We Start With Belief

Among artists, writers are a peculiar bunch. No one else seems to have a higher complain/create ratio. Some don’t have anything to write about, others don’t know how to write what they want, and the vastest majority are sorely misunderstood when they do manage to get words down on paper. Musicians do not have this problem nearly as often. Neither do athletes . . . and yes, athletes are very much artists . . . when it comes to performance in competition, the difference between 1st & 2nd place is more artistically creative than scientifically structured . . . but maybe that is a point for another piece. The fact remains, writers seem to be excessively guilty of not viewing their artistic medium through the basic lens of belief. Many of us carry similar guilt to some degree.

Finding Order

Coach Bergeron recently spoke about our tendency to over emphasize Potential. Let’s look at his diagram:

We shouldn’t be in the position of judging Potential, ours or anyone else’s. Starting with potential is the same as setting up expectations with no clear path to our goal.
Going back to the task of writing, Action would seem to be the best place to start, but as someone with a trunk-full of unpublished material, I can tell you that when we start with action, we too often wander & flounder aimlessly. Maybe we’ll get lucky and stumble on a cornerstone of thought, a bedrock or foundation, but we shouldn’t rely solely on luck, not when we have more reliable tools at our disposal.

Looking at the chart, no one would suspect that we start with Results, but all too often, that is exactly what some expect of ourselves. We hear this from non-writers & non-athletes much of the time:

If I had the time, I’d just sit down & write a book and be done with it . . .
I could perform or look like an elite level athlete if I had nothing to do but train all day.

While we might not acknowledge it, this type of fantasy-thinking places priority on results.

Beliefs. The word usually conjures up religious connotations. Do you believe in life after death? Maybe, but I believe in living while I’m alive. Okay, what then? What do we believe about ourselves? Do we believe we have the capacity as writers to persuade, encourage, or inspire someone to a different & possibly better set of choices? Wait, let’s back up . . . Do we believe that we can learn to write better? Is the learning process of writing worth it? What about performance? Athletic or any kind . . . This isn’t a call to wish & hold our breath until magic happens. This is about knowing & best using our order of operations. Finding the best path for getting us from wherever your here is to wherever there might be.

Potential Needs Process

It is our Belief that determines our Potential, which defines our Results. Someone once said that whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. Again, maybe we can sometimes get away with negative self-talk and hit some jackpot o’ luck, but there is a better, more reliable way to get to where we’re going, and that is by believing in yourself first & foremost. Once we believe in our potential, we must seek out & accept a process to get us there. Maybe this is a daily writing practice, or maybe this is finding a Coach to help develop your athleticism. Whatever it is, believe in yourself, believe in the process, and in this mix, your Potential points you towards what actions to take, which produces Results, and all together reinforces your beliefs, maybe even creating new ones.

It is said that one terrifying definition of hell is, “On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” Work every day to become the person you want to be. Start today, start now. Start small, work big. Decide where you want to go, what you want to do, find your path and follow it.


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