You are your biggest critic. You’ll hold yourself back more than anything, or anyone ever else will. The biggest obstacle you’ll ever have to overcome is your own self-doubt. Telling yourself “I can” when the only thing in your head is “I can’t” is no easy task.

#reverb10 day two is upon us, and Leo Babauta over at Zen Habits gives us a great prompt:

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

For me, the answer came immediately. The one thing that I’ve both overcome and continue to struggle with, especially when it comes to writing, is second guessing.

We often forget that a blog is YOUR space. YOU own it. YOU are free to speak your mind and share your opinion. That simple and (what should be) obvious fact is often forgotten.

Why? Because we second guess ourselves. We think our opinion isn’t worth a damn – that no one will care what we have to say, and that our opinion is “wrong”.

That, or we start writing for the benefit of someone else. We write what we think others want us to write. We base our opinion on other’s and focus on agreement instead of embracing that their CAN be a difference in opinion – and that it actually can be a beautiful thing.

And the thing with second-guessing. It CAN be eliminated. You have complete control over your own self-doubt. Overcoming your fear of persecution or criticism and writing what YOU want to write is something you can and always control.

Start shooting from the hip

The takeaway? When it comes to writing, shoot from the hip more often. Write what first comes to mind – don’t focus on AP style and editing – write with emotion, write with passion, speak your mind. THAT’S when your best writing will come out, that’s what people will connect with, subscribe to, share, and, if you’re an author, buy.

I’m challenging myself to do just that with #reverb10 this month – writing what first comes to mind. It may not be as eloquent as something I’ve spent a couple hours crafting, but it will without a doubt be free of second-guessing.

What can you eliminate that doesn’t contribute to your writing? How can you break free from second-guessing?

(Photo c/o paloetic)

About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. I also watch entirely too much Saved by the Bell, run marathons, and drink plenty of craft beer. Check out the work my company is doing at Proof Branding.