Can Self-Confidence Impact Your Writing Career?
Do you have self-confidence?
Next to a positive attitude, it's one characteristic that can have great impact on your writing career.
Yet Rebecca tells me it’s something a lot of aspiring writers lack. Said Rebecca when I asked her about writing this …
“I wish I could bottle self-confidence and give it away! Some of the most talented writers I speak to have trouble getting started in this business because they lack it. And yet some of the most successful writers in the world are successful because they have it – not necessarily because they’re good writers.”
A few years back, I listened to Dr. Maxwell Maltz's The New Psycho-Cybernetics audio program (narrated by marketing expert Dan Kennedy). If you're not familiar with Psycho-Cybernetics, it's a personal development program that self-help experts such as Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy have based their techniques on.
Yesterday I re-listened to the section Kennedy devoted to self-confidence. In it, Kennedy relates five things Dr. Maltz recommends you do to boost your self-confidence:
Refocus on a daily plan every day – One of the best ways to boost your self-confidence is to get something done every day that moves you closer to your goals. Maltz strongly recommends using a simple list every day and checking things off as you accomplish them. Plus he advises us to always be strengthening our knowledge and knowhow as it relates to our goals.
Establish a self-monitoring system of some kind – Maltz suggests using a chart or graph of some kind to track your progress. This way, you can visibly see how much progress you're making.
Kennedy offers up a system he used when he was in charge of sale reps. Here is what you do. Draw ten horizontal lines across a page and 3 vertical lines creating 30 boxes, which represent every day of the month. On the left-hand side of the page, list the ten things you consistently need to do to achieve your goals. Then once you do something, put a checkmark in the box representing the current day.
For example, if one of your action items is to read a sales promo every day – add a checkmark to the corresponding daily box once you complete the task. (And remember, if you have AWAI’s Six-Figure Program, you have access to some of the greatest sales letters of all time!)
Kennedy says that while some days you may have few or even no checkmarks in a box, there will be days you'll have multiple checkmarks in each box. And once you find yourself making progress, your success will breed more success. He adds that this system can be used to achieve any goal whether it is to lose weight, exercise, write better copy, etc.
- Secure the support of others and report to them often – Any athlete will tell you that accountability improves performance. Maltz suggests confiding in someone you trust about your goals and the progress you're making. Actively get their feedback. You'll find your confidence will grow – and because you know someone is gauging your progress, chances are you'll work harder and follow through more often.
Reward yourself – Celebrate your victories and reward your progress. Go out for dinner, buy some new clothes, throw a dinner party or whatever – but do something for yourself (or your family) when you accomplish part or all of a specific goal.
Last year Ed Gandia, successful B2B Copywriter and author of Writing Case Studies: How to Make a Great Living by Helping Clients Tell Their Stories, shared the story of how he celebrates each goal he reaches. If you missed it, check it out here. I found it inspiring.
Avoid burnout by giving yourself a break – If you're mentally, emotionally, and physically tired, chances are you won't accomplish that much. Don't overwork yourself. Take breaks. Always make time to relax, regroup and re-energize.
Kennedy reminds us that it's important to remember that in order to lead a successful life everything you do does not have to be successful. And to always distinguish between yourself and any mistakes you make. (In other words, just because you fail at something, doesn't mean you're a failure.)
If you’d like more tips on how to gain self-confidence, I invite you to read an article I wrote recently. In it, I give you four main things you can put into place for your life to establish a solid “self-confidence foundation” that will help ensure you continue to move forward towards your goal of living the writer’s life.
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