When I reflect upon the almost 7 years I have been a freelance writer, the biggest hurdle had less to do with my professional experience than my personal struggles. In fact, success often deals with the latter.
Of course you need experience, a little bit of talent and much hard work to be successful. But often what stands in the way of most individual’s success is what they believe to be true about themselves.
In 2006 and earlier, I had an overwhelming desire to write. I asked for a typewriter for Christmas. I wrote down my own stories on little pieces of paper. I composed poetry as a kid. It pushed me to get a BA in English, but after college I just didn’t think I had the skills, talent or ability to get hired.
I skirted around my career, went into research because it felt comfortable and then psychology instead. I’m grateful for that experience. It gave me the confidence and courage to deal with a lot of the inner shadows that were clouding my work.
It took time, patience, resilience and the foresight to follow my calling. Along the way I picked up a lot of negativity about my desired career. I realized these words were just external versions of what I was telling myself every day. You may be familiar with some of them:
“You’re never going to make it.”
“You’re not smart enough.”
“Who do you think you’re kidding?”
“If so and so can’t do it, why do you think you can?”
Those words prevented me from trusting my instincts. It beat me up from the inside out. Even when I was getting writing opportunities, I ended up sabotaging them. How could I not when I essentially believed I didn’t have what it takes to do it?
Fast-forward to 2013. Since then, I am continually surprised with the doors that have opened for me. Recently, I started writing for Intuit’s Small Business blog and signed a contract with a greeting card company. I’ve also been fortunate enough to work as a freelance copywriter for several online retailers and I have been writing for local and regional publications and been an online columnist for The Writer magazine, Psych Central and Beliefnet.
That wouldn’t have happened to me if I continued on the road to self-sabotage, negativity and perfectionism. It took constantly beefing up my critical mind with positivity. I had to work on being cognizant of what and who I was allowing in my life and how it was impacting me personally and professionally.
Essentially, what I learned can be valuable to those of you seeking your own success in life. I realized that when we change how we view ourselves on the inside, we change our external world.
It’s not an easy process especially if you’ve been brought up to believe the worse in yourself. It will take time. But know this…
The fact that you are here means you have an important purpose. Don’t let your past, critical people or your own negative voice prevent you from fulfilling what you are meant to do.
There is only one of you. Celebrate it! Share who you are with the world and you will see the gifts unwrap in front of you.
Don’t squander your talent, hide your true self or shy away from your voice. The world will benefit from you being uniquely you. Let me tell you-as you sit doubting yourself, we are all desperately waiting for you to reveal it.