by Tracie Miles
Did you know negative thoughts can stand in the way of your writing success?
A couple years ago I released a book called Unsinkable Faith: God-filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live, and although this wasn’t the first book I had written, it was definitely and by far the hardest. Not because I didn’t understand the topic or because my passion for writing had changed – but because my negative thoughts were standing in the way of my writing.
You see, I was going through a very difficult time in my personal life. As a result, my emotions were controlling me and my life and toxic negative thoughts were running rampant. It was in the midst of this difficult season when I was tasked with writing this manuscript. Instead of being excited about this new project, I was paralyzed with negative thinking. My mind was filled with thoughts like “this is impossible,” “I’ll never be able to think straight enough to write this chapter,” “I don’t have any words to write,” “I’ll never finish this in time,” and “I don’t think I can do this.”
Yet, I had a publisher deadline looming, so I kept forcing myself to push through. Instead of giving up, I decided to God-up, and asked Him to help me be acutely aware of each negative and self-condemning thought that came to mind – because every one of them was a discouragement tactic the enemy was using to keep me from following God’s call on my life to write this book. The more I persevered and focused on letting God change my thinking habits, the more I could see my manuscript slowly taking shape.
When I was done writing the book, a surge of relief came over me, but even more exciting was the surge of joy in my heart as I recognized how God had helped me overcome negativity instead of letting it stand in the way of getting on paper what He had laid on my heart to write.
As writers, we all struggle with negative thoughts that can prevent us from seeing our dreams become a reality. Whether negative thinking stems from a personal adversity causing you to feel like you’re sinking emotionally, mentally and even spiritually, or whether it’s from self-condemning and critical thoughts convincing you that you are unqualified, uncreative or unequipped, such negativity will stand in the way of your writing success.
The only way to push past this obstacle is to invite God to take over your thoughts and transform the way you are thinking. Once we change our thoughts, we can better control our emotions, which in turn changes our lives – and our ability to write from the heart.
So how do you begin to change your thoughts? It can be done in three easy steps.
- Recognize your negative thoughts. Ask God to help you be aware of thinking negatively, especially when it is becoming a roadblock or destroying your confidence as a writer.
- Reject your negative thoughts. Once you’re aware of them, refuse to think them anymore, much less believe them.
- Replace your negative thoughts with something positive or more true. If you’re thinking you can’t finish a project, replace that with a simple “I can do this in God’s strength” thought. When you’re thinking you’re not qualified, replace that thought with “God called me to it, so I can do it.” And so on.
When our thoughts are positive, our hearts will be too, and writing will more naturally flow.
Want to Learn More about Tracie Miles?
Tracie Miles is the Director of COMPEL Training as well as a national Speaker and Author with Proverbs 31 Ministries. She is the author of four best-selling books, a contributing author to the popular Zondervan NIV Women’s Devotional Bible and the Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today Daily Devotional Book, in addition to being a monthly contributing writer for the Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today daily devotions, which reach nearly one million people per day around the world with encouragement from God’s Word. Tracie has 3 children and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can connect with Tracie and check out her books on her blog at www.traciemiles.com/store and on all social media outlets.
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Hope! Thank you for this piece how to overcome our negative thinking as well as sharing your personal struggle on this topic. It just gives me hope that we can fulfill our calling God has put on our heart.
This is a constant struggle for me in all aspects of my life but especially in my writing. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to feel qualified for God to call me. He qualifies the called, right?