October 20, 2014

Self-Talk by Joylene M. Bailey

As I thought about the theme for this month, two stories from my past came to mind.

1.  Back in my childhood I did a Royal Conservatory of Music piano exam every other year.  They were terrifying for me, but eventually I figured out a way to power through the fear.  I would tell myself, “It’s only 20 minutes out of my WHOLE LIFE.”  It made the experience less daunting somehow.

2.  Years ago at a little country school, I got into conversation with 5 year old Ryan.  He told me that one day when the bus had dropped him off at his home, there was nobody there.  It scared him and he wanted to cry.  “But I thought, there’s no use crying,” he said, “So I decided to sit on the step and wait.”  I marveled at his thought process.

When facing fear, I do a lot of self-talk.
You can do this.   
It’s a learning process and it’s okay to make mistakes.
God gifted you to write so WRITE! and let Him worry about what to do with it.

Eventually my self-talk becomes prayer talk.  I tell God what’s got me worked up, ask Him for help and direction and that I would know He is present.  Scripture often comes to mind that encourages me on.   

I was nervous sitting down to write my first blog post for Inscribe Writers Online.  After all, who am I?  Why would anybody be interested in anything I had to write?

Then I read some of the other blog posts for this month and was comforted to see I wasn’t the only one. You all encouraged me.  Thank you!  I will use some of your comments for my self-talk next time I need to push through my fears.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own self-talk, here are a few great quotes to get you started:

“The best way out is always through.”  Robert Frost

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”  Judy Blume

“Fear doesn’t go away.  The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.”  Steven Pressfield

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”  Winston Churchill

“People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.”  Peter Drucker

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”  Thomas Edison

“I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Phil. 4:13 (HCSB)

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”
2 Tim. 1:7 (AMP)

“As Christian writers we have no excuse for letting fear stifle the words we are called to write.”  Sheila Webster


  1. thanks for all the wonderful and inspiring quotes! We are very happy to have you as part of the team!

  2. 2 Tim 1:7 has been a life line verse for me. I love all of your quotes and plan to save them for my own 'self talk.' Really enjoyed your post :)

  3. Joy, thank you for posting how you struggle with this. Changing the tapes in our mind from defeatist thoughts to encouraging hope isn't easy, but it is possible, especially when we quote Scripture. Thanks for more words I can use for self-talk!

  4. Joy,
    Thanks for facing your fear and writing this post. Your comment about the RCM exams made me smile - I had to talk myself through those too!

    And now I talk myself through fear when I have something published, especially when I go back and find errors that are as plain as the nose on my face.

    It's so good to know that God loves and accepts us the way we are, and it's also reassuring to know that many great people also had to push past their fears.

    Onward, brave Word Warrior!

  5. Yes, my daughter has faced many of those RCM exams! I think I suffer from fear for her as much as she does. I really enjoyed your post and it was most appropriate for me at this time as I head out to a writer's conference to do my first pitch. I especially love the scriptres and Sheila's quote.

  6. One would never know that was your first post! It was awesome. I may have to come back and read it and all those great quotes when I go to do my first post.

  7. Joy, I so enjoyed your first post here on InScribe Writers Online.

    I do lots of self-talk too and am often encouraged by a word that comes to mind that reminds me to keep my eyes on Jesus.

    You've shared some great quotes -- Thomas Edison's been one I've used lots for myself too.

    Mmm...maybe we used to sit next to each other in the waiting area at those RCM piano exams.

    Happy writing....

  8. I was not sure about myself either when I wrote my first Inscribe blog. It is comforting to know I have company. Thanks for sharing.F

  9. Thanks so much for sharing. The most inspiring quote, from my perspective came from the five-year-old. Pretty profound for someone so young. Again, thanks for sharing.

  10. That "only 20 mins out your whole life" idea is how I face the dentist! :D Thanks for putting this into words Joy, and for gathering helpful quotes. (I chuckled at the Peter Drucker quote. So true!)

  11. Your first post and you hit it out of the park. I think we as writers all know about self-talk--turning it to prayer-talk is a great reminder. And I too find so much inspiration from quotes. These days it's been words from Brene Brown in "Daring Greatly," thanks to your recommendation. Thanks Joy.

  12. Wow! You all sure know how to make a girl feel welcome. Thanks for all the encouragement.

  13. Excellent job! Thanks for the words.
    I connect with all that self-talk! And how it turns into prayer talk. May we all "Keep pushing through fears."

  14. Excellent job! Thanks for the words.
    I connect with all that self-talk! And how it turns into prayer talk. May we all "Keep pushing through fears."

  15. Great work Joy! I love "God gifted you to write so WRITE! and let Him worry about what to do with it."
    What a privileged it has been to watch you push through the fear and move forward!


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