies, and letters of authors and others you admire. As you “make friends” with them mentally, you begin to gain insights and new approaches you can apply in your own work. And as you make progress, your sense of your own capabilities enlarges and your expectations for yourself rise.

What a great feeling!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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2 Responses to Aim Higher

  1. I’m really enjoying your blog. Always great insights and inspiration. It amazes me that you have so much to write about. Excellent, really!

    • Hi Elise,

      Thanks so much for your very encouraging note — it really gave me a boost! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog — I’m having so much fun writing it. When I started, the idea of writing a post every day seemed daunting, but once I launched it, ideas seemed to drop into my lap from anywhere and everywhere. I did a post about this a while back called “Idea Magnet” — hope you’ll check it out. I’ve found that intention creates opportunity — when you commit to something, the universe really does seem to support you. It was a big step for me to take on this blog, but I just felt that as writers and aspiring writers, we need to stay motivated. So many people have helped me, that I wanted to pass on things I’ve learned.

      Hope you’ll keep reading and check in again soon.

      Write on! Karin

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