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!