If you’re anything like me, you started down the path to web copywriting not just because you’re drawn to the freedom of the writer’s life, but because you find satisfaction in adding value to the world. It’s a great feeling, to make a difference in the lives of your clients and their customers.
But it isn’t always easy, is it? To get clients to take notice of you and your writing, it takes dogged persistence, courage and vast reserves of confidence. It takes a mindset focused on success, and sustained belief in yourself and your abilities. To add value to the world you must first see the value in yourself.
In this four-part series I’ll show you how to develop a success mindset by practicing the mental habits of self-compassion, positivity, mindfulness and gratitude. You might be surprised at how easy success comes once you have these in place alongside your hard work.
“Never say anything about yourself that you don’t want to come true.” ¾ Brian Tracy
Compassion is recognizing that everyone, including yourself, is a human being who deserves kindness and understanding in place of judgment or disregard. Developing and maintaining mutually beneficial, compassionate relationships is at the heart of good business. And the most important relationship to cultivate–more important even than those with clients, customers or prospects–is the one you have with yourself.
All too often we send compassion into the world without reserving some for ourselves. Research shows that our emotions lead our actions, and our thoughts lead our emotions. If you’re operating without self-compassion, you can quickly fall prey to fear, hopelessness, and feelings of unworthiness, which can trap you like quicksand. If you do manage to get out of that emotional quicksand, you’ll taint your business (and personal) relationships with these poisonous emotions.
To avoid this, develop self-compassion. Start by being kind when talking to yourself, and cut yourself the same slack you would others. According to the book Think and Grow Rich, “The presence of a single negative in your conscious mind is sufficient to destroy all chances of constructive aid from your subconscious mind.” Meaning you can do everything “right” but if you keep telling yourself you don’t deserve success, you won’t succeed! As the adage goes, “any farmer knows he cannot sow the seed of thistles, and reap a harvest of grain.”
If you say things to yourself like “I’m so stupid”; “I’m not good enough to land that client”; “I’m a mess, I’ll never get my business to X place,” eventually you will start to believe this nonsense, and it’ll not only halt your success, but make you feel awful and demoralized, dreading each day.
When you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, stop the conversation and instead imagine that you’re talking to a friend, or to your child. Would you tell your child he’s too lazy to reach his goals? Would you tell your friend she’s stupid for putting the wrong name in an email? No, you wouldn’t. You would encourage him to succeed! You would console her and tell her that everyone makes mistakes. If your internal dialogue is not fit for a friend, it’s not fit for you.
Practicing Self-Compassion As a Daily Habit
The practice of self-compassion is not a “one and done” thing that sets you off on the path to success. That’s why it’s called practice. As you practice replacing negative self-talk with self-compassion it will get easier, but you must keep doing it, every single time you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk. Like working your muscles, if you stop, your success mindset and self-compassion will atrophy over time.
To facilitate the practice of self-compassion, I find it helpful to post positive quotes in my workspace. I review them when I make mistakes, feel discouraged or start to get down on myself. Things like:
- “You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection,” Buddha
- “If your compassion does not include yourself—it is incomplete,” Jack Kornfield
- “Believe you can and you’re halfway there,” Theodore Roosevelt
To my mind, these are less “inspirational” quotes and more statements of fact. I believe in myself, therefore I will succeed. Find true statements that resonate with you, that you can rely on instead of negative self-talk. Each time you replace negative self-talk with self-compassion, you’re building a positive habit and mindset that makes you feel better about yourself and your business. Address mistakes or client-requested changes without feeling bad about yourself. Reach out to prospective clients with confidence. Be the consummate professional in all situations, knowing that you bring value to all your relationships.
Encourage yourself as you would your loved ones in all that you do. Every time you reach out to potential clients, submit an idea or an article, or any of the numerous scary yet necessary tactics to grow your business, be kind to yourself. By practicing self-compassion your confidence and success mindset will naturally grow more positive as you realize you’ve got what it takes to succeed, and your work and ideas are valuable, just like other top-level writers.
Next time: Developing and practicing positivity
**This article was originally published on Wealthy Web Writer on June 2, 2015.**