|Image credit: Fotolia/ © chrisdorney|
The Year of No Limits – What does it mean for you?
Happy new year, everyone! On my first post of the year, I wanted to weigh in on our YEAR OF NO LIMITS in Seekerville. When Tina Radcliffe first mentioned this theme, my brain started clicking on what it would mean for me.
I want you to do the same!
What does No Limits mean for YOU? I think this is going to end up being varied and might be very personal for some of you. So today, I’m going to challenge you to think about how you can make this an amazing year.
Some questions to ask yourself…
--When you’re scared or feeling unsure, what/whose voice do you hear in your head? What is it telling you? Do you have someone in your family telling you you’ll fail? Or maybe someone in your past telling you you’re being ridiculous? Or do you have someone actually saying you can do this, but you don’t believe it? Or maybe you’re hearing your own voice.
--What type things limit you? Personal, career, spiritual, emotional, craft, health (physical and/or mental)?
--In what area do you feel most insecure or incapable? Your writing? The day job? Spiritual things? Parenting? Being a spouse/friend/significant other? Handling social media? Promotion? Meeting deadlines? Being organized? Staying present in your “real” life outside writing?
|Photo Credit: Crestock/creatista|
--Where do you feel weakest in your writing--commitment, drive, energy, creativity, ability, follow-through, establishing habits…?
--Do you dream big enough? Have you put yourself in a box?
So many questions to ask! So many areas to look into. But once you’ve figured out what limits you, I encourage you to come up with a plan to battle that.
Come up with a plan...
Negative voices? Block them out! Practice positive thoughts. Replace the old ones with new, encouraging voices. We’d love to help do that here on the blog!
Self-doubt over your writing ability? Study in the areas in which you’re weakest. Study your favorite authors and figure out what they do. Also, write, write, write. Practice will make you better.
|Photo Credit: Crestock/ kentoh|
Personal or emotional or relationship problems limiting you? Get help. Since this can be so varied, I won’t even attempt to offer advice. But if life and relationships are tough, seek the help of a trusted friend, pastor or counselor (whatever is appropriate for the situation). And treat yourself with compassion. I just read an article about how people who give themselves a break, rather than trying to build themselves up after failure, often end up being more successful (my paraphrase). (Click here if you’re interested in the article.)
Health problems limiting you? See your doctor. Vow to eat healthfully and get as fit as you can in your situation. Again, I can’t offer specific advice since I’m not a healthcare professional. But I believe there is hope in all situations.
Is lack of confidence your problem? I can attest that you can work to move past this! Write lots. Get feedback from trusted critique partners or contests or editors. Work to improve. Send your work out there into the world (scary, I know). Then let it go. (If you’re now hearing refrains from a certain princess, it was unintentional!) :) At some point, you have to take a little risk. It’s nerve-wracking, but it will help build confidence, step by step. (For those who are newbies who haven’t yet taken the first step of sharing your work, please see my giveaway at the end of my post!)
|Photo Credit: Crestock/ donskarpo|
Does negativity cause setbacks? How about bad reviews or contest feedback? Again, you have to tell yourself (maybe over and over, especially if you’re a people-pleaser like I am) that not all people are going to like your writing. Accept that fact right now. It’ll make your life a lot easier!
If you write Christian fiction, do you feel you’re not qualified to write it? I thought that in the beginning. Then I took a Bible study where I studied Moses. (If this is you, go read Exodus right now.) It changed my outlook and made me push through that roadblock.
Do you suffer from a lack of commitment and drive? Then set some goals for yourself. Be realistic but challenge yourself! I imagine you can be a lot more productive than you think you can. Some examples of goals… Get up x-number of minutes earlier each day. Write x-number of words a day. Enter one contest. Send out one proposal. Find a critique partner. Release one indie short story/novella/novel. Take one online course. Read x-number of books in your genre. If you’re paralyzed because you’re feeling overwhelmed, then take just ONE step toward reaching one goal. Check one thing, any thing, off your to-do list. Every step will help motivate you.
Oh! And get this… I just read an article on the Psychology Today website (click here but come back) about how one small victory can flood your brain with a feel-good brain chemical (dopamine) that has been linked to motivation. So set yourself up to achieve (one small victory following another)!
Have you realized you don’t dream big enough? This is where this year’s theme hit me in the gut. I realized I don’t dream big enough, and thus don’t achieve all I can. So I’m going to do my normal goal setting. But then I’m going to add some stretch goals. I’m going to push myself and dare to strive to do more. And most of all, I want to remember Who’s in charge. To remember that God has a good plan for me. For me. Wow. I need to be more confident in that and let Him guide me.
And now, before we jump in with comments, I asked the Seeker ladies what No Limits meant for them. I’d like to share a quote from Audra Harders…
“No Limits gives me permission to stop holding back, to trust my gut instinct. If I'm writing the book of my heart, it's all emotion and feeling, and the end product is completely sigh-worthy.”
And from Ruth Logan Herne…
“I can't believe people intentionally put limits on themselves in the first place! What are they thinking??? Be that baby who takes off running, refusing to crawl because the view is so much better with your head held high!”
I love that. We should all take Ruthy’s attitude!
What about you? How are you going to make 2015 YOUR YEAR???? What does No Limits mean to you?
Please share with us! We’d love to cheer you on.
GIVEAWAY: For any newbies who haven’t braved showing your work to anyone (other than family or best friends--nope, they don't count!), I’d like to offer to read the first five pages of your story for a critique (very gentle, I promise). I’ll draw three names. Please comment and let me know you’d like to be entered! We’d really, really (pretty please) love to have you comment, but if anyone is too shy to ask, please email me at missytippens [@] aol.com to enter. (Put Seekers in the subject line.)