How Do Limiting Beliefs Apply To Writing?

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“I’m not a writer”

“I don’t have enough time”

“I don’t have the budget to hire a writing coach”

“My ideas aren’t good enough”

“I don’t have the dedication”

“…Did I mention I’m not a writer?”

These are some of the limiting beliefs would-be writers tell themselves to get out of actually writing their book. I’ve been guilty of using a few!

When we know there’s going to be a tough road ahead—a road we don’t necessarily need to traverse—it’s easy to make excuses to not take the first steps. That’s a shame, because many potential books simply wither away in the “idea phase” and are never brought to life. They die because of limiting beliefs.

What are limiting beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are the opposite of affirmations. They are mental hurdles that prevent us from doing what we want to do. They tell us we’re not good enough, dedicated enough, smart enough. They give us a million excuses to settle for mediocrity.

A limiting belief might be: “I’ll always struggle financially.” Unfortunately, if you hold onto this belief and repeat it often enough, it will probably become (or remain) true.

Another limiting belief might be: “There’s no way my boss will listen to my idea.” If you believe that, you’ll likely never bring your idea forward, and…obviously it won’t come to fruition.

Limiting beliefs are abundant when it comes to writing. Why? Most people don’t depend on writing for an income and tell themselves, “Well, if I don’t write that book, it’s fine. I’m not [FILL IN THE BLANK] enough anyway.”

This attitude crushes me. I believe good ideas deserve a place on the book shelf.

No matter your reason for wanting to write a book (to tell your life story, to entertain, to boost your business, to share your knowledge or insights, etc.), it is valid to want to do so. If your core reason for wanting to write is strong enough, you can overcome any limiting belief. You can make time, start believing in your abilities, create a writing schedule, and banish your fears. You can.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing several common limiting beliefs and how to tromp them to dust. In the meantime, take 5 minutes to think about the book you’d like to write and why it needs to see the light of day (see Action Items for more details). If your purpose for writing is strong enough, your limiting beliefs don’t stand a chance.

Stay tuned for our Limiting Beliefs series!

Action Items:

  • Be honest with yourself. What are your limiting beliefs?

  • Take 5 minutes to think about the book you’d like to write. Why do you want to write it? What purpose would it serve, for either yourself or others? Jot down your thoughts.

  • Look your limiting beliefs in the eye. What affirmations can you tell yourself that counter those limiting beliefs? Write them down.