Real Stories

Shifting Your Mindset Away From Fear

We’re taught from an early age that dreams take work, they take dedication, endless movement and non-stop hustle. As a female entrepreneur, I get this. I’ve lived this for most of my life, since before I can even remember. Think up some goals and then go chase them. So I did. I worked hard. I wrote and published a novel, I ran a few half-marathons. Goals that have since lost a little of their ‘glory’ because no one ever talked about mindset and just how damn important it is. I was stuck feeling so incredibly scared of not doing enough, not working harder, not being better.

By definition, mindset is: an established set of attitudes held by an individual. There’s a ton of self-help books on the subject. But the main thing is, your attitude is everything and fear is destructive if left ignored, if allowed to run wild. As I grew as a writer, I began to see that stillness and pause were just as important as all-nighters on the laptop. You can work all you want but you’ll only move in circles if you don’t check in on your own headspace.

What kind of dialogue is running through your head when you think of the goals you’ve set, the dreams you’ve thought up? It’s easy to slip into a fear-based mindset without even realizing it. And like attracts like. I knew, as I persisted on, the last thing I wanted was to invite more fear into my life.

My internal dialogue had become endless questioning. Would my novel fail? Would people judge my work, my story? Would they hate it? Would I even become a successful writer at all? Why couldn’t I just settle for the cookie-cutter jobs that had been presented in my path? This endless stream of thoughts became stressful and slowed me down measurably, keeping me up at night, making me doubt my own talents. And I was doing it to myself.

Which also meant, I had the power to change my own thoughts.

Shifting my mindset away from fear and toward trust, surrender and gratitude is something I wished I had discovered early on but I’m thankful for the knowledge now. The possibility of failure will always be there. Sometimes we do fail and I believe that’s because we needed to take away a lesson from that, a lesson that we are meant to carry forward with us.

But you know what? Sometimes we also succeed. It took some practice to shift my internal dialogue. It started by manually replacing a negative thought with a new positive one, the second it floated across my mind. Soon it became automatic. I began to imagine all my dreams, the new bigger ones I’m now set on, playing out in the best possible way in my head. You know how that feels when I allow those images to flow and expand and become something quite clear and possible? Pretty freaking great. I’m carrying that feeling with me now, letting it be stronger than any fear that may slip through the cracks. I think it all really comes down to owning it, your power, your thoughts, the things you create. Because when you believe first, others will believe too.

by Christy Howitt

Hey, I'm Christy! I live for story-telling, creative writing and the art that comes from piecing words together in a way that reaches people. I recently published Heartsand, my first young adult fiction novel and am currently working on the sequel to that coming-of-age summertime story. I have experience in freelance writing as well as communications/public relations work.

My novel, Heartsand is now available. Sunwild, the sequel, available this July.


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