I've wondered lately about how my beliefs affect my writing success (I define success here as the ability to derive one's entire income from writing novels). If enough people (and what's enough?) tell me that I can't make a living at writing novels, do I believe them? Is it true? It's apparently true for them because that's what they believe. But is it REALLY true for everyone? Stephen King, Nora Roberts, and many others are successfully maintaining their lifestyle by writing novels. So what gives? If some can make it and others can't, does that mean there are a limited amount of success slots allotted for Real Good Writers, and the rest of us just get overlooked when those few slots are given out? That doesn't make sense.
What makes more sense is that too many people have come to believe they can't be successful because other people have told them so. This is not to suggest that if we ignore all those naysayers and wish hard enough, we'll make tons of money and our names will be on the tips of everyone's tongues without doing the work and putting ourselves in places to be successful. It's more than that.
All through our lives, we hear other people's beliefs about everything. Some we reject outright, while other beliefs we take a look at and try on. If they fit, we may keep them, or we may discover after a while that they're just smoke and mirrors and we get rid of them. When we take other people's beliefs and agree with them, they become part of our subconscious, our habitual mind. Years of repeating other's beliefs change us to be different people than who we would've been had we rejected those beliefs. One day we wake up and discover we're a patchwork of other people's desires, beliefs, and laws. What happened to the us we used to know?
We're still there under all that mental and emotional debris. We start clearing everyone else's laws and beliefs out of our heads and hearts and discover our authenticity, who we truly are, who we were meant to be. We catch glimpses of our truths, buried under all the thoughts we've created to solidify other's beliefs. Keep digging and don't stop.
It is not impossible to change what we believe about ourselves and life. It is simple, but not easy. Those other thoughts (driven by the ego) will keep trying to re-insinuate themselves into our minds, try to keep us from being authentic, try to tell us we can't succeed at our deepest dreams and desires because They told us we can't.
I have come to believe in my own success. Why not? If I don't, who will? I hear the naysayers chanting their beliefs and beating their drums of fear, but I realize that they speak only for themselves and not for everyone. I cannot change them, nor should I try, nor do I tell them the mystic truth: Success is yours if you want it bad enough. They need to find out on their own or, sadly, maybe they never will. But in the meantime, I have new beliefs to live by.
Again, this isn't some magic trick or wishful prayer. I write, I believe, I create situations to reach my goal, I act as if my dreams are a reality already, and let the Universe take care of the rest. If it is meant to be, it will.
I'll let you in on a little secret: Back in June I wrote a check and post-dated it for Christmas 2009. I'll let you know what happens.
Gary . . .