Last week I shared the exercise of writing your General Disclaimer, which helps to get on paper some of the niggly negatives that you may feel or say when working through your creative process and when you share it with others. So today I wanted to talk about an exercise that can help you overcome the negatives feelings that may be preventing you from moving forward.

Before I started this website I was feeling stuck. I had done all the research I could do about the best way to start a blog, wrote articles, looked up every possible combination of words before deciding what to call it, and completed all the preliminary steps. I just hadn’t actually put it out there yet.

Why was I stuck?

I knew exactly why. The same reason as always.

FEAR

Lots and lots of fear. I couldn’t seem to get past it to actually stick my toe over the threshold.

You have probably heard this acronym, which is so true.

F – False

E – Evidence

A – Appearing

R – Real

When I feel stuck I write down all the negatives thoughts floating around in my head. This helps me become clear about how I am feeling and get it outside of myself, rather than it being a jumble with nowhere to go. So I write it all down. This is what I had:

  • needing it to be perfect before putting it out there
  • fear of:
    - change
    - saying the wrong thing or upsetting someone
    - putting myself out there (sharing fears, weakness, personal feelings, etc)
    - hurting someone
    - angry people and angering people
    - failing
  • unclear on the best way to do things
  • impatient and controlling
  • lack of confidence and time
  • distracted
  • procrastinating by putting other things first
  • unsure how to make an income doing what I love
  • what do I have to share that will be different than anyone else? Why me?
  • is this really what I should be doing?

Once I had that on paper and was clear about how I was feeling, I flipped those negatives into positives by writing down words or phrases with the opposite meaning. This is what it changed to:

  • trust the process
  • trust myself and what I feel is right
  • growth
  • honesty
  • open
  • authentic
  • caring
  • giving/generous
  • inspired
  • success

  • clarity
  • patience
  • confidence
  • efficient with time
  • focused
  • committed
  • financial abundance
  • unique story
  • passion
  • joy

This creates a foundation for how I want to be and where to operate from when doing that thing, in this case writing. Typically doing this exercise helps me focus on the positive, but afterwards I found I remained bound by fear, no closer to being able to take the step needed. The fear, layered and compounded over years, was more burdensome than I realized, especially with the next step being a doozy – where I’d be putting myself out there, no longer to remain comfortably hidden in the shadows.

However, what I find is that when I open myself up to acknowledge and expose what is holding me back, and start to take action to combat the negative voices, I receive support from other places.

“At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe                     [Tweet This]

For instance, when I opened my email after completing the exercise, this message arrived in my Inbox from Seth Godin (entrepreneur, speaker and best-selling author who writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, leadership, and making stuff happen. His is one of the rare blogs that I read every day. Lots of inspiration and compelling reasons for action).

You already have permission

Just saying.

You have permission to create, to speak up, and stand up.

You have permission to be generous, to fail, and to be vulnerable.

You have permission to own your words, to matter and to help.

No need to wait.

The words hit close to home, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. A confirmation that it’s okay to be me, to do what I want to do, and to get going already!  It was the gentle nudge I needed to push me beyond the boundaries of fear that was holding me back.

So many people feel shackled by fears and self-doubt. I wanted to share this with you so you can illuminate the negatives and flip them into positives for yourself, and realize that you too have permission to create.

If you would like to share your exercise or comments, I would love to hear from you. Please enter your comments below.