I was recently building my new website and it was logical to think about a blog, too. I genuinely wanted to share my learning and thoughts via this popular medium but was concerned. In fact, I was truly worried.
Firstly, I don’t see myself as a writer; secondly, when I start writing – especially blog-style free-form content – I go in freeze-frame. I am good at speaking, building a conversation and storytelling but when it comes to free-flow writing, I am no better than an ice tray in the fridge: frozen!
It’s not a challenge with clarity of thought or articulating myself but throughout life, my preferred medium has always been speech and not the written word. I can speak about various topics, referencing past learning, distilling essence, making it interesting for a listener. This invokes emotions and provokes thoughts – a dialogue between two people is always enriching. In reality, it isn’t actually possible to speak to everyone and echoing other people’s comments in my head, “Ani, you should really start writing “.
It is easy for people to say this but when I try, I freeze. At least I did until recently.
I started thinking whether it’s actually my own strong, limiting belief. How can I not write in a free-form? Over the last 25 years of my international professional career I must have written and reviewed thousands of pages of executive reports, strategy documents, presentations, project reports, team communications, appraisals and so on. I am also sufficiently well read on varied topics of interest and am articulate in my communication.
So, what was stopping me? Neither the experience nor the ability of articulating, certainly. It was this simple limiting belief and I was afraid of dealing with it.
Reaching this conclusion, I thought best strategy would be to let this coach (yours truly) taste his own medicine. I consulted a friend and client of mine – who is also a writer. This friend challenged my limiting belief in a brilliant way: “Come on Ani, you are such a master of spoken words, when you speak in your discourses and consultations it is so interesting, one can pick up many new learning points.” (Yes, my friend was pampering my ego a bit – but it worked.) “Now tell me what is really stopping you and what can you do instead to make a start?” Ah, now these are the sorts of questions I would normally use in my coaching sessions for my clients. Now, it was my turn!
The answer to the first question was simple. It was fear of doing it wrong and not matching my quality of spoken words; also more accurately, my attachment to that fear, and this also led me to procrastinate. Once I understood this, I was able to deal by self-affirmation: I will drop it and overcome it. I kept thinking about it for a few days until I started feeling confident.
For the second part, what I did to make a start was stretch my thinking. Some introspection helped. I thought: when one reads a story, isn’t there always a little voice in our heads reading it out? Suddenly I had an idea. If my strengths are conversations and dialogues with people, why not bring these to my writing style and see how that little voice sounds? I assured myself that with so many well-wishers and writers among my friends and clients, someone will surely help me to get better over time.
All I needed to do was make a start. And I did. And it isn’t so bad, after all.
Don’t all of us, people like you and me, often succumb to our limiting beliefs? We accept them as reality. We either don’t deal with them at all or keep procrastinating. They impact our desires, goals and happiness.
So how about a simple step – begin somewhere?