“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promise.” Mae West
“Force yourself to act enthusiastic and you’ll become enthusiastic.” Frank Bettger
There’s a world of wisdom captured in these two short sentences! So often, what keeps us from sitting down and really attacking our daily writing stint, however long it is, is not just inertia, not just resistance, but the idea that we’ll write when we feel like it. When our mood is brighter or we feel more rested or alert. Or whatever.
But what would happen if we acted as if we were ready and eager to write every single time we sat down to write? What would happen if we gave ourselves a reputation to live up to? If we said to ourselves and everyone else, “I’m the world’s most enthusiastic writer! I’m the most enthusiastic writer who ever sat down to a page.” Or, the most excited writer. Or the most energetic writer – whatever description speaks to you.
Here’s what I’m thinking might happen: We’d shift from promise to performance. We’d stop thinking so much about writing and do more of it. Here’s why:
Enthusiasm overcomes anxiety: As my friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert* says, there’s a very thin line between anxiety and excitement. When we’re anxious, we clam up, we contract, we get agitated and can’t concentrate. If we come to the page feeling anxious about where we are in a story or some goal that we feel we should meet, we stop the flow of ideas. But if we can take that anxiety and channel it productively to make that short trip to excitement, then our juices stat flowing and magic can happen.
Enthusiasm stokes our inner fire: Enthusiasm is the fuel that feeds our creativity. When we come to the page excited and full of energy – or when we force ourselves to act as if we’re excited and energetic – then we bring drive and momentum to the page. We bring focused energy. And when we bring focused energy, when we bring intensity and intention to what we’re doing, then we bring the full force of our ingenuity and we ignite our imaginative faculty. We’re not just drifting along on the page, we’re dancing across it!
Can we do this? Can we act as if we’re enthusiastic, excited, energized? Can we act as if we’re the most joyful, focused writer in the world? Why not? Let’s do it and see what happens. And as my friend Rob says, “Act the way you want to become and you’ll become the way you act.” Write on!
*Check out Dr. Rob Gilbert’s wonderful Success Hotline (973.743.4690) and his 28-Day Enthusiasm Challenge (862.333.0024) – you’ll be glad you did!