For the past few weeks I’ve felt stuck in fear and doubt. I’ve written a new book because I wanted to share the tools that helped me face and grow through life challenges such as addiction, divorce, chronic pain, perfectionism, and co-dependence.
The book goes on sale in February, so it’s time to start promoting it. But I’m rather overwhelmed by the prospect. My mind’s (not-so-helpful) whispered lies chatter away: “It’s too much work! Where do I start? Look how well other authors do it! What’s wrong with me?”
When such worries and negative thinking keep us stuck, how do we move forward? Today, I used four strategies to dissolve my fears and return to my happy, creative, productive self. It’s through struggles like this that I’ve discovered these tools.
1. Get Honest with Yourself. At first, my worries flew under the radar, coaxing me to eat sugary “treats,” binge-watch TV, and oversleep. Fortunately, I no longer use drugs, alcohol, overwork, or sex to avoid my feelings. Those are all dead-ends that stop growth in its tracks.
So, my first step was to honestly admit to myself that my latest challenge had me rattled. Then I could practice self-compassion (http://KristinNeff.com), and clear away the shame. (After all, how many authors really do know how to market a book?).
I gain self-honesty most easily when I can share my struggles with healthy friends. Journaling helps too; when my fears are out on page, they don’t seem insurmountable. Quite often I pray or meditate—both help me feel that I’m not alone and shrink my fears.
2. Claim Positive Power. Here’s the step that many balk at: I admitted that my willpower wasn’t going to change anything. When I let go of my need for control and certainty, I can access a source of power greater than my fears.
My negative thinking told me I must try to figure out the magic formula that would make the book sell. Although it’s true that I do need to learn a lot, I don’t have to motivate myself with such fearful thoughts. My best inspiration and guidance come from a higher, wiser place.
You may be thinking, “Oh, man, here we go with that higher power stuff.” Power and wisdom come from many sources and it’s up to you to find your own. You might use a variety of terms for this power: courage, God, universal truth, providence, true self, angels—it doesn’t matter, as long as proves to be stronger than your fear.
Try reading and listening to words that inspire you. Then, just say to yourself, “Maybe I’ll try trusting a power greater than my fearful thinking.” That’s all that’s necessary.
3. Choose Your Future. Even when I’m stuck, I know what I’d like to have happen. In this case, I wanted the marketing process to get the book into the hands and hearts of the people it will help.
When I was stuck, I didn’t believe this could happen, and I was resentful that it seemed so hard. My mind was so clogged with negativity and fear that little inspiration could enter it.
But I didn’t have to say there. I set aside my worries and stated my goal; then I took actions to stream positive power into my body, mind, and spirit.
4. Use Growth Practices. First, I needed to reinstate my daily practices of reading inspiring writing, talking with supportive friends, meditating, and walking outdoors. I had been lax for the past weeks; that’s why I found myself at the mercy of my fears and doubts.
Your own daily tools for achieving peace might differ, but they will always lower the volume of your worries and whispered lies.
Today I used tapping therapy, a few new chants, and a prayer to dissolve my negativity. As a result, I now trust that the right resources and inspired actions to successfully market my book are on their way. In fact, this article is my first creative action in a while. Whew!
When your own worries and doubts threaten your happiness and productivity, try these four strategies:
- Honesty: “Here’s what’s going on inside me.”
- Power: “I claim courage and intuitive direction.”
- Choices: “This is what I want and I’m going for it!”
- Growth Practices: “I’m actively connecting with loving power.”
In my own and others’ experience, these practices yield wonderful results:
- Peace of Mind. Manage life’s challenges with calm, wisdom, hope, and gratitude.
- Clarity. Fulfill your dreams without limitations.
- Enjoy relationships that thrive and serve others.
Gigi Langer, PhD. Based on her work in psychology and personal experience in therapy, recovery, and a variety of spiritual teachings, Gigi is a sought-after speaker, retreat leader, and award-winning writer and professor. She has co-authored five other books for educators.
50 Ways to Worry Less Now will be released in early 2018. Learn more at http://gigilanger.com/new-book-worry-less-now/