69. Coach Yourself Past Your Doubts

As the shadows of doubt creep in—and you start to wonder if your book can possibly be good enough—you begin to question if you can even do it.

Is your writing strong enough? Are there already too many books like this? What if no one buys it? Every author has doubts.

In this episode, discover a proven tool to coach yourself through them and get back to writing.

For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on Instagram @candiceldavis.

Mentioned in This Episode

Jump-Start: A free guide to help you jump-start your nonfiction book.

Episode Transcript

Hey there and welcome to Nothing but the Words. I’m your author coach, Candice L Davis.

I hope your week and your writing are going well.

Over the weekend, I sent a kind of self-indulgent message to my life coach about how I was struggling with a goal I want to accomplish this month.

Her response was so good, friends.

She poked at my doubt a little bit, and then she reminded me of the tools I have in my toolbox to accomplish that goal.

Not even 24 hours later, I now have no doubt at all that I will achieve that goal this month: August 2021.

That’s the power of coaching. And that’s why I will always have a coach or several in my corner.

Right now, I have 2 different coaches, a life coach at Be Bold, and a business strategist at Rethink Central.

In this case, I was working with my life coach.

My life coach did not give me the answers.

She reminded me of my vision for my business and pointed me back at the work.

That’s the thing about coaching.

Even my business strategist, who often offers me very specific steps to take, cannot make the decisions for me. She can’t take action for me. She can’t do the work for me—although I would sometimes love for her to.

Your coach cannot do the work for you.

When I coach authors, I offer them a framework for writing a phenomenal book.

I provide them feedback on their book idea, and in one-on-one coaching, I provide them with feedback on every word they write, so they can make their book the very best it can be.

Those things are important.

But there’s another part of coaching that’s just as, if not more, important.

I coach my clients to get past their doubts, and I offer them the tools to coach themselves when I can’t be there.

If you haven’t had any doubts in the process of writing your book, congratulations.

You’re a complete unicorn, and I suggest you buy a lottery ticket.

But if you’re a fallible human, like I am, I want to offer you some ways to get past the doubt.

Writing a world-class book is a big goal.

It’s not necessarily complicated or difficult, but it is complex. There are a lot of moving parts to writing and publishing your book.

Writing your book is probably going to happen over the course of several weeks or months.

So dealing with your doubts isn’t going to be a one-off box you check off and forget about.

You will likely face different doubts along the way.

So where do you start to deal with that?

Let’s follow the example of an author who has some doubts about her book idea. She’s started writing her book, but every time she sits down to write she starts to think there are already too many books on this subject.

In fact, one of her mentors has written a book on just this topic.

And her mentor has a much bigger audience, so why would anyone want to read this new book?

Here’s what I would have her do—the same process my coach suggested I go through, but hey, when it’s our own issue we can’t always see it for ourselves.

As you can imagine, I believe in writing down just about anything—as long as it’s not incriminating.

For most of us, there’s a deeper level of processing and understanding that comes from putting pen to paper, so I always recommend handwriting.

Start by writing down your vision for your book.

And then write down the next mini goal you need to achieve to get one step closer to making your vision for your book a reality. It could be as simple as, “write 50 pages this month.”

Next, write down all the reasons you think you can’t make that vision a reality.

“I don’t have enough time.”

“My kids keep interrupting me.”

“My writing isn’t that good anyway.”

“I don’t know where to start.”

Keep writing all those obstacles until you can’t think of any more.

For each obstacle, write down exactly how you’ll deal with it and break through it.

“I don’t have enough time,” might be solved by, “I’ll write in my car on my lunch hour,” or, “I’ll get up half an hour earlier every day.”

“My kids keep interrupting me,” is solved by enlisting your partner’s help, writing while the kids are sleeping, or bribing the kids with an extra half hour of screen time. No judgment.

“I don’t know where to start,” is solved by working with a coach like me, joining my group program, Short Books: Big Results, or just going back to listen to the first several episodes of this podcast and taking action on each one.

Once you have a solution for every obstacle, they’re not obstacles anymore; they’re just excuses.

Keep this list of solutions close by. And whenever you find yourself making an excuse for not working to move your book closer to reality, look for the solution. (If you don’t have one, add this obstacle and the solution to your list.)

You’ll have to put in the effort of calling BS on yourself to make this work.

Once you have a solution for every obstacle, you may need to remind yourself of those solutions often until you deeply believe them. So remind yourself. Review the list. Say the solutions out loud in response to your doubts when they come up. Train your brain to focus on those solutions.

And then commit to accomplishing your next book goal no matter what.

Here’s what my coach said to me about my doubts around my business goal for this month:

“What if you just decided you were going to achieve this goal in your business this month, no matter what? How you get there is irrelevant. If you honestly believed you were going to make this goal happen with the same emotional connection you feel when you think the sun will rise again tomorrow, you would not be asking how. You would be getting to work.”

Gut. Punch.

Do you see how good that is?

Believe in your goal like you believe in the rising of the sun. And then act accordingly.

That’s it, my friends. When you believe your success is inevitable, you cannot help but do the work.

I invite you to try this process for yourself. If you do, DM me on Instagram @candiceldavis and let me know how it goes for you.

That’s all for this episode my friends.

For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on IG @candiceldavis.

Thanks for listening to Nothing but the Words. I’m Your Author Coach, Candice L Davis. And I’ll see you next time.

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