Business/Goals,  Personal

6 Important Things I’ve Learned From Starting a Blog

Photo by Dana Marin on Unsplash

I have been absent from this blog for about 3 weeks, and I wanted to share some things with you guys that I’ve learned in that time.  I also want to let you know how normal of a human I am.  Seriously normal/average over here.  🙂

1. Starting a Blog/Business and Putting Yourself Out There Sucks A LOT of the Time

Guys, this shiz is hard.

Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  I mean, there’s a lot of stuff going on in my life too, but isn’t there always?  This blogging stuff is a type of hard that I’ve chosen on purpose, and so I think that’s why it seems extra hard.

My brain is like, “Uh, yeah, excuse me, self?  What are we doing?  Can’t you see that this is extra?  That it’s not necessary at all, and you’re just making your life harder?  Why in blue blazes are we doing this?”

You have to stay moderately consistent to have a successful blog/online business, and I am still working on that.  These past few weeks have been FILLED with self-doubt.

I released a free resource that I thought people would be STOKED about, and honestly?  It was kind of crickets.  I’m not telling you this to blame you, the reader or throw a pity party, I’m just telling it like it is.

This sort of thing has historically thrown me into a shame spiral and guess what?  This time was no different.  I made it mean all sorts of wacky, untrue things about myself, and then I felt bad about that, but didn’t apply my usual system.  I just sat in it and indulged in it quite a bit.

I spent many many days these past few weeks just hanging out in bed most of the day because I couldn’t seem to get motivated to do more than that.

I avoided writing blog posts or posting to IG because I felt like, “What’s the point?  No one cares about or likes my stuff anyway.  It’s all been done before.”

2. Having a Pity Party AKA Indulging in Negative Emotion Doesn’t Actually Get You Closer to Your Goals

If you have read this blog at all in the past, you know that I am a HUGE believer in allowing negative emotion and processing it.  I don’t believe that we’re supposed to feel happy and positive all the time.

That being said–there is a difference between allowing your emotions and indulging in them.

You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout.  When you just sit there and feel sorry for yourself and add negative emotion on TOP of already-negative-emotion by telling yourself things like, “I suck.  I’m such a failure.”  Ad nauseum.  This was me the past two weeks.

Guess what?  Turns out sitting in my bed and binging Netflix didn’t get anyone else to read my blog.  Just sayin’.

3. My Brain Is Totally Normal

Does any of this sound familiar?

It should, because this process is what happens to pretty much 90% of the population if they try to make a change or put themselves out there.

Our brains do not want change.  They do not like it.  Our brains just want things to continue as normal, because anything else means extra work, and our brains are like robots who want to stay efficient.

So I tried reeeallly hard not to beat myself up for my lack of action.  Didn’t succeed completely, but again:  that’s okay.

4. Self Care Is More Than Taking Baths and Eating Bon Bons

I’m not going to elaborate much more on this, especially when this blog post from Thought Catalog just PERFECTLY encapsulates it.  Suffice it to say that I have learned this from experience these past few weeks.

What started out as self care quickly turned into madly trying to escape from my reality.  Which brings me to the next thing I learned:

5. Escaping Life Through Buffering Activities=Living In the Matrix

“Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.” -Morpheus

What do I mean by buffering/buffering activities?

Anything that helps you escape, check out, cope unhealthily with, or otherwise numb life.  Could be alcohol, social media, people-pleasing, turning the screens on for your kids for hours every day, or overeating–even excessive cleaning.  (Insert anything that fits the description above.)

We like these activities/behaviors because they help us escape the reality that’s in front of us, or at least numb it a little bit for a little while.

The problem comes when we overuse them and it becomes this thing where we’re essentially living in the matrix.  (If you haven’t seen that movie, just watch it.  C’mon, guys.  SO GOOD.  Basically there is a virtual reality that almost all the remaining humans on earth are plugged into so they don’t have to experience the reality, which is a post-apocalyptic Earth.  Some people choose to unplug and try and save everyone.)

Everything in the matrix is shiny and consistent and fine, but it’s not real.

Some people would rather live in the matrix.  With all its pain and frustration and let-downs, I would MUCH rather live in reality.  Because you can’t selectively numb emotions.  I learned this from the master: Brené Brown.  She has said:

“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”

If I try to live an existence where I want to numb or escape all my negative emotions through buffering, I’m not living life to the fullest.  And I want that more than I want to escape.  It’s totally worth unplugging from the matrix.

6. My Phone Will Kill Me If I Let It

I have a serious compulsion to look at my phone, especially when I’m experiencing negative emotion.

I have learned that I need to define clear limits and decide ahead of time how much screen time I will give myself, what types, and when I will indulge in it.

I have completely cut out Facebook except to post business related things.  I broke this rule a few times in these past weeks and it was awful.  Facebook just doesn’t work well for me.

Instagram is okay, but I still have to be careful with this one.

I discovered Twitter to its full extent and it is simultaneously delightful and terrible.  I love the cleverness that is required to say what you want to say in only 140 characters.  But I went down a major negativity rabbit hole.  So now I’ll only be using it to tweet, not to scroll.

These are just examples, but it’s one of the biggest realizations I’ve come to over these past few weeks.  I can sum it up in this sentence:  consuming too much social media KILLS my creativity and amps up my comparison-to-others senses.

Conclusion of my Scattered Thoughts

Basically, these past three weeks have been a good look in the mirror.  I’ve really seen and observed myself under stress and negative emotion, and learned some really important things.  Most of all, I’ve learned that I am not superwoman, and I don’t want to be.  I want to be so real with you guys and live authentically.

I can’t do that when I try to sound like I know everything in my blog posts, effectively making you guys think that I have it all together and have a successful business.

I don’t.  I’m still figuring things out.  I don’t know everything.

But I’m not giving up, and I hope I can be an example of what’s possible and how it really happens.  The messy, real-life process.

I had several people sign up for my free course and I am beyond grateful.  People have expressed how helpful it is, or how my blog has inspired them, and that’s awesome.

You guys are awesome.

I am still working on believing these things myself, but I know that that’s the key to peace: not needing other people’s approval in order to live your life how you want to live it.  Sure, it’s nice, but I don’t want to stop doing what I do just because I don’t get the approval I was hoping for.

I hope you will learn that too, if you learn anything from me.

Love you guys. 🙂  Also, I hope you enjoyed the gifs.  You’re welcome.

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