Last week, I talked about three destructive thought patterns that we – and especially we writers – need to stop and shift into different, supportive patterns.
Today, we’ll look more closely at the first of those:
I say “comparing” on purpose, because it is an active action when you go out and compare yourself and your successes to someone else and their successes.
And when you go out to compare yourself with others, you will inevitably find someone who is better than you. Someone in your genre, even. Someone with more sales, more fans, more awards … take your pick.
And of course, that will make you feel bad about yourself and your writing.
Which is the whole point of that thought pattern.
That thought pattern took hold inside of you to protect you. I know that sounds weird, and I also know I’m repeating myself here. But that’s how all those patterns came along.
In a twisted kind of logic – the kind of logic children employ – this pattern of comparing puts you in your place, exactly the way it did when you were in school.
And knowing your place is safe. If you are in your place, you won’t upset anyone, and you will fulfill all expectations. That is who you are.
Imagine that class…
That girl in the front row, with pigtails. She always brings home straight As. Or that boy to your right. He’s big, dependable, but a little slow, someone who has mostly Bs. The flirt who makes puppy eyes at the teacher, and gets Bs for that. And of course, there’s that clown at the back who pulls Ds on a good day and Fs on bad ones.
They are all firmly set in their roles and patterns. A good teacher can break through them, but most won’t rock that boat.
This is where that pattern came from for you, most likely.
Of course, it’s much older, it goes back to the days when humans were living in small groups where people relied on you being you, and not changing over night.
But the world has changed, and now you’re out to get your stories published and become visible and earn some money.
Yet that pattern still tries to put you in your place. It tries to keep you there where you are safe, with a sales rank of over 100,000. That’s why you keep looking, figuring out who is better and who isn’t. To know your place.
And it’s hurting you.
A more supportive pattern would be to compare yourself to … yourself.
Because among the millions of authors, you are the only one you can truly measure yourself against. It’s your progress that counts in self-publishing, not that of others.
Becoming a better writer, publishing more books, and yes, creating more sales – that is what counts. Your successes, as compared to the year before, for example.
So look at your successes. Celebrate them.
Look at the challenges you mastered. That bad review. That deadline. That book you managed to get out even as something terribly distracting happened.
That’s the place to look. That is where to compare.
Here are some tapping suggestions to help you shift that pattern:
Even though I feel compelled to compare my sales numbers with those of other authors, I’m a good writer, and I now choose to let go of that damaging pattern.
Even though I’ve kept looking and comparing even when it hurts, I’m still okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to change that old pattern.
Even though I have followed this pattern of comparison and been hurt by it, I’m a good writer, and I now choose to focus on my own growth.
What is your biggest success this year?
Where have you grown most as writer this year?
What is your next project?
Write a comment and share your growth!
Image Source: F. Moebius
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PPS: I can help you deal with the doubts and fears you might have about writing. And we can create new habits both for your thinking and writing. EFT is the fastest way I know to shift limiting beliefs, old thought habits and other kinds of blocks. Click HERE and send me an email. Together, we’ll figure out how I can support you best.