Five Easy Ways to Cheer Yourself On!
“A positive attitude is one of the most valuable assets a person can have in life.”
– John Maxwell, Developing the Leaders Around You
The most important thing a writer can do for him or herself is make a conscious effort to stay encouraged and stay positive! The power of positive thinking is astounding – it leads to greater productivity, healthy risk-taking, and a greater sense of personal fulfillment. But the flip side of that coin is that negative thinking can take a great writer and drag them into such despondency that they either give up – or worse – stop taking pride in their work.
Others will encourage us from time to time, but we can’t depend on that! To make it as a writer, we must learn the art of cheering for ourselves. During my one summer of tennis lessons (an atrocious memory I’ve tried hard to suppress), my coach taught us that the difference between winners and losers in any sport is the “mental game.” Training yourself to think positively and to mentally build yourself up (even when you think you’re failing), is the real secret to success.
It’s like my mother used to say:
“Never tear yourself down. There are plenty of other people in this world who are more than willing to do that for you.” – Mom
So how do you unlock the benefits of this powerful secret? Here are five simple ways to become your own best cheerleader:
Say Something Nice About Yourself Every Day…
Your internal dialogue plays an important role in your level of motivation. Start each morning by looking in the mirror and saying something encouraging – and say it out loud. Write it down in a self-encouragement journal, or shout it from the rooftops!
Allow Yourself to Dream…
How many times have we started to daydream about that publishing contract when we mentally kick ourselves and give ourselves a tongue lashing for getting our hopes up? Why do we do this to ourselves? Let your mind wander through the possibilities for a while…dreaming never hurt anybody, and these dreams are what motivate us to push on!
Celebrate Your Achievements in Style!
When we do accomplish something we’re proud of, we’re often afraid to make a big deal about it. We’re afraid that people will think we’re bragging, or that they might feel bad. Do yourself a favor and set yourself free from this way of thinking! Celebrate your achievements – even the small ones – by posting that short story on the wall, telling people about it, buying that special dessert with your spouse, or having a “Root Beer Float Toast” with the kids! After an emotional high our emotions are sure to take a plunge, and enjoying these moments to the fullest can give you enough of a boost to make it through that next low point.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
Positive thinking is contagious – and so is negativity. While I was a public school teacher I noticed that the best teachers avoided the Teacher’s Lounge like the plague, because they didn’t want to be influenced by that breeding ground for negative attitudes. Seek out positive people who encourage and build up those around them – these are the voices you want in your head!
Remind Yourself What It’s All About
What is your mission as a writer? How exactly do you hope to make the world a better place through your contributions? Write this down and post it on your bathroom mirror. Memorize it, and put a copy in your car and somewhere in your office. Print it on a coffee cup, your writing journal, or even a t-shirt (why not?). Remembering the why of what you’re doing will keep you feeling inspired about the journey.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
What do you do to cheer yourself on?
This post was designed as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, whose members agree to post encouraging words for fellow writers on the first Wednesday of every month.