Remember when you were a little kid? You felt invincible. You could do anything. You could even fly! Well until you jumped off the roof, hit the ground, and broke your arm. But hey, you still flew right? Even if it was only momentarily.
Then someone told you couldn’t do something, because you weren’t good enough. That was the moment you began to doubt your superhuman strength. A tiny bit of that hero inside died. Then another person (d%$k) told you weren’t good enough at something else. A little bit more of that hero died…
As you grew up you heard over and over again that you weren’t good enough. Until you actually believed the lies. Eventually that superhero vanished completely.
And try as you might to achieve your dreams you couldn’t, because it turns out you were the one blocking yourself. The reason being- you had lost the power to believe you could do anything! This week I recognised this is what had happened to me.
How did I realise this? The answer is…
By attending the London Screenwriters’ Festival. My favourite event of the year!
In 2013 I went along to the festival to meet people and see what the London writing scene was like. This year I focused more on the business of writing. I chose sessions that would push me to become the writer I want to be now!
Right from the opening address by Chris Jones, (the organiser of LSF) I had a ‘I know I’m meant to be here’ moment. He asked us to call upon our inner Superhero- to name that hero. Turned out mine was called ‘F%$k Yeah!’ This hero would help push us out of our comfort zone- we would pitch to that person, we would talk to that stranger, we would ask that question!
Then I went to another session where you had to emotionally recall the times you were made to feel bad about yourself. This exercise is designed to help rewire the brain so you can deal with negative thoughts.
But first we had to feel all the times we’d felt rubbish. And so much came up! I’d been holding onto a lot of horrible crap people had said to me over the years. These things weren’t true but I believed them and made them my reality. These lies made me believe I couldn’t be that Superhero!
I had to face all that negativity, feel it fully and let it out. This is a very brief nutshell of the exercise, obviously there’s more to it. Once I did this I was able to ‘feel the fear’ and do it anyway. I pitched to Joel Schumacher, I chatted confidently to everyone, I was completely there. And I realised nothing could ever hold me back again.
I’ve found my Superhero and she’s gonna soar! (Maybe not off the roof though).