This week I totally and completely fell for the comparison game. I looked at other blogs, social accounts, writers, and entrepreneurs and thought, “there’s just no way I can be like them. I should just give up.”
I let that awful thought fester in my head until, well, right this moment. Even as I type out these words I feel these insecurities. I sit here, typing these words, knowing that I set a goal to publish a new blog entry every Tuesday and Friday…and it’s Thursday night and I have no idea what to write for the next morning. I feel emptied out. Tired. Feeling like I’m not going to make it.
Is there anyone else out there who feels this way with me?!?
So, as I sit here and type, I decided to just go for it. Write my thoughts, tell my readers how it is, be honest with my feelings towards pursuing my dreams. When it comes to my following my dreams of being a writer, some days it really is wonderful getting to write and read and live in New York City. Other times I feel trapped because all of these creative people are doing it better than me, and I just look at myself and think about how much I suck at doing this. How much I should just give up now and play it safe.
HA. No. I’m not going to let this thought fester. I’m not going to let this be true of myself. I am here, I am doing this, and I am going to try everything I can to keep going.
Just keep typing, just keep typing, just keep typing.
I’ve decided to reflect on a few things that are keeping me going. Part of this is to share with my readers the encouragements that I look to when I need that boost of encouragement and confidence. The other part of it is to remind myself of those encouragements and confidence. Because some weeks, like this one, I can’t help but think that it’s time to give up.
But I refuse, and here’s why.
Practice makes progress, not perfect.
I have a beautiful friend in Chicago named Jess who is an incredible fitness coach, mom, and all-around killer lady friend. She posts on Instagram on average, like, 2-3 times a day with all of these encouragements and real life posts when it comes to trying to stay fit while also being super real about the crazy chaotic life of being a mom of two kids and living in the city. One of the things she shares with her followers is that practice doesn’t need to make perfect, but makes progress. When you practice what you do – whether it be working out or writing – we do get way better at it…but we shouldn’t feel this insane pressure to be perfect at it.
When I look back I know that I never wrote as much as I do now, and taking my blog way more seriously then before. I’m still not perfect, and my following isn’t huge, but I’m in a way cooler place than I was two years ago and it’s only going to get better.
Keep going, keep going, keep going.
It’s a piece of encouragement that James Patterson himself gave Lauren Graham, which she shared with the rest of the world in her book Talking As Fast As I Can. Just because we feel insecure about our craft, and compare ourselves to others, doesn’t mean we should come to a stop. We shouldn’t take away the thing that we are created to do just because we are afraid! We should continue to pursue it, and never stop. Keep going, keep going, keep going.
Remember why you started.
This is something I constantly think of when it comes to the goals I set for myself this year. I set my goals because I wanted to improve as a writer. If I stop pursuing the goals I set, then I’m not giving myself the chance to make any progress. Remembering the beginning, and seeing how far we’ve come, is probably the best way to keep us going. P.S. I do this by keeping a journal – helps me to see my progress and how much I’ve grown since starting my goals.
You aren’t anyone else.
This seems a bit vague, and maybe a bit confusing, but here’s the thing…you are unique. I am unique. We are all different and passionate about unique things, and we shouldn’t try doing what others are doing.
Here’s an example: I’ve been watching a lot of those free webinars lately to improve the craft of my blog. I wanted to really hone in on a brand or a niche, but found myself gearing more towards a business model. These people were giving me great advice about leading a business, and I found myself trying to pursue someone else's dream. Turns out, I don’t actually want to start a business. I just want to write things.
So my projects and my passions when it comes to writing shouldn’t look like anyone elses, and I should stop pursuing how others people go about their “hustle” just because they are succeeding. Sure I only have 550 followers on Instagram. But I have a passion for what I do and I shouldn’t stop just because my passion doesn’t look like someone else’s successes.
Love what you do.
Lately I’ve felt tired when it comes to writing. I try to sit down every day (outside of my writing job) to write a little something for me – a short story, a blog entry, a newsletter, maybe even an article to pitch – and I’m starting to feel tired. I’m starting to feel like this is worthless.
But then I have to remember…Kiersten, you live in New York City and you’re getting paid to write. Remember when you dreamed about this in high school?
Oh yeah, I actually love doing this. I actually dreamed of doing this. Holy cow. How far I’ve come.
Did anyone else have that holy cow moment?
Share it with me in the comments, I really want to hear your stories!
Photo Credit: Scott Webb // Unsplash