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How to Stop Self-Sabotaging So You Can Write Your Book

Do you feel stuck when it comes to writing your book?

Does it seem unforeseen, and if you’re willing to admit it, predictable obstacles keep preventing your book writing success?

Well, what you’re about to learn will give you a new perspective on your challenges because I’m dishing up some expert-backed insight and hard truths about what holds most of us back from achieving our goals.

In this blog post, I’m drawing on my conversation with Terri Cole, author of Boundary Boss, licensed psychotherapist, relationship expert and founder of Real Love Revolution™ & Boundary Bootcamp™.

She joined me on episode #46 of my Bound + Determined podcast to discuss how to stop self-sabotaging — in book writing and every other area of our lives.

You may or may not be surprised to hear that it starts with you and your relationship with yourself. 

Ready to set some healthy internal boundaries?

I say yes to that!

What Is An Internal Boundary 

Author and psychotherapist Terri Cole has studied boundaries for over 20 years.

Through her book and courses, she teaches people how to attain and sustain vibrant mental health so they can become empowered in their relationships — including the one they have with themselves.

I worked with Terri on her book proposal and negotiation process for her book Boundary Boss.

In it, she puts forth that an internal boundary is how you interact with yourself or, in other words, your relationship with yourself.

Her research shows that you must establish boundaries clearly and fully so you can set yourself up for success with your relationships, family, career, and yourself — including your aspiring writer self!

Taking it a step further as it applies to goals and the obstacles that come up, Terri argues that if we put up with ‘bad’ behavior, aka betraying our boundaries with others (or ourselves), our internal boundaries become disordered.

The result?

We don’t enjoy healthy relationships, progress or fulfillment.

But, if you do set and honor your boundaries, your relationship with yourself transforms, and so does everything else.

Next, let’s see how your internal boundaries apply to your aspirations to write a book.

Apply Internal Boundaries to Write Your Book

As an aspiring author, you can think about the strength of your internal boundaries in the following ways:

  • Do you listen to your needs? Are you able to prioritize those needs?

For example, if you feel the urge to write or need to make a self-directed deadline, do you honor it?

  • Do you take responsibility for your behavior, or are you blaming others for not writing your book or not doing your thing?
  • Do you say yes when you want to say no?

For example, you have writing time booked, but you tend to give your time, energy or attention to something or someone else.

  • Do you equate your worth with productivity? Do you beat yourself up for not finishing the book outline, doing the research, or finding a book coach?
  • Do you keep your word to yourself? Do you do the things you say you’re going to do?

While it may seem odd to consider how you relate to yourself, it’s THE key to getting out of your own way. As Terri says, we often create obstacles, or “fires” for ourselves by betraying our internal boundaries.

Stop Being the “Pyro” to Your Success

You want to write a book, but you feel… stuck. Why?

As Terri shares in the episode, we’re the ones who inadvertently light the fires that stall our success or, worse, stop us in our tracks.

These little fires that come up within ourselves are due to many emotions, and — surprise, surprise —emotions are intertwined with breaking boundaries.

To elaborate, Terri thinks of these little fires as ways to avoid writing your book or anything else you want to do because you’re looking to prevent possible accompanying experiences or feelings.

In the episode, she asks: what is it you’re not willing to face to stay stuck when writing your book?

Are you avoiding exploring a challenging memory?

Do you fear failure?

Are you looking outward for validation instead of inward?

Choosing the wrong topic?

Judgemental outside perspectives?

When you dial into what is preventing you from moving forward, you can face it, then establish a boundary to counteract it and stick to it.

Terri shares that once she set healthy boundaries and stuck to them, she could stand firm as she wrote her book Boundary Boss.

Her boundaries guided her responses to everyone from her family, her literary agent, and the graphic artist designing her cover.

As a result, her robust personal boundaries made her feel empowered, self-directed and confident about her book and all areas of her life.

Establish Your Internal Boundaries to Write Your Book

If you’ve been listening to me for a while, you know that although I tackle the universal emotions that lead to boundary-breaking, I’m a work in progress.

Ironically, it feels much easier for me to stay stuck in the pursuit of perfectionism than to get on with new things in my business.

Sometimes, I look outward and fear failure because, guess what? We ALL fear failure.

But setting personal boundaries and helping my book-coaching clients do the same has led to sheer magic (and millions of dollars in book deals!).

I’ve seen the book proposals written, accepted and shopped by agents.

I’ve seen aspiring authors become confident, determined and empowered by their boundaries. I’ve even seen people leave personal and professional toxic relationships!

When I asked Terri what she’d like to leave aspiring authors with, she said, “You’re so amazing. You’re so unique. So beautiful. So interesting. There’s no dress rehearsal, so do your thing, write your book, make your mark, value yourself.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I’m rooting for you.

If you’re navigating your book journey, check out my immersive program, The Book Proposal Blueprint.

Do we cover boundaries? You better believe it!

And I teach you how to clarify your book concept, create your book proposal, find your dream agent, avoid common pitfalls, build your platform and market your book.

Click here to read about it – you’ll hear what it’s like to work with me from Terri there!

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