Jim is offering a great opportunity for two lucky winners. Each randomly chosen winner will have a choice of either WRITE FEARLESSLY or WRITING IN OVERDRIVE. The winners also have their choice between paperback or e-version. Great deal! The winners will be announced here on Friday, February 28th, between 5-6 PM EST. Please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!
Live Fearlessly! by Jim Denney
In 1982, a man contacted me and said, "Jim, you do magazine writing. How would you like to write a book? I'll give you my notes and we'll split the publisher's advance."
"I've never written a book before," I said. "I don't know if I can."
"You won't know until you try. Seems to me that writing a ten-chapter book is no harder than writing ten magazine articles, right?"
When he put it that way, I had to give it a try. By the time I turned in the completed manuscript, my confidence as a writer had increased a thousand percent.
I've written more than a hundred books since then. To be successful, we must accept new challenges—even if we doubt ourselves. That’s how we build our confidence.
Many writers have told me they struggle with fear and insecurity. "I'm afraid I don't have the talent to be a writer," they tell me. Or, "I'm afraid of starting." Or, "I'm afraid I can't finish." Or, "I'm afraid of rejection."
We experience fear in many forms, and most of our fears are baseless. Many are self-inflicted. Unresolved guilt can make us fearful of punishment. Physical exhaustion and stress can heighten our fears. Sometimes we frighten ourselves by watching scary movies or too much TV news.
But we don't have to be paralyzed by fear. We can train ourselves to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate fear. We can learn to respond to risk with confidence and optimism. Here are some ways to replace fear with courage:
1. Trade fearful messages for confident messages. As Robert Kiyosaki has said, "It’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power."
Many athletes, before a performance, are afraid of failure. Negative messages like "What if I get hurt?" can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Successful athletes block fear by telling themselves, "I can do this!" Through confident messages, the athlete commands his body to perform.
Novelist John Steinbeck once wrote in his journal, "I’m not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself." Then he added, "I’ll try to go on with work now. Just a stint every day does it." He recorded his self-doubts—then told himself, in effect, "If I just keep working, I'll succeed in spite of my doubts." The book he was writing was The Grapes of Wrath—the novel that earned him a Pulitzer. Replace fear with confident messages, and there's no limit to how far you can go.
2. Act courageously in spite of your fear. "Do the thing you fear," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "and the death of fear is certain." Feelings follow actions. Act bravely, and you soon feel brave. As Piglet once told Winnie-the-Pooh, "I didn't mean to be brave—it just happened when I panicked!"
3. Read courageous books, including fiction. Heroic stories about characters that overcome fear actually inspire us with courage. We identify with our heroes and internalize the lessons in their stories. If your children struggle with fears, real or imagined, great children's literature can strengthen their courage.
I wrote my Timebenders series (beginning with Battle Before Time) immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks. Though the books aren't about 9/11, I wrote them to help young readers imaginatively experience what it feels like to demonstrate courage in perilous times. When a hero conquers fear, the reader shares the victory.
4. Focus on faith and Scripture. Be emboldened by the 23rd Psalm: "I will fear no evil; for You are with me." Remember God's command to Joshua: "Be strong and courageous . . . for the Lord your God will be with you" (Joshua 1:9).
Remember Paul's advice: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). And: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
Meditate in Scripture, pray for courage, then keep moving forward in faith and obedience. Fear no evil, for God is with you.
Jim Denney on Everyone’s Story: To be successful, we must accept new challenges. (Tweet This)
Author Jim Denney shares ways to replace fear with courage in writing. (Tweet This)
Win Jim Denney’s WRITING IN OVERDRIVE or WRITE FEARLESSLY on Everyone’s Story. (Tweet This)
Jim Denney has more than 100 published books to his credit, including the Timebenders series. He has just released two inspiring ebooks for writers, Writing in Overdrive and Write Fearlessly. He has written books with supermodel Kim Alexis, Super bowl champion Reggie White, and Orlando Magic founder Pat Williams.
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