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Beliefs that don’t work

Here are some ways we talk to ourselves that don’t work. We call them “bad beliefs.”

I should have started years ago.
This is too much. I’ll never finish.
I can’t keep track of all of this.
I need to force myself to write each day.
All I need is more willpower and I’ll be fine.
No pain, no gain.

The truth is that every time we force ourselves to write when we are feeling poorly, we are really reinforcing a block. You are conditioning yourself to equate writing with pain. This is not useful, points out Neil Fiore in The Now Habit.

The reason that the Morning Pages work (see The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron) is that we are limited to three pages. I am eager to write more than that, but the rule is STOP. That has freed up so much of my writing. In this morning’s work, an idea for a poem. And motivation to write this part into

We need to start small, until we want to write more. And you can retrain yourself so that writing is pleasant, something to look forward to.

By the way, if you use visualizations, do not picture yourself with a book contract. Instead, visualize you writing happily at your desk, or on your laptop wherever you are. Successful divers visualize each dive, not just standing on the winner’s platform. Visualize writing, rather than writing success. It works better.

Finally, a great way to get rid of beliefs that don’t work is by using Byron Katie’s work, Loving What Is. Her four question technique has helped me get rid of dozens of harmful beliefs that I had.  I highly recommend this book.

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