Writing

Are You Cursing Your Future?


Cursing Stone, Carlisle, UK, image courtesy Emily Frankish

“You are so stupid.” “What an idiot!” “You look like crap.” “Who do you think you are?” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “You need to shut up.” “Nobody cares about you.” “You’re ugly.”

Would you say these words to your child? Your spouse? Your boss or pastor? Your mother? These statements are considered offensive, humiliating and negative. It’s well documented that children who hear negative comments about themselves lack self-esteem and personal motivation and fulfill these prophecies. This type of speech is considered verbal abuse.

So why do we speak to ourselves this way?

People who would never say such critical phrases to anyone else speak them to themselves on a daily basis. Speaking them on the inside so our inner ears hear, and aloud to reinforce it in our external ears.

Creatives have a particular tendency to do this. “I’ll never finish writing this book.” “No one will ever buy one of my paintings.” “Who do you think you are? You have no business calling yourself a writer.” “Nobody cares about what you have to say.” “This is crap.” “You don’t know what you’re doing.” “You’ll never make a living at this.”

Negative thoughts become negative words that cause inertia in your life. Or worse, they move you backwards. Steven Pressfield calls this Resistance. How can you overcome negative attitudes about your creative pursuits?

Bless = to speak well of, to confer prosperity or happiness upon, an expression of goodness or well-being

Curse = a cause of great harm or misfortune, torment, an invocation for harm or injury to come upon one

Maybe you heard these kinds of negative statements from a parent, significant other, teacher, critique group, peer or cultural expectations. The world makes it easy to be negative. You must go against the grain to be positive.

  • Change your words – Be mindful about the words you speak concerning your dreams and creative goals. This is not something that happens overnight. Speak what you want to become. You might feel silly and vulnerable saying ‘I’m a writer’ when you haven’t published anything, but if YOU don’t believe you, who else will believe you? You need to believe it so your mind and your spirit are aligned to what you’re moving toward.
  • Change your influences – Do you have people in your life who tear down or make fun of your writing, art, etc.? Surround yourself with affirming people. Join online groups, meetups, take classes with those who have your same goals. Read books about those who have achieved in your chosen field.
  • Change your abilities – Banish low self-esteem by improving the skills you do have. Again, take classes, read books and blogs that pump up your natural abilities.
  • Change the scenery – Post affirmations everywhere you will see them to retrain your brain to focus on the positive. Write your goals on Post-Its and stick them on your bathroom mirror. Record your own voice saying positive things and listen to it. Use an affirmation as a screensaver on your computer or phone. Get a tattoo. (Make sure you’re positive about that one. 🙂 ) Do whatever it takes to get your attitude to do a 180.

Need more motivation for positive self-talk? Check out these links:

7 Steps to Positive Self-Talk from Pick The Brain

Change Your Life With Your Thoughts by Joyce Meyer

Let’s start our days like Jessica. With a positive outlook like that, who knows what we can achieve?

Question:  Get some practice! Post an affirmation about yourself in the comments.

 

11 replies »

  1. Great advice Kristin! it took a while but I’ve learned to catch those negative phrases before they can be completed and replace them with something positive.Most of the time. Occasionally one still gets through of course, but I’m a work in progress. 🙂 BTW…I love listening to Joyce Meyer!

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    • Rhonda, the key to being a work-in-progress (seeing as I’ve been one for quite a while) is that it’s progress! I’m not where I want to be but thank God I’m not where I used to be. 😉 Joyce has so many good nuggets!

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  2. Kristin – Chipper Muse suggested your blog, and I was thrilled to check yours out. You’ve got some amazing resources for writers (like me). Now subscribing!

    Don’t you just love the advice of Steven Pressfield and the War of Art?

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    • Glad you decided to stop by and stay! Chipper Muse is awesome! For those who haven’t met her, go check out Chipper Muse here: http://thechippermuse.blogspot.com/

      I do like Steven Pressfield’s advice, M.E., I am discovering every day how much I’ve allowed Resistance to be a part of my life, and I am removing it step by step, although it seems to turn up in the most unexpected places. 🙂

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  3. How funny! I have a moment to stop by the blog this morning, and I see I’m mentioned in the comments already. Talk about perfect timing. Glad M.E. got to stop by. She is super!

    I love the topic of this post, Kristin. It’s so good to be reminded of the power of our words, and all the more so because writers are word artists. I’ll be looking up Pressfield now. 🙂

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    • That’s because great minds think alike! haha Good to see you. 🙂
      I like that phrase ‘word artists’. Painting word pictures is a great way to think about what we do as writers.
      Thanks for your always chipper thoughts! 😉

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  4. Great post, Kristin!

    My inner critic tries to tear me down but I have learned to surround myself with positive people. Sometimes, of course, the people in our lives are beyond our control, but our attitude is NOT. My hubby and I look at each other when someone is being toxic and say, “Not helpful.”

    Thanks for your suggestions! Good stuff, as always.

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  5. Hi, Kristin! I’m dropping by your blog because it has been a while. Great advice. I think everyone should read this. Over the past couple years I’ve had to change my influences. It wasn’t easy but it has really improved my writing and creativity.

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  6. It always amazes me how people who say they really want something will do so many self-destructive things simply because success will mean change. Whether we achieve good change or bad change, it truly is hard to accept. Just imagine how much more could be accomplished each year if people didn’t sabotage their own efforts. Sigh…

    Joan

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