Lately I’ve been reading The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman. If you’ve never heard of Jane Friedman, I’d definitely suggest looking her up, particularly if you want to make writing a career. She’s got some great advice and information for the business side of things.
Anyway, one of the things she talks about early in the book is the idea that part of success is luck. Well, yeah, we already talked about that back in March.
But more than that, she cited a study from the University of Hertfordshire (look up Richard Wiseman and The Luck Factor) that looked at people’s perceptions of their own luck. Basically, what it came down to was that if a person considered themselves unlucky, they were more apt to miss opportunities or to skip trying for certain opportunities whereas someone who viewed themselves as lucky stayed more open and were more likely to see opportunities as they arose.
It was all about mindset.
And isn’t that so true? How many times have you skipped applying for something or submitting something because you were convinced you wouldn’t get it? I know I’ve given up on my share of opportunities for that reason.
But we can make our own luck. We see it time and again, how our mindset about our chances of success can be predictive. If you really want it to happen, if you expect it to happen, you’ll see more of the opportunities and take more chances to make it happen… and that can increase your chance for success.
Now, of course I’m not saying that positive thinking will make you a bestselling author.
No, what I’m saying is that we need to evaluate ourselves. How is our outlook on our career affecting us? Does it affect our mental health? Is it limiting us?
Or is it helping us to expand our horizons, take chances, and really put ourselves out there?
If your answer is that you are limiting yourself, that’s okay. I limit myself, too. But let’s use this as a springboard to recognize those times when we’re cutting ourselves off at the knees. Let’s use it to encourage ourselves to move forward and take a few risks. And let’s find the people who will let us know when we’re selling ourselves short.
One step at a time, let’s change our outlook on our careers. Let’s make our own luck.
And let’s keep writing.