Apart from blogging, one of my lifetime passions has been personal development. So much so that I left a very well paid job to start my own business helping people to grow and learn using personal development tools and techniques I had learnt along the way.
So what has personal development got to do with blogging?
Well, a recent comment from one of my readers and stumbling across a blog post about creating a better life has prompted me to make the connection. Here is my list of personal development issues that prevent us from moving forward with our blog:
1. Fear of failure.
The thought of blogging and getting your message out usually provokes fear. Fear about what people will think of you, your opinions, your writing and your articulation of an idea. Plus people can ‘comment’ which might leave you open for criticism and feedback.
Get over it! Making mistakes is how everybody learns – remember there is no failure only feedback. It also makes you more human. Sometimes it’s the small imperfections that make things beautiful.
Getting perfect copy and design for your site to match that pristine state in your head just won’t happen. Unless you have lots of money to invest in top notch graphic design and copy writing. Besides if you get someone else to write your blog it’s never going to be about you.
So stop thinking you are not ready. Going for something that you think is bigger than you is going to make you stronger and when you succeed you are going to go for an even bigger opportunity. Keeping yourself in your comfort zone will not help you grow. Comfort zones have a habit of shrinking!
Oh and remember that Facebook have a sign in their office that says: “Done is better than perfect!”
This is a tough one and is something that we all go through. It helps to remember that a feeling of resistance is a clue that we are onto something important. Often when we have a great idea and get fired up about it there is a subsequent feeling of fear, doubt and resistance as though something inside has decided we are not good enough. This can present itself in the form of procrastination, distraction and thinking we have to learn more before we are ready.
4. Negative internal dialogue.
Do you talk to yourself? Do you have a negative internal voice that talks you out of doing things? A lot of us do and tackling this insidious imp can be a constant battle. What’s even worse is that it is sometimes an unconscious habit. We don’t even realise that we are doing it. Becoming more aware of our internal dialogue is an important first step.
So how do I deal with it?
This is my top tip for tackling a negative internal voice:
Become aware of where the negative voice comes from. Is it on your shoulder, inside your head, to the left or to the right. Now shift it so that the voice comes from your right big toe. How does it sound now? Does it have the same effect?
If that doesn’t work change the sound of the voice to a silly character like Donald Duck or Roland Rat. How does it sound now? You can play with the direction the sound comes from, the tonality, how loud it is and who is saying it to see how it changes the effect.
5. Well formed outcomes.
One of the things I get my clients clear about, both in blogging and for personal development, is a well formed outcome.
What’s one of those?
A well formed outcome is:
1. A goal or objective that is positive – moving towards something that is exciting and inspiring rather than away from something they don’t want.
2. Specific and concrete – the person has a sensory (see, hear, feel) ‘landscape’ of the outcome.
3. Under their control – they have the resources and skills to achieve it themselves (which might mean the cash to get someone else to do things for them).
4. Quantifiable – they can measure what success looks like.
5. Ecological – it does not affect them, or those close to them, in a negative way.
Often just helping a client create this well formed outcome makes the desired goal much easier to achieve. Without this clarity of their objective they are unlikely to succeed. Without any idea of which direction we want to go in the journey of personal development cannot begin!
So that’s where I think blogging and personal development come together. I hope it gives you some food for thought and if you have any other personal development tips to help us bloggers become more successful I’d like to hear your views.