Last night, I ate a fortune cookie.
(Of course, you can't eat a fortune cookie without reading your fortune inside, right?)
It's all part of the fun.
I cracked open my cookie, exposing the hidden treasure inside which boldly declared, "Expect the best!"
And, don't just expect the best ... but do it with excitement (exclamation point!)
Seems simple enough. We should all expect the best in everything we do.
So ... do we?
Winners already know to expect the best, right? A runner doesn't take off thinking: I'm going to come in last place today.
An Olympic gymnast doesn't enter the competition without first picturing that gold medal around his own neck.
A writer doesn't put words to paper unless she believes in her story.
A football player doesn't play to lose.
The world is full of these subtle positive thoughts that keep us going.
There's the positivity that we'll succeed.
Positivity that we can achieve a goal.
There really is power in positivity.
Let's be honest here. Negative thoughts can weigh you down, pushing all those positive thoughts deep into the background.
You start off with the best of intentions, and then something nags at you, urging you to give up. That little voice of negativity overshadows all of those happy thoughts.
I know it happens to me. And I know it happens to you, too.
Not because I'm a psychologist (I'm not!), or smarter than anyone else.
Just because I'm human.
We all are.
And it's human nature to battle that negative thing called self-doubt.
That runner may see his competition during practice, and that little niggle of doubt eases in without permission.
The Olympic gymnast may worry about falling off the balance beam. When she can visualize it so clearly, won't that make it all the more possible?
A writer may believe in her story, but what happens when she gets the first round of edits back from the editor and it's so overwhelming that she convinces herself the story is poorly written and will never be ready?
What if the football player's team is on a three-game losing streak and all the news journalists are predicting this will be the fourth loss?
Yes, there is power in positivity. But unfortunately, there's even more power in negativity.
So, back to my fortune cookie.
I know, it's just a piece of paper left for me, or someone else, to find.
But it came at a time when I needed it.
Last week was stressful. At work, in writing. Even the weather was depressing.
I'm currently editing the sequel in the Keeper of the Watch series, MAGIC HARBOR, and let me tell you, editing can be hard.
It's difficult to hear, after you've gone over a manuscript so many times you can't even begin to guess a number, that there are things that need to be added or changed.
Oh, I know all writers go through this. But it's hard to push those words of self-doubt to the side.
What am I doing, pretending to be a writer?
This manuscript is terrible.
Why did I ever think I could do this?
I'll never be good enough.
So, you see, my fortune cookie came at just the right time.
"Expect the best."
I must expect the best in myself before I can expect the best in others.
Thank you, little cookie, for reminding me.
I am growing as a writer every time I make a change.
This manuscript is a work in progress that will be amazingly polished when I finish.
I know I can do this, I can't give up.
I'm good enough to be a published author, so that means I must be good enough.
So, here's my advice.
Next time you're struggling with your own self-doubt, order Chinese take-out.
Those little cookies are full of wisdom and positive support.
Think I'll have another one...
Or ... maybe they're just cookies, after all.
Oh, well, if nothing else, you're smiling now, right?
Keep on Reading, and Stay Positive!
Kristen L. Jackson, author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH
*Book Two, MAGIC HARBOR, Coming 10/10/19!
Kristen L. Jackson, author of JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS
Coming May 28, 2019
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