I hate posts that start with “I’m sorry I haven’t posted…”
It’s bad manners. It’s bad for SEO. No one really cares.
It’s been a while since I posted. Mostly because of today’s topic of conversation.
This post is going to suck according to “proper” blogging rules. Chances are, very few people will read it. I’ve already missed my chance to get my keywords into my first paragraph. I don’t care. I’m taking action. And in a couple minutes you’ll know why that’s super important.
I’m going to tell you why you haven’t made the major life changes (or even minor life changes) you’ve wanted to do for a while.
Why You Haven’t Changed Your Life
I could wait and do a big reveal here, but it all comes down to something really simple – you’re afraid.
That’s not a bad thing, evolutionarily speaking. Fear keeps you in the known world. Fear means you don’t try the new food that could be poisonous. Fear means you don’t go into dark areas where there might be something that can hurt you. Fear means you stick with the comfortable because you know what to expect, and you know it’s safe.
Fear is not your friend.
We need to push ourselves, to try new things. We need to step outside of our comfort zones. Growth requires discomfort, and in our role as mothers, we need to be comfortable with getting uncomfortable.
For many of us – and I absolutely include myself in this – fear is intrinsically linked with perfectionism. If we can’t do it perfectly, we don’t want to do it at all. A fear of failure holds us back from even trying to accomplish our goals.
I’m speaking to myself as much as I’m speaking to you here – but you can take a chance and fail, and be in the same place you are now, or you can take a chance and succeed, and be someplace so much better. “The answer’s always ‘no’ if you don’t ask,” right?
We have so many little things we might want to do in life that we wind up holding back on thanks to fear. Maybe you saw someone in the grocery store – and she looked really nice and she was taking her kids down the aisle and she stopped to put your favorite ice cream in the cart and you thought, “She looks great. I’d like to talk to her.” But you didn’t, because ohmygosh, what if she thinks you’re weird or you’re trying to recruit her into Amway or something?
Maybe she would have been your best friend. We won’t know because fear won.
The Tactics of Fear
When we’re afraid of something, there are a couple habits we tend to do to avoid doing what we need to do.
One is getting too involved in “research.” Have you ever done this? “I want to do (x) but I need to read all about it before I do it.” “I want to do (y) but I’m going to look it up on YouTube first.”
I spent years blogging casually. I wanted to blog professionally – use it as an income stream – but I was afraid. So I stalled by getting courses or doing things that I thought would “help me.” Eventually, I realized it was mostly delaying tactics.
A lot of the time, we’ll do something after a particular condition has been met – then, when that’s met, we change the condition to something else. I always said I would get into a steady routine when I was no longer working my job in the local jail. That changed to, when my husband wasn’t working 3pm to midnight. Then that changed to, when my daughter could sleep through the night. Nope – not good enough. There’s always an excuse.
We put conditions on what we’re going to do – conditions that we know are unlikely to be met. “I’ll start running when I lose fifteen pounds.” “I’ll declutter my house after school starts/Christmas/in the spring/over the summer…”
If you never start, you can’t fail, right?
But if you never start, you can’t succeed either.
How to conquer your fear
Fear is like a houseplant. It needs the right environment to grow. Some people are really awesome at killing it. Some people are really good at propagating it. Just like plants grow with water and sunlight, fear grows with perfectionism and delays.
I wish I could give you the magic formula for getting past those things. There is none. You just have to get to the point where you’re so damn tired of dealing with it, you’re ready to move on.
Some of my best tips for conquering fears –
- Journal it out. Write out what your fear is. Write out what the worst case scenario is. Write out what the best case scenario is. If you’re comfortable doing so, post it someplace where you’ll see it every day.
- Write your roadmap. Figure out what you need to do to get to the best case scenario. Then start breaking it down into goals you can achieve.
- Start today. You may not be able to do every single goal immediately – but spend fifteen minutes working on it today. Take an action that brings you closer to what you want to do. Maybe that’s writing out your ideal day. Maybe that’s starting to form an evening routine. Maybe that’s outlining your business plan.
- Talk to someone. Maybe your spouse. Maybe your best friend. Tell someone what you want to accomplish. Tell them you need their support and how they can support you. It may be you need someone to talk to you on a daily basis and tell you to move your butt. It may be you just need someone to know this is what you’re working on. Find someone to talk to, though.
- Be okay with imperfection and failure. Even Mozart hit a wrong note on occasion. J. K. Rowling was rejected twelve times before someone finally published the first “Harry Potter” book. She’s now the richest author in history. What if she’d gotten discouraged after three or four rejections?
- Take action. Above all, take action. Action is vital.
When it came to my problems getting started blogging, I unsubscribed from all the various bloggers I get updates from (except one – I have one particular guy who I’ll read every word of every email from). That way, I’m not “researching” everything.
I kept telling myself “I’ll do it next month.” “I need to get my site perfect first.” “I need to have my opt-ins and funnels set up first.” But then some people in a group I’m in started a “30 posts in 30 days” challenge. In the middle of the month – in the middle of the week, even. Why are we starting now? I wondered. Why not start on the first of the month? Why not start Monday?
Then I realized – how many times have I said I’d start on the first, or start on Monday, and not done it? Action is the enemy of fear.
To be a bit crude, it’s the cat pee in the flower pot.
So if you haven’t taken action on something because fear is holding you back, it’s time to move on. Change your life. Because you wouldn’t have read all the way down to here if your current lifestyle was working for you.
I’m cheering for you, friend!