Never Tell Me the Odds—Getting Your Head Right for Success
I read a lot of books on business, sales, and success. I love motivational books and yes, even self-help. Why? Because so much of success is mental. Study the sports greats and the practice on the field is only one component of their overall performance. The truly great players spend countless hours getting their head right.
And this makes sense if we think about it. Take a horse for example. No matter how large that beast is, man can control the direction that animal goes with ONE thing…controlling the head. Where the head goes the rest will follow.
So I challenge you with this question each and every day…
Where is Your Head?
Granted, there are days, I don’t know if I could find my head. I have been down with a really bad cold for a week and I think I finally found my head in the couch cushions all sticky and plastered in dust bunnies and Cheerios. I am all over the place this morning, still foggy with cold medicine.
And guess what? That is okay…so long as I get my head cleaned off and put back on straight.
This is not an activity we do ONCE. Life is not static.
At times? Our head WILL fly off the wrong direction. It is just up to us to be aware of the fact that it needs to be put back right.
See we need to have a different kind of self-awareness when we decide to go pro at anything. We can’t afford the mindlessness of mediocrity. We can’t afford day after day of being reactive and permitting life to happen TO us.
We need to get our heads on straight.
Now, to do this, we have to adopt habits that are very different to the rest of the world and that might even seen a bit strange. And guess what? They are strange! Habits of the 5%ers are GOING to seem odd to regular people. Being excellent is going to force us where it is uncomfortable. In fact, the more uncomfortable it is, the better the results.
So to make y’all super uncomfortable…
Declare What is Untrue Until It BECOMES True
Did you know that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between truth and lie? It just believes what we tell it. Yet how many of us are in a habit of constantly talking about our faults? We are constantly declaring weakness and so the subconscious shrugs and says, “Okay, well if you are disorganized then I will make sure to put that important paper where you will never find it.”
Our subconscious mind dictates our unconscious habits. The mind and the body are connected and we need to appreciate this fact or we are doomed to self-defeating behaviors.
This is one of the reasons my left eye twitches when people declare they are “aspiring writers.” Go look up synonyms for “aspiring” and you will see words like “wishful” or “trying” or “longing” and so is it any wonder that writers groups across the world are filled with aspiring writers who never finish (let alone publish) anything?
By contrast look at synonyms for “professional” and you will see words like “efficient” and “skillful” and “competent.”
When we declare we are professionals, then our subconscious will 1) match our behavior with our words and/or 2) convict us when our behavior is out of line with what we have declared to be true.
We will get that niggling sinking feeling when we don’t do our job.
But guess what? Keep acting like a pro long enough and people see us as a pro and so guess who gets the paying work?
I keep a notepad where I constantly write things that are untrue and it has been shocking to me over the years how often reality has caught up with what I might have written off as a pipe-dream if I hadn’t known this trick.
Almost ten years ago when I was first starting out as a blogger and wanna-be expert, I was living with my mom and writing software instructions for a living *shoots self*. I was a total newbie with two regular commenters on my blog. If I didn’t have spam bots I wouldn’t have had a following at all. But I wrote:
I am the definitive voice in branding and social media for authors.
I didn’t even have a book finished. Now? I’ve written three and Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World is the definitive guide for branding for authors. I had a goal of writing a branding and social media book that would be evergreen and was told it was impossible.
Well, yeah about that 😉 .
I also wrote…
I am regularly invited to speak at conferences.
Then it happened. So I wrote something SO unrealistically big I erased it four times before I finally left it.
I am the keynote for the Romance Writers of New Zealand.
Guess where I am keynoting in August?
I have 55,000 subscribers to my blog.
Looking back? Maybe should have dreamed bigger but I wrote that when my mom was my only fan.
My writing heroes come to ME for advice.
And this still freaks me out when they do, LOL.
Was this some sort of hoo-doo-voo-doo magic? Not really. It was getting my head on straight and focused on where I wanted to go. I listed out the habits and behaviors I needed to support these assertions. I blogged week after week after week even when no one read and there was no evidence to support what I had declared to be true.
This doesn’t mean I just kept posting crap. No, I studied other blogs, read books, read articles, asked questions, tried new things and above all I was consistent. Then once I reached my goals, I didn’t remain there. I dreamed bigger dreams, different dreams.
Now that social media has become part of our culture as I once envisioned, and I have provided the ONE manual necessary for owning that space. I’ve adjusted my goals back to fiction.
I am a #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author.
I am a #1 USA Today Best-Selling Author.
Is it true? Not yet 😀 . But guess what? If I keep declaring this it holds me accountable to WRITE THE BOOKS. I can’t become a best-selling anything with NO BOOKS. And since I want to hit these lists, not only do I have to write the books (finish the books), I also am wise to study what sells. When I am not writing, I am very literally reading the best-seller lists.
I have made my MISSION from these declarations.
So even though I might look silly to you claiming, I am a #1 NYTBSA! don’t you think my odds are vastly different because I have claimed this then adopted the behaviors of someone obsessed with this goal?
I see so many writers out there focused on all the wrong things and they are psyching themselves out. Remember if we declare it to be true then it will be.
There is too much competition. My book can possibly be seen.
People just don’t read anymore.
As you wish.
No one makes money writing books anymore. At least I can do this as a hobby.
See where I am going here?
I know when people like me start talking about the power of the mind, folks start rolling their eyes but tell me this. When did you ever see a sports superstar who declared, I am the best basketball player in the world who then became successful without shooting any hoops? You know, he wrote out affirmations and went to positive thinking camps and watched inspiring movies and never had to get on the court but he still rose to become an MVP?
Yeah hadn’t heard of him either.
Conversely, show me any super star anything who constantly complained and declared failure who then succeeded. You know, he shot a thousand hoops a day and said, “I’m terrible. Look at all I missed. Why do I even bother? The odds of me playing pro basketball are the same as winning the lottery and being struck by lightning on the same day.”
Hell, I am depressing myself just writing that.
Being a successful writer has a lot of moving parts and is not for the faint of heart. But declare what is untrue until it becomes true. Align your actions with your mission. Yeah discoverability is a nightmare, so learn how to do social media, how to build a brand, how to do what it takes to overcome the odds. Hey, I got sick and had to move up the dates for two of my social media classes, so sign up and let me help you!
In the meantime, just say….
People might not read books, but they DO read MINE 😀 .
What are your thoughts? Do you find yourself getting off track? Focused on all the wrong things and bogging your spirit down? Do you find yourself talking about all the things you aren’t instead of what you could be? Do you feel strange declaring success? Heck, I do. Feel like a loon. It’s okay to be crazy here. Do you find it easier to believe all the bad? Have you overcome being your own worst enemy/critic?
I love hearing from you!
And to prove it and show my love, for the month of JANUARY, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
SIGN UP NOW FOR MY UPCOMING CLASSES!!!
Remember that ALL CLASSES come with a FREE RECORDING so you can listen over and over. So even if you can’t make it in person? No excuses!
All you need is an internet connection!