Thursday, January 28, 2010

Building Confidence On Past Accomplishments

Have you thought these words before?

"I'm just not capable!" or a similiar, "I can't do it. I don't know how."

Oh yes, I have! That's when I review the good things I've already accomplished. Most with no idea how to start either. It helps me realize if I could do it before, I can do it again.

What's the "it"? Let's look at that sentence expanded. If I could figure out how to start a project and succeed, even through frustration and cluelessness, then I can figure out how to be creative and succeed again.

Lately, I've been struggling with writing time and focus. I've been overcommitted in a new job and heavy volunteerism, family needs with varying individuals either sick or injured, and some sad moments when we lost two beloved pets in the last month. I started allowing my mind to spin into all the needs in the next few months from money to product for speaking events to travel. I started the self-talk off on the wrong foot. I allowed myself to say, "I don't have a clue, how am I supposed to do this?" Spiral down.

It was like being in the middle of a meteor shower. Not watching it, being IN it. My brain just fritzed out on me with all those flying space bodies.

This morning I woke up praying. Praying from my dreams and my sleep. Wow! I really think it has something to do with Romans 8:26-27 where we are told that when we don't know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit will do it for us.

So right now I've stopped everything. I've made a list of all those meteors so they are out of the space between my ears and landed the moon for a short time while I refuel and reset my fritzed out systems.

One of the little niggly meteors that bugged me was I didn't have a good list of the free lance I'd been doing. I didn't even know how much I'd done because it was not on my radar for tracking. Yet it's important in this publishing world to show your work.

I decided to take a few minutes and round up all the free lance articles I'd written in the last two years and compile them into one document. Now I can keep records and referrals. I feel just a tad bit better.

If getting a list, working each item on the list, and filing it for reference helps me refocus, then I am less stressed. Lessening the stress helps me settle into what needs to be done. Not just reminding myself, but encouraging myself with past accomplishments clears the fritzed systems and prepares me for a take-off.

How to track free lance work we've done? At one point I started a spread sheet. Another was a file in the computer. But some of the work is online and some is in print. Hmm, what to do?

I felt that I'd done the beginnings of a good plan. I had a file on my computer, a physical file, and a spreadsheet. I'm going to add a link of each online article in one document and store that document in both the physical file and the computer file. The spreadsheet needs to be updated with articles sold. I'll move that spreadsheet into the computer file so everything is in one place. At the end of each month, I can print out the spreadsheet and add it to the physical file for taxes. Hmm. Better already.

Once I began to feel confident in a small area, I could move to a bigger area. It's all building blocks with confidence.

I also realized that some of the work was for the same publishing outlet. As an example, I didn't keep the live link for the Christian Fiction Online Magazine. I'd kept my version that I submitted, but no proof of the actual published version. So I simply went back to the archives and began copying the link into my document like this:

Confidence definitely comes from realizing we can do again because we've done before.

Have you experienced this sense of "I can't..." lately?

How do you regain confidence and refocus after your system has fritzed?

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