I don’t feel like writing this article right now. I wish I could sprawl on the couch with my book and lose myself in its fictional world for an hour or two — but I won’t.
And quite frankly, I can’t. I can’t give in to this feeling of not wanting to write because that’s not the kind of person I want to be.
I told myself on September 30th that I would write two articles every day in October. (I’ve given myself five days leeway, though — just in case.)
That’s why I have to write this — because I don’t want to be the kind of person who breaks her own promises. I want to show up for myself every day because I said I would.
It’s the kind of person I want to be, so I need to show up for her.
It’s time you show up for your person too. She needs you. He needs you. They need you.
Why do you need to aim to be better?
Have you ever heard gossip from someone and wondered why they’re still acting like they’re in high school? Have you ever wondered why there are still homophobic, racist, or sexist people?
It’s because those people refuse to grow and open their minds. They like to stick to what they know because it makes them feel safe.
These people were thrown into one life and they accept it even if it sucks. You want to be the complete fucking opposite of this person.
Find out who you are and figure out what you believe in. Even if it’s different from what your neighbors believe in and different from what your parents believe in. Stay true to yourself. Have your own opinion. Don’t worry about what people say about you or think about you. Let the naysayers nay. They will eventually grow tired of naying.
— Ellen DeGeneres
When you don’t look for ways to improve, you can’t cross the lines you’ve set for yourself.
Knowing who you want to be will help you reach your goals.
I don’t just want to be a writer. I want to be a writer who writes every day, shares her work, and never gives up. When I keep that in mind, it pushes me to work so I can reach the vision I have for myself.
By knowing who you want to be, you know what actions you need to take today so you can become the person you want to be five years from now.
What if you don’t know who you want to be?
People are always giving advice on how to become who you’ve always wanted to be. The advice they give is great, but what if you don’t know who you want to be?
You either run toward something or away from it.
It’s impossible to become a better person when you don’t know what that person looks like. It’s like trying to find someone at the airport without a description of how they look.
That’s why instead of trying to figure out who you want to be, figure out who you don’t want to be.
Sometimes it’s easier to point out the people in the room you don’t want to be like.
It’s how rock-bottom works. What gets people out of that dark hole isn’t that they want a better life, it’s that they don’t want the one they have right now.
You either run toward something or away from it. You need to figure out what you want to run away from so you can eventually have something to run toward.
How to figure out who you don’t want to be
Deep inside, you know who you want to be. You know the vision and expectations you have for yourself.
You might even be trying to reach it subconsciously with the choices you make every day.
You have to bring that vision into the light so you can consciously make decisions that will bring you one step closer to that person.
Here’s how you bring that vision to life.
You’re going to write down exactly who you don’t want to be.
For example, I would write, “I don’t want to be the type of writer whose actions don’t correlate with her words. I don’t want to quit when things get hard. I don’t want to be the person who comes up with excuses to not do the things she proclaims to love.”
You’ll find it’s easier than you think.
After you’ve done that, flip your words.
Mine would say, “I want to be a writer who creates every single day, puts in the hard work, and never lets the overwhelm stop her. I want to be the type of person who does the things she says she’ll do, sticks to the habits she makes for herself and is consistent.”
Right away, I know exactly who I want to be, and my job is to figure out how to get there. Most of the time, it’s not difficult.
Think about it this way, I’ve read and written numerous articles about how to write every day. However, it’s simple, isn’t it?
You sit and you write every day — even if it’s only for five minutes. That’s literally it.
But we complicate things. We let excuses get to us, but really, you know exactly what you need to do.
You can’t change traits you don’t like
To be clear, this isn’t a list of things you dislike about yourself and want to change.
If you’re a shy introvert, you can’t write, “I want to be an extrovert.”
You can’t change who you already are, but you can find ways to use who you are to your advantage.
Instead, a shy introvert could write, “I want to be the kind of person who dares to go up to someone and talk to them.” This way, they don’t change who they are, but they act despite the things that hold them back.
You don’t become a better version of yourself by changing who you are. You act in spite of who you are until those traits become so small they can’t stop you.
Figure out who you don’t want to be — without wanting to change yourself — to find out who you do want to be. Then, do the work to become that person.
Don’t strive to be someone you’re not. Aim to be a better version of who you already are.