Top Ten Shortcuts to Failure

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Angel Falls author Connie Mann

If you’ve been chasing a dream for any length of time, you know that success of any kind—be it finishing a project, submitting it to editors or agents, getting all the components just right, selling it—requires a lot of hard work. Add in huge quantities of determination and stubbornness, and you’re halfway there.

Failure, on the other hand, can sneak up on us, unawares. It often requires simply not paying attention. We can work hard and think we’re headed in the right direction, but if we’re not careful, we can sabotage ourselves.

Here are my Top Ten Shortcuts to Failure.

  1. Stop giving 100% percent; dabble instead
  2. Hide from your project—or yourself–to avoid risk
  3. Waste time on distractions; make excuses
  4. Play the “you’re a failure” tape in your head
  5. Look back instead of forward
  6. Focus on risks, not potential rewards
  7. Exaggerate your abilities—or your shortcomings
  8. Listen to the naysayers in your world
  9. Play it safe
  10. Quit altogether

Have you been guilty of any of these? I certainly have. Often we get derailed by a mindset, our own fear. We have to beat back the doubt gremlins and move forward anyway.

As most of you know, my new romantic suspense, AngelFalls, releases in just a few days. After a ten-year journey to get here, I admit I’m equal parts terrified and excited. (If you’d like to know more, please read my post, When Stubborn is a Good Thing)

Angel Falls author Connie Mann

The thrill of finally holding Angel Falls in my hands!

But as March 1 inches closer, the doubt gremlins have been working overtime, attacking from all sides. I’ve been looking at this list to make sure I don’t become my own worst enemy. I won’t let anything steal my joy.

Wherever you are on the journey today, let me encourage you to move forward. Change your mindset. Keep going. Don’t quit—no matter what.

Have you ever inadvertently sabotaged yourself? How did you fight back?

PS—I’m honored to be a guest on several blogs in the coming weeks so I hope you’ll stop by. This weekend, I’ll be featured on At Home With Christian Fiction and Robin Lee Hatcher’s website to celebrate AngelFalls’ release. I also did a fun interview for The Suspense Zone, and they’ll be giving away a copy of the book in March. Fun!


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    The Conversation

  1. Maddy says:

    Congratulations to you – love the new website. Maybe it’s because we’re female that we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. Delighted to hear that you’ve arrived.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Glad you like it, Maddie. I’m thrilled with the new look and feel of the website. I so appreciate you celebrating this writing milestone with me. It is definitely a dream that took a long time to come true!

  2. Robin Grant says:

    So true! My writing journey has been LONG, so I’m quite familiar with all ten of these temptations.

    • Connie Mann says:

      You know, don’t you Robin? So hard to keep from shooting ourselves in the foot! Be encouraged today to keep moving forward, one step, one day at a time.

  3. Marilyn Turk says:

    Connie, Congratulations! Ten years – wow. What perserverance holding that book in your hands represents! I looked at your list and realized I’m guilty of half of them, which gives me one more thing to beat myself up about. Thanks for this very pertinent post and the desire to rid myself of them!

    • Connie Mann says:

      Hi Marilyn–thanks for sharing my joy! It has been a long road. 🙂
      Oh, please don’t beat yourself up–be encouraged instead. We can’t undo yesterday–but we can do tomorrow differently!

  4. Cheri says:

    Boy, I can relate. I’m my own worst enemy. It helps to surround yourself with cheerleaders, to memorize scripture, and when needed, to shout back at that negative voice (it isn’t from God).

    Thanks for a great post.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Hi Cheri,
      Thanks so much. Oooh, great advice! Sometimes we DO have to shout at that negative voice–talking doesn’t always work…

  5. Great post! And congratulations on Angel Falls!

  6. Elaine Stock says:

    Connie, congratulations on your debut novel. Reading this segment has just uplifted my spirits 🙂 I so appreciate your list of shortcuts to failure!

  7. Laura Kirkland says:

    Great list, Connie! I printed it out and posted it by my computer. Thanks, and I can’t wait to read my copy of Angel Falls.

  8. I’m a horrible procrastinator sometimes, even when I know it’s damaging me. Thank you for the tips and Wooohooo on your release!!