Overcoming the Fear of Writing

Noam Mankowitz asked:

Overcoming the Fear of Writing And turning the dream into a reality.

“I always knew that there will come a day when I will choose to walk this certain road. But yesterday I did not know that day is today”.


Each one of us has some kind of dream, even us coaches.

Not once it has happened to me that after a coaching session I’ve come to ask myself “what exactly do I do to make my dreams a reality”?, We as coaches are very proud of our clients for achieving what they want, committed to their vision, working by the plan of action, having paradigms shattered, experienced breakthroughs and so on.

Aren’t you as a professional coach, the one that believes: “That a man is like a ship, they are both very safe at port, but that is not reason why they were built”? And here you, delaying, giving excuses and finding all the possible reasons for not making your dream come to life! “Writing”. Being an author, writing and best seller, you know this is something you would want, you’ve imagined it a thousand times, you’ve dreamt of how the cover will look like, of the good reviews in a prestigious and well known newspapers and magazines, profits from Amazon, clients who will turn to you after reading your book, workshops, lectures, maybe even additional products to go with the book and characters.

You turned to coaching after going through a sharp twist in your life, you’ve decided to help as many people as possible, you know within you that this book you will write will help many, but it does little and less good, being solely in your hands.

The idea of this article is not only to help other coaches among you who dream of writing, and coaches who view writing as an excellent marketing tool;

This article also provides tools that will suit every coach and coachee at any field, to make his dream a reality.

So to achieve this goal and to move from dream to reality, from delaying to action, from talking to doing,

We should start by checking what is the story behind the story, this unwritten book.

Every single writer has a story behind its writing. What brought him to start and why did he choose writing as a form of expression. But there are those that their “writing story” is still in it’s midst.

They have not yet begun writing, or they write in secret and are afraid to make public their writings. What do they have in common? They both want, ever so badly, to succeed, to publish their writings, to be authors, journalists, or distinguished writers.

But because every time they sit in front of an empty page, with their favorite pen, the hand refuses to move. Or when they sit in front of the computer, the chair nice and tidy, a cup of coffee by their side, all’s ready.

But the keyboard keeps silent.

Suddenly they find a reason to rise from the chair, and perhaps not come back as well.

What happened from the moment they sat on the chair with enthusiasm and a will to write, to the moment when they decided they would get up and leave? In these moments, instead of being focused on writing, the brain works on another direction. It concentrated and focuses on out negative thoughts, the thoughts that come in our way, drain energy from us, get the wind out of our sails and keep us from going on.

Thoughts like:

• I’m not fit to write.

• Who will this interest?

• No chance that anything will come out of this.

• This will be a crushing failure.

• I’m not as literate as I need to be.

• I have no degree.

• I have spelling mistakes.

• My life isn’t interesting enough,

• And if this should succeed, what next?

• I will not bear such success and appreciation.

• The bar will rise; things will be expected of me.

• I will disappoint.

• The critics will crucify me.

• I don’t want to be exposed, under the light.

• Once you’re up, you can only go down.

For some of us, the yearning to become authors goes on longer and even many years, to a point where it’s better to dream of it, to see writing as some charming fantasy, and not as a reality that could smash in our face if we fail. So what do we do? First of all let’s get some inspiration from Lance Armstrong, the cyclists that beat cancer: coping with fear could be momentary, but the surrendering to it is eternal. An excellent phrase.

Here are 5 ways, by which you could identify personal approaches that mostly lead to failure. Pay attention, if you chance your attitude, you chance the result!

5 points to identify a predetermined failure (for all fields and scopes)

1. Negativity:

Negativity towards ourselves, towards our writing, and towards those around us is a warning for a predetermined failure. Try to focus on the positive, and remind yourselves that you are making steps to promote your dream. Many succeeded, why not you? If you experience bay criticism of your writings, remember that there are millions of people in the world, and millions of opinions. For your information, Henry Ford, Donald Trump, Rubin Sharma, J. K. Roiling and even Madonna, tried and tried many times, without success, until the big moment.

2. Blaming an outside element:

It isn’t me; it’s the parents, the education, the book companies, the environment, recession and the country. Right? Wrong. The responsibility for your life is in your hands, and not in anyone else’s. life is yours, the dream is yours, and don’t expect anyone else to live you life, or bring everything all the way to you. So take responsibility and make the first steps to make your dream a reality, only you have the power. Don’t forget – “a man is not remembered for his secret thoughts”.

3. Labeling yourself:

I’m not skillful, I’m not smart, I don’t have it, I don’t have any imagination, I’m unlucky, I’m not interesting, I’m not an author… many of us label ourselves and thus doom their fate. Usually it’s simply a self fulfilling prophecy. Better off without. What is the label you’d like to have? Why not chance the old one with a new? It’s possible, and works miracles, as we will demonstrate as we carry on.

