SJ Duncan

The Tipping Point Blog


If you want to get anywhere, you have to go there.




What does that mean, why did I say it, and where are we going, anyway? Where we're going is success-land, and why I said it is because I'm living it. How?


Before I ever printed a single book, I lived as a writer.


Before I ever sold one of those books, I lived as a writer.


Before I ever conducted a book signing, or mentored an aspiring writer, or was asked to speak on the craft of writing, I lived as a writer.



What do I mean by living as a writer?


For starters, I wrote a lot. And I read a lot. I crafted plots and subplots and character arcs. I considered the deeper meaning of what I had written, and devised ways to articulate specific themes. I did the grunt work.


I also talked myself up in the mirror. I told myself I was a writer. I told myself I was the best. I told myself in no uncertain terms that I was the greatest.  


And I did a lot of writerly things simple because they made me feel like a writer. Traveling when time and money allowed. The places I visited. The clothes I wore. Call it putting on airs, or faking it until you make it, or what have you, but the fact is this: My belief in myself as a writer encouraged me to seek experiences which reinforced my belief in myself as a writer.


And these actions have led to more and more opportunities.



I wanted to get somewhere. So I found ways to go there.


Which leads me to my single most absolutely necessary so-simple-it's-stupid rule for success.


Believe in Yourself


The most important story you will ever tell is the one you tell yourself about yourself.


I’ve been on both extremes of this spectrum: As a shy teen with no self-esteem and as a confident adult ready to engage with the world.


Of the two, I like confidence better. Not only are you more productive when you feel confident, the world respects your belief in yourself. A genuinely confident person, without saying a word, demands a certain level of veneration, and people respond in kind.


But my transformation wasn’t easy. It took time and effort. It also took a willingness to tell myself something I didn’t believe about myself, but wanted to. Some people call these affirmations. I call it talking myself up. Whatever you call it, the things you believe about yourself will affect every interaction you have and every decision you make.



Words Have Power




If words have power, and you have words, then you have power.


I'll admit it was uncomfortable at first. It felt like a lie. But the subconscious mind believes whatever you tell it, and whatever the subconscious mind believes affects how the conscious mind behaves. Essentially, I was creating a positive feedback loop.


It took time, and there were plenty of days when no amount of positive thinking could get me over the hurdles of the daily grind, but those days became fewer and further between. By focusing on the positive, I noticed the positive more often, and the negative had less of a hold on my view of myself and my relationship with the world.


This is what I mean when I say, If you want to get anywhere, you have to go there.


Find your path. Create your journey.


Go there.

A Challenge



So, here’s my challenge to you. For the next month, tell yourself something positive about yourself every morning. At night, write down five good things that happened to you that day.


If you miss a day, don't beat yourself up. Start again. Be forgiving. Be grateful. Find joy. And learn to let go of the things you can't control.


It's worked for me.


That's why I'm passing it on to you.


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2017-11-22 08:45:06 - Lewis Allen
You have done a really good of listening to yourself, watching yourself, and recording your feelings and frustrations. I have read your book, The Long Dark Lonesome and have made suggestions, comments, and evaluations. In order to become successful in achieving goals, first find out where you have been. Who or what is pulling your strings. How are they influencing your life. Only then will you discover where you have been and are ready to defeat negative influences and set future goals. Lewis W. Allen
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