“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task, which, more than anything else, affects its successful outcome.” William James
“Take every chance. Drop every fear.” Note to myself, from somewhere
A smart start – what a wonderful gift to ourselves! Whether we want to launch a major new writing project or simply need to embark on a fresh day’s work with vigor and joie de vivre, a bright beginning can be so energizing.
And yet. And yet. So often fear — feelings of self-doubt or worry or concern about what others will think – beclouds our beginnings. How can we keep these nagging, unwelcome mental visitors from sabotaging our starts?
In his book, I Can’t Accept Not Trying, legendary sports-star Michael Jordan offers some practical advice on how to banish fear :
“I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot. Why? Because when you think about the consequences, you always think of a negative result.
“If I’m going to jump into a pool of water, eventhough I can’t swim, I’m thinking about being able to swim at least enough to survive. I’m not jumping in thinking to myself, ‘I think I can swim, but maybe I’ll drown.’ If I’m jumping into any situation, I’m thinking I’m going to be successful. I’m not thinking about what happens if I fail.
“But I can see how some people get frozen by fear of failure. They get it from peers or from just thinking about the possibility of a negative result. They might be afraid of looking bad or being embarrassed. That’s not good enough for me.
“I realized that if I was gong to achieve anything in life, I had to be aggressive. I had to get out there and go for it. I don’t believe you can achieve anything by being passive. I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it’s an illusion to me.”
“Fear is an illusion” – it isn’t real. Negative results that spring up when we dwell on consequences aren’t real either – they are just possible outcomes our brains manufacture out of air, so why let them rent any space in our heads?
What a simple, yet powerful technique: Don’t think about the consequences of what you’re doing – just get started and do it, confident that you’ll succeed and get it done.
I love this and I’m going to apply it: No consequences, no inventing negative results.Only success scenarios, only action!
How about you? Can applying this approach give your latest writing project and your writing sessions a lift? If it works for you, I’d love to hear about it as we all write on!