4. foreseeing a preset future:

Some believe that there are unique individuals that can foresee the future. Certain Stars and well known people even pay a hefty some for those foreseers whose name precedes them. What about you, do you think there’s any chance you might open a prophesizing business soon? If the answer is no, then how is it that you are willing to put your life dream in stake, because you think “it has no future”? not write because “no publicists will ever accept me”, or “no one will read it”? we seldom know what will happen in a minute, not to mention a month, or a year, or more. You don’t know what the future has installed for you if you make real you dream of writing, but you certainly know what’s predicted for you if you choose not to write. You’ll simply.. not write.

5. everything or nothing thoughts:

These thought are total thoughts. Why stay writing if I’ll never produce a best seller? If I don’t have time to write 8 hours each day, I won’t write at all. If I don’t succeed, I’ll never write again. If my spouse, the lecturer, a certain book publishing firm don’t like it, I’ll never show it to another soul, etc. these are thoug
hts that their whole aim is to despair and to get the wind out of your sails, even before you’ve started. In writing, the road is the goal, and for that it is important to set realistic goals. Like sitting an hour a day in front of the writing sheet or the computer, (and not get up, even if nothing comes out!) like writing a page a day and proceed gradually.

Now that we’ve identified several of the reasons for the predetermi
ned failure, let’s proceed to the more interesting part. What can we do about it?

Let’s begin; first of all, to answer we must ask ourselves 3 short questions:

1. When do we mostly feel the fear of writing?

2. What does it make us feel?

3. Does it help us reach our goals?

Fear is a shady character. It knows exactly when we grow weeks, when’s the moment we least need to hear it, and there and then it starts it’s speeches. It’s like the evil leprekon on our shoulder, always showing up in the right moment to get in the way. When we listen to the leprekon, we’re really saying “yes” to fear. And when we say “yes” to fear we also say “no” to other things. We say no to out dream, no to writing, no to creativity, no to happiness and fulfillment, no to success, occupation and income from what we love to do. But believe it or now, we’re not those who choose whether to listen to believe the leprekon. The good news is, there are trick to shut him up…

10 exercises that will help you identify and neutralize the fear of writing:

1. Write down the things you give up when you say “yes” to fear.

2. Write down the negative sentences that rises from your head (what the leprekon says) when you think of writing. For instance: “I’m not an original person”, or: “there’s no chance I’ll do well”. Every bad thing that drifts through your heads, just get it all on paper.

3. Now, in front of every bad sentence write it’s opposite, and start memorizing the counter sentences. For instance: “I’m a very original person”, and: “there’s a good chance I’ll do well”, and so forth. We’ve been telling ourselves the negative sentences for years, and they’re assimilated well. All that it requires for the assimilate the new ones, is getting use to them.

4. Think of a period when writing went well and you enjoyed it. What would the “me” of then tell you today? Think of your favorite author. What would he counsel you?

5. Choose a sentence that would be for you a path finding compos, an inspiring phrase, that reading it will provoke enthusiasm and action. Write it down, and hang it in a place you’ll see it the most. Like, for instance, Bach’s beautiful phrase: “Never is a man given a wish, without haven been given the strength to fulfill it”, or Paulo Coelho’s charming “When you want something, the whole universe turn to help you fulfill your wish”.

6. Think of yourself as a hot air balloon, you want to fly higher to the sky, but there are sacks tied to you which restrain you. What is in every sack? Fear, criticism, a past experience? Write down from which sack you would like to part from, and after ridding yourself of them the writing will go on much smoother, and write a goodbye letter for them.

7. Imagine yourself entering a book store. What question would one ask the workers there to get your own book?

8. Read Julia Cameron’s wonderful “Way of the Artist”, a book which specializes in releasing writer blocks, and other arts through writing. High recommended.

9. Set a daily little goal, which on the one hand is worthy and admirable, and on the other side is reachable. For instance, write 3 pages each day, no matter what the subject.

10. Each evening dedicate a few minutes to answer these questions:

• Have I worked today in anyway to promote my dream to write?

• Out of the 24 hours I had, how many of them did I dedicate to this goal?

• If I wrote today – how did I feel afterwards?

• If I haven’t written today, what did I give up? Looking back, what should I have done so I would’ve written?

• Who and what managed me today? Fear or I?

• What are my goals for tomorrow?

In conclusion, I’d like to commend you all for reading the article. Part of getting over the fear is gaining knowledge on the subject from which we fear. A man’s life is like a book, and it gets wonderful as soon as he becomes their author. I wish you much success.

I am adding here a part of Nelson Mandel’s speech that inspires me:

Our Deepest Fear

From the 1994 Inaugural Speech of Nelson Mandela

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Written by: By Noam Mankowitz

Editor: Ofri Laor

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