In Part 1 of this series, which you can find here, I talked about the concept of POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE, a phrase much used in my normal working field of sports coaching, and how it can also be applied to writers to help overcome performance fears – in this case, performance as a writer, and as a published or self-published author.
We took a look at the psychological technique of POSITIVE FRAMING as one of the techniques for developing a PMA.
Today, I’m going to explore another aspect of PMA, that of:
STATE OF MIND
WHAT IS STATE OF MIND?
State of mind is a term meaning “mood” or “outlook” of a person, or a person’s mental condition. It exists at the conscious level of your mind, not the unconscious, and as such is something you can influence and adjust – you do not have to be a victim of your state of mind.
If your state of mind about your writing is negative, you will be self-sabotaging your work (see Part 1), so you need to change it.
Positive framing (Part 1) is only one technique you can try. Here are a couple more:
Do you have friends who are really positive about life? Preferably writing friends who are openly confident about their writing, but if not, a positive approach to life in general will do fine.
Or perhaps you have a particular big name author you admire, and you’ve seen them at a conference, or a book launch, talking confidently about their writing.
Whichever you prefer, pull a mental image of that person into your mind and picture yourself in their place. You CAN be that person, even if (in the short term), it’s only inside your head.
Psychologists have proven that the human nervous system does not differentiate between an actual experience and one that is vividly imagined – so take that virtual bow as your book wins a big prize, or your fans demand the release date of your next novel, and your mind will fill with self-confidence, banishing those negative thoughts and replacing them with a POSITVE STATE OF MIND.
Think back – have you ever had any good experiences with your writing? Did someone compliment you on a piece you wrote? If you’ve already published, have you had any positive reviews? Has someone given you encouragement?
Now remember how that made you feel.
Good, isn’t it?
Whenever you have positive feedback, take the time to fixate on it and so lock it into your memory bank – it’s not about bolstering your ego, you need it there to become an invaluable tool in your mental approach to gaining confidence. Every time your state of mind falls prey to self doubt, pull up that memory and bask in it – do this deliberately and allow the feeling to fill you up.
The human mind is wired to produce whatever you focus on – if you focus on positive images, memories and feelings, you will change your state of mind to a positive one, with a positive outcome, namely, better writing!
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If I still haven’t provided you with one you feel will work for you, never fear, I have a few more yet to come…
If you want to read a bit more about state of mind, try this article in Psychology Today – written in plain English!
How about you, folks? Have you ever used any of these techniques?