If you find you are held back by negative thoughts about your writing or anything else in your life, research has shown that there is a simple method you can use to help yourself get rid of them.
When I say simple, I mean REALLY simple. So much so that you may dismiss it as being TOO easy. Keep an open mind!
Don’t just imagine doing it, that doesn’t work. Actually do it.
Now for the science: three studies conducted at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid showed that negative thoughts that were written down and then discarded had a lesser effect afterward.
By the same token, thoughts that were written down and kept, especially those carried around in the person’s pocket were more influential afterward.
Why not conduct your own study?
First, write down any negative thoughts you’d like to get rid of. One example might be, “I will never get this project done,” or “I always fall short of what I set out to do.”
My instinct is to use a separate piece of paper for each negative thought.
Crumple up the pieces of paper and throw them away. If you can do it safely, you might prefer to burn them or tear them up before discarding them.
Next, write down any thoughts you’d like to magnify. For instance, “I can get this project done on time,” or “I am now setting realistic expectations for myself and I achieve them.” Write boldly.
Carry those pieces of paper with you in your pocket or a purse or wallet.
Make a note on your calendar to review the situation in a week. At that time, notice whether you have felt and behaved any differently.
I don’t believe there is any magic to this, it is a matter of taking physical action that parallels a desired mental action. It’s not actually a big surprise that the two can work together.
Let me know how you get on with this, either in a comment below or via email to jurgenwolff (at) gmail.com.
(Helping you overcome fears you might have about writing is the point of the first part of my book, "Your Writing Coach," published by Nicholas Brealey. You can get it from Amazon or your ohter favorite bookseller.)