A few weeks ago I was feeling defeated. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I am trying to do with my blog, resources, and products. I’ve made plans and come up with hundreds of ideas.
And now, the only thing left to do is to take action on all those plans and ideas.
For me, this is the place where I usually get stuck. Doubt creeps in and I begin to wonder if my ideas are really as good as they seem. My energy level tanks as I face the real work of jumping into something new. That is the state of mind I found myself in recently. So, I decided to go to the place where many of us go when we have questions – Google. I typed in, ‘Can I do this?’
I’m not totally sure what I was hoping to find. Some encouragement perhaps and maybe some evidence that other people have asked this same question.
As you can probably guess, I did not find the answers to all of my philosophical questions from Google. But the fact that I was asking the question in a place I knew couldn’t give me the answer got me thinking.
Where can I get the courage to keep going? Is there some trick to self-motivation and tenacity that highly successful people know? How did I overcome these obstacles in the past when faced with something new and uncertain?
I have a lot of outside encouragement. My husband is supportive of my ideas and pushes me to try new things. And, I have an amazing group of friends who are always rooting for me. But that isn’t enough for me to overcome all of my fears and doubts – unfortunately.
I think some people naturally take a lot of risks while others struggle to step out of their comfort zone. But not all successful people are natural born risk-takers. Success comes in all shapes and personality styles. (I tend to be risk-averse, if you are wondering.)
The answer for me – to the question of how I can face a new challenge – is found in looking back. Before I started writing professionally I faced all of the questions I am facing now – and more. I really did not know if I had what it took to make it. When I turned in my first writing assignment I had no idea what response I was going to get. The first time I had to do a conference call with my boss and some potential clients I was scared to death. All of these things were new to me and I had to deal with doubt and fear each step of the way.
Looking back, I can see how I moved past my fears instead of giving up when I started my writing career.
- I focused on the task in front of me.
I did the best I could do on each writing assignment and then turned it in. If it was horrible and unacceptable it wouldn’t get published and I would have to revise it. Worrying about the possibility of making revisions while I wrote was not helpful – it slowed me down. I developed the habit of focusing on the task in front of me and dealing with everything else as it came.
- I decided to be open to input.
The first few times I had to revise a piece of writing that I submitted to my employer it really bothered me. I was tempted to argue or defend myself against the requested changes. But then I took an honest look at my level of experience compared to that of the marketing director who was asking for the changes. Did I really think that I knew more about digital marketing than him at the beginning of my career? When I honestly answered that question (the answer was ‘no’) it was much easier to be open to input.
- I practiced positive self-talk.
I started to pay attention to the things I said to myself and focused on making sure that they were positive. It helps a lot to consciously practice saying positive and uplifting things to myself. If you are skeptical about the value of positive self-talk, look at it from the opposite viewpoint. How would it impact you if all of your thoughts were about how stupid and insignificant you are? When those are the thoughts running through your head it makes it difficult to feel motivated to take action.
Are you asking yourself the question, ‘Can I do this?’
Can you build a career writing from home? Is there a way to take your in-office job to a remote job? Can you find a side gig that will provide you with extra income? Do you have what it takes to make a career shift so your career fits around your life?
The answers to these questions depend on so many factors. But I can guarantee that you will never make progress toward your goals if you continue to let self-doubt and fear stop you before you ever get started.
So, suck it up and take one more step toward your goal/dream. That is the secret. Keep moving in that direction. As you face the hard things, things won’t seem as hard.
There’s a place in the world for you. Let’s find it.
If you are ready to get serious about writing online, keep an eye out for my training program The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Writing Online and Getting Paid. In this guide, I go over everything you need to know to get started building a career writing online. To get the latest on this and other projects, sign up for the email list and I will keep in touch.