When you choose to screen writing as your dream, your belief in yourself has to be be rock solid.
As impenetrable as the Wall of China.
Your self belief will constantly be tested as you navigate through the murky, shark infested waters of Hollywood.
In Blake Snyder’s book, Save the Cat! Strikes Back, he points out the many obstacles writers face in defending their profession –
No matter where you come from, what your good intentions are, or how talented you may be, when you even tell someone about the screenplay you’re working on, you will invariably get looks.
Just saying “I’m a screenwriter” begs for an “Oh yeah?!”
And the question we all hate: “Is there something you’ve written that I might have seen? The implication here is that if you were good at this, you would already have something sold and made and playing at the Cineplex. And no, telling Aunt Fern about your YouTube short, or the option by the producer who almost had something premiere at a film festival near Sundance two years ago, is not enough.
Do you believe in your dreams?
Well, do you?
If you can’t answer that question with a resounding Y E S, maybe the problem is not the dream but the dreamer.
Do you believe in yourself?
If you spend all your time minimizing your talents and calling into question your capabilities, it will seem practically impossible to believe in yourself. Since believing in yourself is such a critical part in achieving your dreams, then overcoming your doubt and disbelief is paramount to building one’s self esteem.
Here are 3 simple ways to believe in yourself –
1. Acknowledge your potential
Self-doubt is often the result of an ongoing bombardment of assumptions:
You assume you cannot succeed at your goals because you have failed with so many of them in the past. Mr. Thomas Edison would disagree with you on that assumption. Back in the day, as the story goes, Mr. Edison failed more than 1000 times when trying to create the light bulb. When asked about it, Edison allegedly said,
I have not failed 1,000 times-I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.
Your third grade music teacher told you that you didn’t have an ear for playing the violin and to stop torturing the other children with those shrill off key notes.
You grew up with toxic parents that kept pounding it into your head that you would never amount to anything.
You’ve never pushed yourself beyond your limits for fear of failure and or embarrassment.
2. Be willing to try
Even worse than making assumptions about yourself is when you don’t even TRY to do something to better yourself.
You need to make a pledge to yourself to give everything you do your best effort.
3. Prove it to yourself
If you really want to shatter your illusions of inability, take a sheet of paper and make a list of all the things you believe you cannot do. They may be small or big things. Even the smallest of triumphs will give you the confidence for the next occasion when you are faced with a goal or challenge.
The goal is to go slightly beyond your comfort level but not to overwhelm and sabotage yourself in the process. By pushing these boundaries, you give yourself permission to grow and gain a better sense of self.
What you think about yourself dictates where you will go and what you will do in this life.
Motivational speaker Brian Tracy tells us,
Whatever you believe becomes your reality.
What reality are you believing? With a new found sense of believing in yourself, you can get out there and chase those dreams into submission. If you don’t, you only have yourself to blame.
And I won’t be coming to your pity party.
Do you have any insights into helping others believe in themselves?
If you do, spill . . .
Toni left 8 Women Dream in November 2010 to work full-time on Club B and her screenplay.