I just heard an inspiring talk by a coach I really admire, Jacqueline Wales. Jacqueline is the founder of a program devoted to helping people “kick the fear habit” and turn obstacles into opportunities (www.thefearlessfactor.com). Here’s what she had to say about the six keys to achieving success — all of which apply to us in spades as we push to the next level in our writing:
Commitment: Whatever you want to do, you have to engage all the way to get the best possible results. A commitment is a pledge or promise to yourself — and the true test of how committed you are is action. Commitment starts in the heart, but it’s tested day by day as you do what you know is needed to succeed.
Focus: Bringing laser intensity + intention to your goal is key to making it a reality. When you’re seriously focused on a goal and passionate about wanting it, there’s nothing that can stop you. Energy goes where attention flows. What you focus on expands, so be sure you’re focusing on the right thing.
Discipline: This is your inner strength in action. Discipline is what allows your creativity to soar. Self-discipline is the ability to take action regardless of your emotional state and circumstances. Think of self-discipline as a muscle: it
strengthens with use!
Follow-up: How good are you at following through on projects and on the more mundane, non-creative aspects of your work? Are you willing to push past procrastination or tackle prickly revisions that you know have to be made to complete a work in progress?
Consistency: This quality may seem boring and lackluster, but it’s clearly a key to success. If you are erratic and chaotic in the way you approach your work, the odds that you’ll get where you want to go are slim. Think of consistency as an anchor to your creativity, not an obstacle to it.
Persistence: Without this quality, the other five don’t matter much. Bouncing back, pushing past barriers, and rolling past rejection because you believe in your work — this is what lets you steamroller over obstacles and succeed.
Mmm…I’m great on focus, but my follow-up needs major work. How about you? What needs fine-tuning in your writing life?
A big thank you to Jacqueline for her spirited insights. Write on!