“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Last week I wrote a post declaring the start of my journey to finding my voice online. I’ve been blogging for a little while now and sometimes struggled to write content that I felt was a true reflection of who I am and what I wanted to say.
When I started this blog I knew what I wanted out of it. I knew the type of content and communication I wanted to have. From deep and raw conversations about my relationship with God and man, to the struggles and success of building a career and a future. I wanted to talk about all of this and more. However, as months went by and seeing the success of other blogs I started second-guessing myself.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to look at the success of other people and be inspired to do the same. However, when this begins to silence your own voice and you can’t recognise yourself in your own work, something ain’t right.
So I went on a deleting spree and deleted most of my posts. Start fresh right? Wrong! Even after “re-evaluating” my content I still found myself second-guessing the words that I wrote.
Finding your voice, and owning it, is tough. Especially at the beginning. Even with unshakeable confidence in yourself, the fear of being judged is still there (whether we like to admit it or not). That’s the sad truth about starting something new. We often question our abilities before we’ve really seen what we can do with them. So I decided to write this post.
Call it a therapy session between friends to getting back on track.
I’m on a journey as many of us are. I know where I’d like to go but have no idea how to get there. It’s as if my satnav broke just as I was starting my journey and instead of stopping to see what went wrong, I decided to wing it and keep going in hopes of eventually finding my way. You ever feel like that?
Winging it isn’t always a bad thing but for me it doesn’t work. I’m a planner and I like to know what I did wrong in order for me to move forward. Re-trace my steps. After some self-reflection and a tall glass of “let me be honest with myself” I found 4 things that I believe have been holding me back from being my true self on here.
Comparing myself to others
The saying, “comparison is the thief of joy”, is so true. I robbed myself of joy in my blog every time I compared it to someone else. I’d look at blogs that started around the same time as me and compare their progress to mine. They had more likes, comments and followers than I did. What was I doing wrong? What were they doing that I wasn’t? By comparing I was distracting myself from my own accomplishments and labelling my efforts as “wrong” or “not good enough”. But I am good enough. Having the desire is one thing but putting some action towards that desire and seeing some results (no matter how small they are) shows that I am good enough. I started this blog didn’t I? And I’m still going. Slowly but surely.
Forgetting why I started
Starting is easy, continuing…not so much. You’re trying to keep up with everyone else yet you don’t really know what you’re doing or if it’s going to work. Comparison and self-doubt are a recipe for disappointment. In the midst of all of that confusion and frustration it’s easy to forget why you started in the first place. But remembering why we started will remind us why we need to continue. Taking a step back and recognising I’ve veered slightly off-course means I can get back on it again. Slowly but surely.
Not creating space to grow
Life is busy. Time is limited and things happens. Yet in the midst of all this we want things to be perfect right away. I know I do! My impatient-self wants everything to happen now forgetting that nothing happens overnight. The imperfections, the mistakes, frustrations and even lack of not knowing what I’m doing are all part of the process. I need to learn to be OK with screwing things up or not getting the response I want. In order to continue becoming the best versions of myself, I need to allow room for growth and growth requires space, time and risks. You can’t learn if you don’t take risks and you can’t take risks if you don’t let go of your fears.
Being afraid of judgements
I’m an out spoken, opinionated, “it’s either black or white with very little room for shades of grey” type of person and I love to debate. At least that’s what I’ve been told in person. However, online I’ve showed NONE of this. I put my personality (or the parts I thought people wouldn’t like) into a little box every time I edited a post. What would people think if I said that? They wouldn’t like me, would they. Being judged online was scary to me. Nothing gets deleted online and I didn’t want anyone to misunderstand my content. But the fact is we can’t control what others think. People will judge us no matter what we do or say, so why not do you boo boo?
So what am I going to do about it?
- Stop comparing myself
- Focus on one thing at a time
- Identify and value my qualities, experiences and unique traits
- Own who I am and understanding what is important to me
- Live intentionally and authentically
- Embrace and harness my emotions
- Take risks and allow myself to make mistakes
- Become your own judge
- Write about the things I’m passionate about
- Remember why I started!
Creating and sharing your work to the world takes a sense of vulnerability and strength. We need to learn to be vulnerable enough to share our truth and become strong enough to own our truth. This is the beginning of finding my voice and becoming a better version of myself.
I hope this post has been as therapeutic for you as it has been for me.
Have you had moments of self-doubt? What brought it on? How did you deal with it?
Feel free to leave your thoughts, comments, questions and other encouraging blogs down below!
Here are some blogs that are helping me on my journey to becoming the best version of myself! 🙂
Till next time!