Most of us have two identities inside that are struggling for domination.
There is the potential person that we would like to be, and there is the person in the present, which we see ourselves as every day.
Depending on how satisfied you are with your life, the gap between your present and your potential can vary widely.
This gap shows up when other people ask us about ourselves. What do you do? What are your plans for the future? What have you been up to lately? These types of questions often trigger a conflict between the two identities inside us.
That’s when you hear yourself telling someone, “Well, I’m a writer…or, uh, aspiring writer, I guess.” Or, “I’m writing…trying to anyway.” Or you hide behind a simple “Not much” or “Nothing” when that someone asks you what you’ve been doing and you change the topic back to them.
When you waffle on owning your identity as a writer, or you treat your writing projects as if they’re unimportant, you tell others that you are not taking yourself, or your writing, seriously.
You are also telling your current reality what you see of yourself in the present, and what you expect from yourself in the future.
If you want to adjust your potential reality you have to pay attention to what you’re saying about yourself right now.
You’re a writer. You know the power of words. You get why some phrases charge into a room and take over, and why others go pale and limp, fizzling out on the page. You understand the difference between “maybe”, “sort of”, “um, I guess…” and “yes”, “I want to”, and “I’m doing it.” You recognize the impact of making the shift from shrinking into the corner of your emotional room, to walking through it with pride.
When someone asks you about yourself or your writing, listen to what you hear yourself telling them.
The same goes for written communication. What are you writing about yourself in emails to other people? What are you posting about yourself on Facebook? You only have 160 characters to describe yourself on Twitter, what are you using that precious space to convey?
It’s up to you to pursue your potential. You don’t have to wait for someday. Start being the person you want to be in this moment. Yes, you will feel nervous and possibly uncomfortable saying, “I am a writer” or sharing your excitement about your current project. You might even feel like a fraud or an imposter. But keep going with it, keep pushing on through.
Start talking about the person you see yourself becoming.
It’s only a matter of time before reality catches up.
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