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April 26, 2022

The Big Leap / Books for Writers


UPDATE: Last Tuesday (April 19) my mom was admitted into the hospital again and is still there. We’ve received some not-so-good news about her cancer, although her immediate medical diagnosis is improving. I’ve decided not to share anymore updates, good or bad, for…well, indefinitely…until all of her treatments are done and any good news we get is expected to last.


You can read The Big Leap for the reading challenge for writers I’m hosting called Read With Fey. You can join it on The StoryGraph here. But you don’t have to be on The StoryGraph to participate! Check out all the details here: Read With Fey: Challenge For Writers


THE BIG LEAP: CONQUER YOUR HIDDEN FEAR
AND TAKE LIFE TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Image by Chrys Fey

In January I was struck in the solar plexus by what I’d be devoting my year to, which can also be described as my year’s goals/themes/words. 

Transformation

Growth

Manifestation

Shifts/Leaps

I purchased several books to help me with these goals and listened to podcasts and watched IGTVs (live videos on Instagram).

My favorite podcast and IGTVs are created by Amy Rushworth. In one of her IGTVs she recommended the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, so it was one of the books I purchased for my transformational growth.


Throughout the book Gay Hendricks teaches us about his program called The Big Leap and living in our Zone of Genius. The terms he uses to describe his theories may not be for everyone (they even took me a little bit to get used to), but nuggets can be found throughout his book that can help us to grow in more than one way, such as:

- Figuring out if what we do is in our Zone of Incompetence, Competence, Excellence, or Genius.

- Spotting our Upper Limit Problems (traits and personal dramas and other things we do unconsciously that keep us from staying happy and enjoying our success).

- Discovering what our genius is (our unique ability)

There were other teachings throughout his book, but these were the most impactful for me.

FYI: In order to better understand these terms and what they mean, it’d be best to read the book.


While I was reading this book I was also taking a month-long break from social media and all things in order to rest and recuperate from…life. Twice throughout the month I had random thoughts about work/tasks/responsibilities that I did that I no longer wanted to do. I listened to those thoughts, found them curious, and pondered them. It was shortly after the second thought when I noticed a possible connection between those thoughts and what I’d been doing that month.

1.) I was resting and replenishing myself with reading, learning, meditation, self-love, and more. 

2.) I was reading a book about not staying stuck in doing things that you’re competent in or even excel in because then you’re not fully embracing your genius and all the ways you could be truly and fully happy and successful.

The two thoughts I had were alerting me to two things I shouldn’t be doing anymore because they were keeping me from leaping into my Zone of Genius, which is writing.

These concepts are all about knowing who you are and what makes you happy and doing things, as well as not doing certain things, that will support you in that happiness and success.

The problem is that most of us don’t know ourselves as much as we should and don’t know what makes us happy, and certainly don’t do what makes us happy for a whole host of reasons.

I’ll reveal my Upper Limit Problems to you.


My Upper Limit Problems:

- Worrying

(I worry a lot and overthink things too much.)

- Blame and criticism

(I commit these against myself most of the time.)

- Hiding significant feelings

(I’ve done this ever since my childhood as the youngest child in my family and having to deal with getting bullied by my siblings. Then, later, I really learned to hide significant feelings after betrayals. This is something I’ve been working on. Specifically I’ve been voicing my boundaries, which has been liberating and I also see the people I voice those boundaries to responding in a positive way that tells me they’re learning something for themselves when I do that for myself.)

 

I also want to share with you something else I learned about myself that may be an eye opener for others. 

Gay Hendricks asks us to pinpoint what our unique ability (special skill set) is.

At first, I was like, “Easy. Writing.”

But Hendricks asks us to dig deeper, peel back the layers. He has fill-in-the-blank statements that help with this.

Here are mine, each one going deeper:

I’m at my best when I’m working on a story that I’m really excited about.

When I’m working on a story that I’m really excited about, the exact thing I’m doing is daydreaming about scenes and conversations, listening to inspiring music, and free writing (pantsing).

