I've likened weight loss to the writing journey before. We begin with intentions, we learn the basics and add our own twists. We find a program, a writing method, an exercise routine or diet that work for us and we... well, we work it. And we sometimes see great early successes, we sometimes see huge letdowns and we often hit brick walls that just make us want to tear our hair out.
My writing journey has been like that. I started writing and saw some immediate success. A request from my first query. A final in my first contest. Multiple Golden Heart finals (not as many as some awesome people, but enough to keep me on the edge of joy/frustration). Rejections, firing an agent, almost-sale-then-the-line-closed close calls.
A lot of slides into pessimism. If you write, how often have you asked yourself if you'll ever sell (if you've already sold, admit it, you asked the question before the call, right?) How often did we take the rejections, the setbacks personally? See them as a prognosis of overall writing success. Or worse, as a measure of ability?
And with each one, it's just another layer of doubt. Layer upon layer upon layer.
My husband calls it compounding pessimism. Each hit, each rejection, each week on the scale without a loss - all add another layer of doubt. Of negative self-talk. Of whininess (maybe that's just me?) As a hypnotherapist, I know the power of compounding messages. What we hear over and over again, what we hear over and over again in different ways, we own. We take to heart. We embrace and embody.
The trick is, compounding optimism is just as easy. And the last few weeks, I'm seeing the results of it. Just like I refused to give in to the beat-down of rejections and quit writing, I've refused to give in to the frustration of not losing weight despite my best efforts. And by not giving up, by continuing to work it just as hard as before and tweak things here and there (just like in writing) I've started seeing great results. The weight is coming off. The inches are dropping away. I'm optimistic, and with each day, I add another layer of faith and optimism to my psyche, sure that yes, I will see this goal achieved.
Compounding messages. What kind are you giving yourself? Have you ever listened to that self-talk, those thoughts that seem to sneak in? Do you see the different ways you're giving yourself the same message, over and over? And does that message help or hinder your enthusiasm as you work toward your goal?
Tawny Weber writes hot, spicy stories for Harlequin Blaze. In January 2010, her novella, YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, was out in the Blazing Bedtime Story anthology and her next full length Blaze,, RIDING THE WAVES, will be out in September 2010. Come by and visit her on the web atwww.tawnyweber.com