Writing is my soul's calling. I knew that I wanted to be a writer from a young age, but I didn’t believe that I could. I thought that I had to be different, that I wasn’t good enough, but I didn’t know how to be good enough. I just knew that every time I would get to the end of a really good book I would sit there in awe and sadness. In awe, because of the amazing experience that I had just had, literally being in a different place that someone had created out of thin air. And in sadness, because I wanted to create that for other people too, but I felt like I was unable to.
The stories we tell ourselves
When we’re young we believe anything, that we can be a ballerina or an astronaut. Mostly we believe that magic exists. We hope and dream and play without anything holding us back. As we get older, we start to get hurt. Someone looks at us and says, “You can’t be an astronaut. You’re a girl!” Or they say, “You’re too chubby to be a ballerina. You should pick something else.” Or they say, “You failed your spelling test again. You’ll never be able to write anything if you can’t even spell!” When we’re young, we take these words to heart. They wound us deeply, even if we don’t notice it right away.
Later in our lives, we have these stories that run through our heads, things that we’ve always believed to be true, even if we don’t know where they came from. One of my stories was, You can’t be a writer because you’re not good at spelling. Every time I would get to the end of a book, I wanted to write my own book and I’d start thinking about it. But then, that pesky little voice would pop up again, telling me to stop.
It’s for your own protection
Those stories come from your ego. It’s that voice inside of you that says, “I…” Anything that starts with I comes from your ego. It’s mostly good for you… supposedly. It’s there to protect you from getting hurt, from making the same mistakes that you did in the past. And as you can tell, it never forgets hurt.
I was hurt at some time in my life, probably before I was 7 or 8 years old, when someone told me that I can’t write because I can’t spell. It hurt me deeply. And my ego never forgot. It took on that hurt and devised a way to protect me from never feeling that kind of pain again. To my ego, the best protection is DON’T WRITE ANYTHING EVER!!!
Now, that may have protected me when I was young, but it’s completely contrary to what I want now. So how do you get around it?
There’s a way
The easiest way around your ego is to trick it. Instead of saying things like, “I am a writer!! I am good at spelling,” which are not true anyway and will be impossible for you to believe, try something else. Say, “what if I can write?”
When you go straight to the opposite of what you believe, your ego will start with a bunch of backtalk. It will be very negative, basically talking you out of the new, positive belief. But when you ask a question instead, when you say, “what if…” your ego stays quiet. It doesn’t know what to do with that.
That’s one of the best hacks that I’ve ever learned for changing the stories that run through my head, that have always been true, but no longer serve me. It’s time for a change. It’s time to step into who you really want to be. It’s time to stop letting your ego hold you back and start sharing your story with the world!