Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
For years I suffered under the weight of a story I created in my mind about not being a good enough writer. I took rejections personally. I felt like I was failing at work I deeply loved and felt compelled to do.
If that wasn’t painful enough, I felt like I was a failure. But failure is not an identity. It’s a fact of life. We all fail. When babies learn how to walk, they stumble and fall. The same is true for us when learning any new skill.
But we live in a culture that doesn’t acknowledge failure as a learning tool; it doesn’t allow failure.
For years I felt ashamed of my failures. They meant I wasn’t good enough, not just as a writer but as a person. Nothing I did was good enough. I struggled under the misperception that I didn’t deserve to exist if I wasn’t outstanding (or perfect). I held myself to impossible standards. And I thought I was the only one who did this.
What I’ve learned over the years is that this I’m not good enough feeling is pervasive. Most people feel it at one point or another—especially people with creative aspirations. And for writers who face a ton of rejection, it’s ubiquitous.
People who believe the I’m not good enough story are susceptible to worry about what others think of them. They look to the outside world for validation because their inside world is filled with doubt. I lived this way for years.
But it’s finally clear to me that failure is essential for growth, and I’m not good enough is a made-up narrative that can become an excuse to postpone acting on your dreams.
Lately, I’m feeling the truth and power of Mark Twain’s famous quote, “What other people think of me is none of my business.” Those who feel the call to create, which involves being vulnerable and putting ourselves out there, must focus on saying yes to our dreams and moving forward regardless of what others think.
And consider this: you don’t know what others will think. Fear will fabricate outlandish tales. I used to believe that if I wrote what I wanted to write, my husband would leave me, my parents would disinherit me, and I’d end up homeless or living in a psychiatric institution.
Don’t believe what fear tells you!
If this resonates with you, and you’ve been thinking about writing but have never gotten around to it, then I invite you to join one of my fall writing circles, which start the week of September 26. Registration opens Monday, September 12. The Monday and Wednesday circles are almost full, but I have space in the Thursday circle. You may find information here.
I’m happy to answer any questions you have.
Have a great weekend!
9/10/2022 05:53:24 pm
This is lovely, Bella. I like its brevity and touching well on the important points. Thank you! I'm planning to share it with my writing circle. I want to back and find your part 1 and look forward to part 3. All best, as always, Mary Jo
9/10/2022 06:30:18 pm
Thank you Mary Jo. I'm so glad you enjoyed this video. You may find part one—along with “Excavating Treasure”—here: https://www.bellamahayacarter.com/blog. Just scroll down. I'll be posting part 3 on Monday.
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