When I first started blogging it was very different to what it is today, truth be told sometimes I barely even recognise it. To this day I have absolutely no idea how I stumbled across the balls to actually start one, having lived in constant fear of what others thought of me for as long as I had done. But that one exception aside, I spent a large part of my blogging life in fear. I didn’t attend events and I certainly didn’t immerse myself within the community, choosing to keep myself to myself than risk embarrassing myself in some way, shape or form.
I now look back on those years with much regret as I missed out on learning and growing as a person as well as meeting and building relationships with some fabulous people. What would I do differently now? What am I doing now to ensure I don’t let fear take hold? Here’s a few basics that I currently live by;
I used to “live” between the walls of my comfort zones. I would allow them to hold me back and suffocate me from the world. My fears always being at the forefront of my mind, my fear of flying, my fear of awkward silence, my fear of being judged all holding me back from so many incredible opportunities. And then I decided to say “Yes” more to things that were out of my comfort zone.
Flying half way across the world on my own? Yes
Living on a Boat for a week? Yes
Heading to events on my own? YES!
I soon realised that the more I said yes, the easier it became. The less scared I was to put my foot a little further outside of my comfort zone each time. This gave me confidence as a person and in my abilities as a blogger. I was there doing these things because I said yes!
Your biggest enemy lives inside of you, that was something I realised pretty early on. It was only me who doubted me, I would convince myself that everyone around me did too when in actual fact they saw the opposite. We all have those voices within us who tell us we cannot and remind us that we might fail and if we fail that means we are a failure, people will laugh, therefore it is best not to try. \
I always maintain that the most common question I receive with regards to blogging is “what are your tips for starting?”, it crops up time and time again and I genuinely believe that 90% aren’t after tips at all. In fact they are looking for reassurance because they have been listening to that loud voice within them with all their “What if’s” and worst case scenarios. They want me to tell them that it will be OK, just like I wanted when I started.
In my experience, people laughed, I felt silly and I thought about what life would have been like if I had let the internal voices win. Now that same thought is the thing of nightmares!
People Will Judge You
We’ve all been judged our entire lives. Even when we thing we aren’t being judged, we most definitely are and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, in fact we are probably just as guilty. It’s at that point that you have to take a step back and realise that worrying about being judged won’t ever stop it from happening, it is a fact of life and a waste of valuable energy that could be better spent elsewhere.
I now spend far more time worrying about those who judged me but also took the time to get to know me, to befriend me and to be there for me. There aren’t many of them but wow are they spectacular humans, so now a days I put that energy into maintaining those relationships, both inside and outside of blogging, to ensure I am always surrounded by the right kind of, like minded people.
You Don’t Want Everyone to Like you
As above I have some exceptional human-beings in my life who accept me for who I am and embrace the flaws I am so fearful of. However if you are being yourself, you are going to piss someone off at some point and in my personal opinion, because y’know it’s my personal blog and all, you simply don’t want everyone to like you. Opinions and beliefs differ from person to person so drastically that if you are airing a view, you can be damn sure someone won’t agree with you in fact I recently saw someone call me out for “writing too positively all the time”. It was reading that which made me realise, people with that mind set will simply see the negative even in the most positive and trying to keep them happy will cost you all of the wonderful things that make you who you are.
“I can’t tell you the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
Be Proud Of Yourself
The world is constantly telling us what we can and cannot do, who we should and shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t compliment ourselves because that is being arrogant, but we shouldn’t put ourselves down either because then that makes us insecure. We shouldn’t be too positive because that is setting unrealistic expectations and yet we shouldn’t be too negative because that makes you not pleasant to be around. We simply cannot win!
So a long with not attempting to please everyone, try pleasing yourself instead. Congratulate yourself on your achievements, publicly if need be. Compliment your own hair, your outfit or your make-up and own it. Be your own biggest fan because we live in a world that’s constantly telling us we are wrong!