Have you ever felt like your hands are tied, and you can’t reach for your writing dreams? If you have, you may realize that the restrictive feeling you experienced comes from lack and fear, both of which stem from your thought processes.
Let’s say you believe you lack time to write. This belief brings up fearful thoughts, such as “If I write for an hour, I won’t get other important things done.” And that thought leads to another, like, “If I don’t get those things done, I’ll feel overwhelmed. And my (boss, partner, children, or parents) will become angry at me.”
Your mind doesn’t focus on potential options—such as getting up early or staying up late, using your lunch hour, or using half the day on Saturday to write. Instead, it deems those options impossible. As a result, you believe you have no viable choices—you think your hands are tied.
When that happens, you become a victim of your circumstances. You give all your power to your situation and believe you have no way to do anything different. After all, your hands are tied, right?
Then, you blame your circumstances or someone or something else. You don’t see the situation as your fault. Something outside you has put that rope around your wrists.
How do you untie your hands so you can pursue your writing and publishing goals? Take back your power and exercise your freedom to change your thoughts and emotions. Then, you’ll feel the rope loosen and drop off your wrists.
Feeling Tied Up by Lack
First, let’s look closely at why lack makes you feel like your hands are tied.
Most often, when someone talks about lack, they mean not having enough money or time. But there are other types of lack—lack of choices, lack of strength, lack of will, lack of commitment, and lack of courage, to name a few.
The more you think about how you lack something—and, therefore, can’t write or publish as you’d like—the more you go down the rabbit hole of victimhood. You become a victim of your lack.
Your self-talk will sound like this: “I can’t do or be a writer and author because I don’t have ___.” You believe the circumstance—something outside you—has power over your ability to have what you want or need to move forward.
For instance, you may not have the money to hire a writing coach. Perhaps you don’t have the time to work on your book project consistently. Or, possibly, you don’t have the freedom to focus on your career as an author.
And, as mentioned, the more focused you are on lack and blame, the more fear rises within you. You think: “What if nothing changes?” “What if I can’t ever write and publish my book?” “What horrible result will I create if I focus on writing?” “What will so-and-so do/think if I don’t/do ___?”
Set Yourself Free
The way to liberate yourself is simple: Realize you always have personal freedom and power. In other words, get out of victimhood.
Maybe your thoughts have you tied in knots, but you can reach for a different thought. Changing your thoughts opens your mind to new options. When you realize you have the power to choose, you can make a new decision—and you do that because you have personal power and freedom.
When you become responsible for yourself, you can decide to take a new action, form a new belief, respond rather than react, or be different in some way. You will then realize your hands were never tied in the first place. You just thought they were.
My Hands Were Tied
I am no stranger to the feeling of having my hands tied due to lack and fear. And I’ve allowed myself to be a victim of circumstance, and, as a result didn’t write or publish anything for a long time.
This became clear to me last week. I perpetuated a belief that I don’t have the money to hire the best person to promote my next book. I’ll have to hire based on who I can afford. There might be other people I could hire, but I tell myself the inexpensive person is my only option.
Have you ever felt that way? It’s not pleasant, is it?
This experience made me think about other times where I have hired people, like for my coaching business. I identified at least three times I’ve hired based on affordability, not gotten the best services or products, and ended up feeling like I didn’t have the power or freedom to ask for what I needed and get it on time and well done.
In these situations, I have believed my hands were tied, too.
Three Steps to Un-tying Your Hands
With this all weighing on my mind, I reached out to the coaches in a program I attend. I received feedback and clearly saw that I was stuck in lack, fear, and victimhood.
Then, I began to make some changes. I want to share those with you because they worked for me. That means they are likely to work for you, too.
First, take responsibility.
I took responsibility for my part in my professional hiring decisions. I created the circumstances repeatedly from my habitual focus on lack and fear and feeling powerless and constrained.
I also acknowledged I was angry, frustrated, and disappointed in myself for my hiring decisions and not choosing to make new ones to remedy the circumstances. I had to accept responsibility for that while not getting stuck in blaming myself.
Plus, I had to stop blaming the people I hired. If dissatisfied with their work, I could make new decisions about who I worked with. I hadn’t chosen to do so. That was on me…not them.
Lesson learned. I won’t hire with my hands tied ever again. And when I feel like hiring a specific person is my only option for whatever reason, I will remember that is only the case if I believe it. Then I’ll look for other options.
You can’t be a victim if you take responsibility. Do that, and you stand firmly in your power and freedom.
Second, uncover new options.
Rather than continue feeling as if I had no option but to use the people I hired to date, I contacted colleagues for names of others who could do the work I needed, like marketing my next book. I already have two appointments set up. I don’t know what these people will charge for the jobs, but I feel much better knowing I can choose from various options.
As for my business, I began toying with various ideas that might help me feel less constrained. I even told my main contractors as much.
Admittedly, I may not like all the options on my list. However, it’s freeing to know I have them. And the only thing that stops me from deciding on any one of them is fear. But now I am conscious of how lack and fear keep me stuck and lead to victimhood. Thus, I can make different and more courageous choices.
Third, shift your focus.
Every one of these steps involves a shift in focus. The simple action of choosing where to place my attention put me firmly in my power and demonstrated my ability to make free choices.
Instead of focusing on what wasn’t possible—hiring great and affordable marketing help—I put my attention on what is possible. I stopped concentrating on my fear of not having enough money, not being able to afford good service, not getting what I need to succeed, not being able to ask for what I need, the negative ramifications of speaking up, and not finding help. I focused on options instead.
With each of these three steps, I felt the rope around my wrists loosening!
You Can’t Create from Lack, Fear, or Victimhood
I’m always saying, “You are a creator!” But I needed to remember that fact. And I needed a reminder that it’s impossible to create what I want when I believe I am in lack, fear, or victimhood.
Life always mirrors what you need to learn. I had to chuckle at what I saw in the mirror because I’m currently coaching on personal freedom in my membership program. This topic always brings up issues of personal power, too.
Obviously, I needed to look in the mirror. Then, I could stop operating with the constraints of lack, fear, and victimhood. With that perspective, it became possible to step into being the powerful creator that I am. And I know I’ll find just the right book marketing help as a result.
You can use these three strategies to untie your hands. They will help you change your belief that you lack what you need to reach your writing and publishing dreams. And you can use them to stop feeling afraid to take new actions and feel powerful and free to create whatever you want—including a successful writing and publishing career.
Have you ever made decisions with your hands tied? What was the outcome? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post on social media or with a writing friend.
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