Karalee’s Post #131
I’m one of those non-resolution type of people, telling myself that most people don’t follow through and I don’t want to be one of “those.”
Goals though, are another breed. They are the GPS to success, the voice from the black box guiding you along your chosen path to the end point to where “you have arrived.” Truth told, goals are the fraternal twin to resolutions.
So what do resolution avoidance and goal setting have to do with feeling my emotions? Both push me outside of my comfort zone where suddenly the unknown creeps in. What if this happens? or that? or I don’t get it done on schedule? or at all?
The above quote from Steven King says it all.
I realize that my emotions around goal setting tend to be negative rather than positive. They are fear based. Why? Goals should be something I want to achieve, right? They should excite me and push me to do things I don’t normally do to get what I haven’t yet gotten.
Ha! Does this sound like what writers try to get their characters to do?
With this in mind, I stopped and let myself feel the fear behind the goals that I’ve set for myself this year. I’ve never consciously done this before and it’s an interesting experience you may want to try as well. I believe it could help us writers be more in tune with what’s behind our character’s emotions. We could do this with other reactions we have too, and unravel the life experiences that give rise to the way we react whether happy, sad, angry, feeling vulnerable or distrusting, loving, hateful, etc.
For now though, I’m looking at where my fears may be coming from.
- Fear of success. This sounds odd to me, but it comes from being put down in childhood for liking school and excelling at it. Country kids are “supposed” to hate school.
- Fear of failure. This is a dichotomy when I fear success and failure! To me failure is more self-imposed, like I could have, should have, but didn’t. This is true when I don’t tell anyone my goals, then the only one that knows is me. If I do tell others and fail, then it evokes shame which means I am concerned about how others perceive me. Intellectually I know that what others think shouldn’t matter, but again, one’s past experiences builds these reactions.
- Fear of certain activities, like answering the phone and opening mail. Now that’s bizarre when I let that one sink in. These are frequent activities I have to do for my work and I do have an aversion to them, but I have never really let the reasons come to light. When I do, I know I react like this because of the number of times that bad news has come to me through these avenues. It leaves me dreading the “call” instead of dancing to the phone when it rings (or my cell phone) in anticipation of winning the lottery or simply talking to a friend.
- Fear of “NO.” In direct sales this is a biggy since 80% of people say no! As children, parent’s ‘no’s” far exceed their “yes’s” and “no” has a direct connection to not being able to do what you want to do. I’ve worked hard this year to not take no’s personally, and the difference it’s made in my life in general has given me freedom to relax and be myself. Letting my experience of no’s be emotionally neutral rather than negative has given me more peace than I ever imagine.
Going through this exercise and really paying attention to why I react and feel deep-seated emotions in certain situations has opened my awareness to also do this with characters in my stories. Backstories are huge in developing characters and to feel the why behind how we make our characters react emotionally will help create more authentic characters.
Giving opposite reactions to what one would expect can also be done this way when you understand the why’s in the character’s history.
Have fun with it!
Productivity: I’ve heard back from one of the short story contests. I got a very nice standard rejection letter. Keep at it is one of my goals.
Motivation: My goals include taking courses with well-known people in the industry to learn how to follow-through and time-manage, etc. On my list are: Jack Canfield, Eric Worre, Kim Klaver and Harv Eker and Sonia Stringer
- holiday time spent with family and friends
- snowshoeing on the local mountains with my husband, David.
- continuing self-development and loving it!