Is it just me? Or do you too suffer from the mind's amazing capacity to have creative and inspired ideas only to feel crippled by the very same mind's expectations of perfection and certain failure?
With the creation of my new website (whatvaleriethinks.com), I was doing something for fun, something that I felt passionate about, namely movies, TV, books...entertainment basically! Having been told for several years that I had a way with words (though usually by my family, so I always took it with a pinch of salt), I thought, "Yeah, I'm going to have a website on which I can focus my writing and maybe it'll start getting some traction".
The Fluffy Pink Cloud Effect
So far so good. I looked forward to everything I watched or read with thoughtful consideration of what I would post about it. Around this time, I started to pick up a few freelance writing jobs, which was so exciting and before I knew it, I was considering myself a bit of a blogger, bit of a writer, bit of a freelancer! Woohoo!
And that's when...it all started to turn.
Like Lord of the Rings: A Dark Shadow Spreads from the East
What "it" turned into is what I can only describe as my own Valerie-specific meltdown. My perfectionism emerged with new strength as never before. Now unlike some people, my perfection does not manifest in a need to do until I get it perfect. Ohhhhh nooo, mine manifests with paralysis. If I can't do it perfectly, I become paralyzed by fear. I became racked with pressure I should be the best and since that's impossible, the only other option is to do nothing. Who's with me???
My mind got in this rut of messages that were saying, "You've missed the boat...You're behind the social media times...everyone else has a great blog but yours is just a pipe-dream".
6 Tools & Tips to Help You Improve Your Blog Posts" read to me as, "6 Tools You'll Never Do Well Enough, Valerie, and why Your Blog is Doomed to Fail". Or how about this latest one, "The 10 Websites To Get Your Articles Discovered!" which actually meant to me, "10 Websites You'll Never Succeed in Getting Your Articles on because You, Valerie, are Just Not Plain Good Enough!"
Pretty heavy, isn't it? It was wearing me down, for sure, this constant self-doubt. And for a time, it actually halted all progress I was making (or so it seemed).
The Cool Balm of Identification
All was not lost, thank goodness! It turns out, it's not just freakish ME that experiences these types of insecurities when it comes to writing. Turns out many (maybe most even?) bloggers and writers out there suffer much of the time with this secret belief that they're not good enough and they're going to get found out. Who knew? I came across a blog entry written by someone who was expressing the same sense of "I don't belong in this group" and yet is also making a living doing it!
What Now, Brown Cow
Knowing I'm not alone in this peculiar writer's mental-prison has helped no end. And now I'm no longer paralyzed (well for today anyway). I'm back into taking action; action that's manageable and also enjoyable. Choosing to live in a perspective of abundance and that there is plenty in the universe for me, for you and really for all of us. And if my writing is only a hobby and occasional freelance job, that's okay too. It's helping me grow in all kinds of ways, even if it doesn't become a big, huge, successful business. Expectations are now more realistic.
Further, I'm trying to get out of my own way, so to speak. And as a friend was talking about just this morning, he doesn't always know what he's supposed to do, so he just tries to do the next right action. So that's my motto for today, just doing the next right action, one at a time.
A huge thanks to not only my family and friends, but to wise bloggers like Diana Adams, Brian Clark and Darren Rowse for offering up such helpful articles and links. All of you have helped more than you know, thank you!
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