I realized something recently. I'm limiting my own success by my beliefs.
I've been publishing for fourteen years. I have more than fifty titles to my credit - not counting short stories in anthologies. And yet I have the deep-seated conviction that I'll never be a best-selling author.
To be honest, my sales are far from stellar. I know many of my colleagues sell as many books in a month as I do in a year. Until recently, I guess I just accepted that. I know I'm a skilled writer but I've assumed that somehow I just don't have what the market wants. I've made excuses - I'm too quirky, or too literary, or too much of a dilettante, jumping from one genre to the other. My stories have too much sex, or maybe not enough. Or perhaps the fault lies in my marketing, the fact that I'm not on FB and don't tweet, that I don't do live chats or pay big bucks for ads....
Then, during my morning meditation, it hit me. At least one reason I haven't been more successful is that I haven't dared to believe I could be.
Of course, understanding this is only the first step. I have to change my world view. I need to imagine what it would be like to get royalty checks with four or five zeros instead of three. And you know, that's really hard. We're taught to be humble, to lower our expectations.
But that's completely the wrong perspective. Modest expectations lead to modest results, a self-fulfilling prophecy. We have to raise our expectations in order to move beyond the present to a brighter future. To a very large extent, we can only achieve what we can envision.
Can I envision myself as a best selling author? Because until I can, I never will be.
I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it. I'm trying to nip those limiting thoughts in the bud and replace them with the knowledge that there are no intrinsic limits on how far I can go.
Of course, I've got to write more books, too. You know, that's the easy part.