As a coach and consultant to writers, I get asked one question constantly:
“Do I have what it takes?”
For over 13 years, I’ve spoken at writers conferences, always repeating the same refrain no matter what the class was called:
“Yes, you do have what it takes.”
Writers, being their nibbly-anxious selves, always wonder if their words are good enough, skilled enough, smart enough. It’s only human to wonder, after all. We all suffer from the “not-good-enoughs.”
And most of us know that’s a trap, at least on our good days.
But I still get asked this question all too often, and by very accomplished and recognizable people. Whether it’s voiced straight out at the beginning of a coaching relationship, or well into 2 or 3 books together, when you’d expect that question had been well-answered by now.
And it doesn’t make me question my ability to communicate anymore. At least, not as often.
But here’s what I’m thinking we need to do whenever this question comes up, whether it’s from outside of us or in our own minds.
Take it captive.
You know what I’m saying.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
We can–indeed, we must–just decide to do this for ourselves, but for the others who don’t yet believe they have the power of the truth on their side.
“Hey, psst. You might not be who you think you are.” Take that right by the throat. Look it in the face. Then break it’s little neck.
Not a violent person? Don’t worry–just imagine it being infused with the truth from your eyes, the light that shines out from with you, the reality that can’t be contained that you are a child of such immense worth and power and infinite capability because you are filled with the limitless gifts of your Maker.
And you are enough because you can do anything you choose. That is the unfathomable freedom you’ve been given to be completely yourself in any circumstance and in all situations.
Practical work for Christians is greatly overemphasized today, and the saints who are “bringing every thought [and project] into captivity” are criticized and told that they are not determined, and that they lack zeal for God or zeal for the souls of others. But true determination and zeal are found in obeying God, not in the inclination to serve Him that arises from our own undisciplined human nature.
We have a responsibility to the truth and love we’ve been given. Either you recognize that as your “enough” or you do not. This is not a condemning comment but one intended to convey the miraculous freedom you’ve been given:
You have the unrestricted free choice to determine to discipline your mind–and that is what makes you enough. That gift you possess in total abundance.
Your success is not determined by whether you have what it takes. You have it.
What determines success is how you use it.