(That last part came as a surprise for me because I used to be a strict plotter, although I’ve adapted a hybrid of the two…plantsing.)

When I’m daydreaming about scenes and conversations, listening to inspiring music, and free writing (pantsing), the thing I love most is getting lost in a new world that I can escape to and creating characters who are my best friends. I love that my imagination can make me feel at home and loved and like anything is possible.


So my unique ability is…

Creating worlds that I can escape to and characters I can call family.


Like me, at first you may think your special skill set is writing, but when you ask yourself what you’re doing when you’re at your best, you may discover that it’s not writing after all, but designing cover art, teaching/coaching other writers, taking photographs, making art, etc. 

Or you may be able to peel back the layers of writing (or whatever else it is that you’re doing when you’re at your best) and pinpoint exactly what about it is your unique ability.


SHARE: Use the prompts above (replace my underlined statements with your own) to pinpoint your unique ability and share it with me. (Also, was it a surprise, revelation, or confirmation?)




P.S. My embedded Blogger comment section is acting up and not allowing me to reply back to comments with my Google account and with my name and URL, so I changed it temporarily to this pop-up comment section, which I don’t like because you can’t reply back to comments easily and I just don’t like the pop-up, but it’s my only solution right now. I noticed I can’t comment on other peoples’ blogs who have the embedded comments, either, so it has to be a problem with Blogger. *sigh* Hopefully it gets fixed soon.


11 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys - I am so sorry to read this - I wish you, your mother, your family and friends all the best at this time ... take care and with lots of thoughts and love - Hilary

Liz A. said...

Sounds like you got a lot out of that book. Sending your mom healing thoughts.

Jeff said...

so sorry to hear about your mother. She's in my prayers. I have read three books on writing this year, which I reviewed last week. Two focused on poetry and the third on writing in general.

https://fromarockyhillside.com

Chrys Fey said...

Hey, everyone!

My embedded Blogger comment section is acting up and not allowing me to reply back to comments with my Google account and with my name and URL, so I changed it temporarily to this pop-up comment section, which I don’t like because you can’t reply back to comments easily and I just don’t like the pop-up, but it’s my only solution right now. I noticed I can’t comment on other peoples’ blogs who have the embedded comments, either, so it has to be a problem with Blogger. *sigh* Hopefully it gets fixed soon.

Chrys Fey said...

@Hilary Thank you!

@Liz I did. I'll only share and talk about books that I got a lot out of. :) Thank you!

@Jeff Way to go for reading three books on writing so far this year! That’s wonderful.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

First, I’m sorry your mom is in hospital and that things aren’t going as we’d like. These are hard times.

That’s an intriguing book. I’ve been doing a lot of introspection in another direction lately—about what I want in a home. It does help to think these things through logically sometimes. As for my genius… I guess I’ve never considered I could claim anything above maybe excelling. I do think your exploration of the happy place in writing is about right, but I think I can only reach that place when I’ve done the spadework—I can’t just freewrite more than a flash fiction without preparing a framework for it with some planning and plotting.

M.J. Fifield said...

Sounds like an interesting read & I'm so glad you got so much out of it.

I'm more of a plantser these days, too. I like the hybrid nature of it.

And I'm pretty sure everything I do these days falls into the zone of incompetence... :)

Love to you & your mom. <3

Damyanti Biswas said...

Sending you all the wishes goodwill, strength, peace and healing to get you through this challenge :)

Chrys Fey said...

@Rebecca, thank you!

Every writer is different. Some plot, some free write, some do a little of both. There’s no one way to write or prepare fir writing. :) And you can certainly aim for whatever you want and desire above excelling. You can aim for so much more. ❤️

Chrys Fey said...

@M.J., I like the hybrid nature of it, too.

Ah. No, don’t say that. You excel at so much!

Thank you! ❤️

Chrys Fey said...

@Damyanti, thank you so much!