Last night I went to bed at 8pm (not unusual for me, as I’m getting up at 5:30am to work out 3 times a week and I really love my sleep!) and Reuben woke up at about 10pm. I came down to see to him and as he seemed a bit poorly, once he was settled I went to round up his medicines (calpol, nasal spray, baby vicks) in case I needed it in the night. After I did this an article caught my eye in Mike’s Money Week called “How Athletes Make it to the Top” – a rundown of this article from Barking up the Wrong Tree.
I read it. Then read it again. I had a quiet moment of clarity, “I have been doing it all wrong”, then I went back to bed.
I’ll be honest with you. Since Christmas, hell maybe even the summer, I’ve been lost. Unsure what my purpose in life is, what my goals are for the blog or anything. So I try to think big, dream up at least some goals, so I’m not just stagnant, treading water.
But perhaps I dream a bit too big and don’t think carefully enough about the smaller milestones. I often feel like a failure; I’m not a good enough blogger or mum or wife. I live and breath guilt; for having so much and not enjoying it or enjoying it and not suffering enough to have it! How can I have this lovely life with a super sexy husband, and not have earned any of it? It’s a crazy self-sabotaging existence and I have decided to stop it today.
Reading this article in the middle of the night (well, the middle of my night!) I realised I need to change my focus; to become more like an athlete (in my mind anyway!). I hope Eric won’t mind me quoting him but here are the basics and my interpretation.
Blog like an athlete
1. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have talent.This has 2 elements:
- It discourages you from trying
- The secret to success is hard work and often your talent will emerge as you go along (as long as you push yourself)!
My issue is that the only person telling me I don’t have talent is, well, me (thank you to anyone who has thought it but not said it to me!). I take any ‘not at the moment’ from a potential client or dip in my stats as a sign that I just don’t have what it takes. But, at the risk of sounding like a knob, I know I do have a certain talent for this blogging lark and more importantly I enjoy it! I just need to work a bit harder – no big surprises there – and stop being scared of failure.
“If you have a passion, you’ve got to apply yourself and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it,” Denis Lewis
2. Find your passion. Super successful people apparently don’t have superbrains, just an “insatiable desire to improve”. I need to work out how to improve without always comparing myself to others. This is about challenging and improving myself not trying to keep up with the Kardashians or the Tots100 in our world!
3. Learn like a baby. We have to make our own mistakes. “Learning for yourself is more powerful than following instructions”. I have numerous blogging books, and some fantastic online resources that I love to have but rarely pickup… and then feel guilty about it! Perhaps I need to go back to doing my own thing? There are so many instructions out there for blogging, social media, traffic, seo, etc, etc, etc, it’s hard to know where to start and feels completely overwhelming at times.
Perhaps I/we need to go back to the fundamentals of blogging and just write what we’re interested in and what’s in our heads – whether that’s a cake or story or photo or whatever, just create and learn and improve as we go? I read in a great article by Pinch of Yum that for each post you write you want to try and improve incrementally, say 1% each time.
4. Find your “Optimal Push”. This is about applying yourself but not setting crazy (or “impossible” as they put it) goals – we need goals that are achievable and keep us striving. This takes me back to my dreaming big and the feelings of failure! I just need more manageable goals. There also needs to be time to reflect and work out what went wrong or right – ask yourself if what you’re doing is working. And keep asking it!
“We learn from failure, not from success!” – Bram Stoker
5. “Be a pain in the ass.” If we want to improve we need to be continuously questioning ourselves and our teachers – is this working? Doing what you’re told doesn’t lead to success apparently!
So, ignore all this and just do what you want! Do what makes you happy but keep getting better at it!