I’m more scared than I’ve been in my entire life. Seriously.
But I haven’t spotted a shark while swimming in the ocean. And I’m not about to jump out of a plane. Or I’m not about to speak in public in front of thousands of people.
I’m actually not in a life-threatening situation, at all.
It’s September 22nd of 2014 and I’m about to press publish on my blog.
I ask myself: Am I really going to do this? Because I feel more afraid about doing this than anything I’ve ever done before.
I dig deep, feel the fear and press publish anyway.
And two years later, here we are.
This week marks exactly two years since I started One Infinite Life and when I realised this I had to triple check my calendar. Has it really been two whole years? No, really has it?
The truth is the past two years have probably been the best of my entire life and a big part of that started with the creating of this online space.
The idea of starting a blog had been something I’d been playing with for a long time, but the idea of putting myself out there in that way was enough for me to not pursue it. Until I decided that I was going to enrol in a life coaching course, I knew that eventually I had to get over that fear and find a way to do so. This was big motivator for me to just get my site out there, so that I could play around online and get used to putting myself out there in this way, before I officially put myself out there as a coach.
As soon as I heard that Rachel MacDonald was creating a blogging course, I knew straight away that I had to do it. I knew I wanted to create an online space, but I had absolutely no idea how to go about it and I wanted to do it in a way that felt good to me. Enter: Rachel’s incredible eCourse Bright-Eyed and Blog-Hearted.
Saying ‘YES’ to enrolling in this course was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and one that has very much directly put me on the path to where I am today. Doing this course was the catalyst for me to stop waiting until I felt ready and to start DOING and taking action anyway. Without this course, you wouldn’t be reading these words today because this blog wouldn’t even exist.
So much has happened since the day I published my site. So much has unfolded, so much has evolved and so much has come from that one decision.
As this milestone has been approaching I’ve been reflecting on the past two years of my life and today as I sit here, typing these words, I have one overwhelming feeling: immense gratitude. For starting this site even though I was afraid. For showing up for the past two years even when — especially when — it got hard. And for all that I’ve learnt in the past couple of years. This space has been so much more than just a blog to me. Which brings me to the main point of this post today: the lessons I’ve learnt during the past 2 years of blogging.
1. Start before you’re ready.
There really never will be a “perfect” time to take the leap and do the thing that you really want to do— but you’re afraid of. Start as soon as you can and you’ll figure it out as you go. I kept putting off starting my blog because I wanted to feel “ready” but the truth is I was never going to feel ready to do it and there was never going to be a perfect time to do it.
2. Fear will hold you back — if you let it.
I’ve learnt more about fear and how I respond to it than ever before through navigating putting myself — and this site — out there. One thing I believe to be true about fear: it will run the show and it will hold you back — if you let it. And fear can be a great guide — if you let it. As Steven Pressfield says “fear tells us what we have to do” and I can truly attest to how powerful it is to show up, even if you’re afraid and to feel the fear and do whatever it is that scares you anyway.
3. What other people think about me doesn’t matter.
One of the biggest things that having a blog has helped me with is letting go of what people think of me, of what I’m doing and of how I live my life. I much prefer to fly under-the-radar and go unnoticed, but having a blog is like shining a spotlight on yourself — you can’t help but be seen. There are going to be people who think you’re lame, think blogging is lame, think whatever you do is lame — and that’s okay. There are going to be people who have all kinds of thoughts about you and what you do (whatever that may be). When I first started this site I knew that I would have to try my hardest not to worry about what other people were going to think about me, because at the end of the day I can’t control what anyone thinks about me.
As I remember Julie Parker sharing one of our life coach training days: You are not for everyone
4. The power of taking action.
It’s okay to take action that’s imperfect. It’s the taking action part that counts and helps you to move forward. If you asked me how I’ve gotten to wanting to start a blog to where I am now my answer would be this: by taking action — one step at a time. Yes, there is a time for planning, brainstorming, goal and intention setting, but the magic happens when we commit to doing the work — to taking action — over and over again.
5. What you do matters — even if you think it doesn’t.
It’s easy to sit behind the computer screen and write and write and write and share, share, share and think that no one cares. Most people don’t. But what I’ve realised over time is that no matter what you think, what you’re doing matters. Sometimes I will get a random email, or speak to someone when I meet them in-person and they’ll tell me how something I’ve written resonated with them, made them feel less alone, or helped them in some little or big way and I’m reminded that it all matters, because at the end of the day it really does.
6. Focus on what you have.
In other words, focus on the people who are reading, subscribing and following. I remember when I went to send my first ever newsletter, I kept putting it off and was caught up thinking “I only have 13 people on my list. What’s the point?” But then I realised that was still 13 PEOPLE, 13 real humans that we’re going to read my words (and I can’t even fit 13 people around my dinner table!). If I was talking to 13 people in real life, that would feel important to me, so I decided to bring my attention to writing for, serving and proving lots of value to those people — the ones that were already there. And over the past two years this approach has served me so well and has shown to be really powerful.
7. The power of showing up consistently.
I had a lovely reader email me recently and ask what I think has been the most powerful thing I’ve done to get my online platform to where it was today and the simple answer is this: devoting to showing up consistently. With blogs popping up here, there and everywhere nowadays (which is amazing) it’s easy to feel like you’re getting lost in the crowd. But one thing that will set you apart and help people pay attention is when you keep showing up — again and again.
And on the other hand, sometimes we need to step back, reevaluate and just give ourselves space to breathe. There have been (many) times that I have wanted to give up for various reasons. But the truth is, after giving myself space I always come back to the place of wanting to serve and show up in this way. My action plan for when I’m feeling like giving up is to step away, watch Netflix, go for a walk, or pretty much do anything that isn’t related to blogging, and let it pass.
1. Get in there and experiment. You’re not going to know what works best and feels good for you on the sidelines, so enter the arena and work it out for yourself. Learning by doing is one of the best ways to learn. Start with where you are now — and figure it out as you go.
2. Let go of expectations and outcomes. Give something your absolute all and then don’t get caught up in getting validation or expecting a certain response. Practicing detachment is one way to ensure you can keep showing up again and again. And also prevents you from getting to caught up in the things you can’t control.
3. Be patient and persistent. Keep going. Keep taking steps forward, even if they’re small. Progress doesn’t happen overnight — it happens with a whole lot of consistent action. So be patient, persistent and keep showing up.
4. Connect with other bloggers. I can’t imagine what navigating the online world would be like without the connections with other people in the online world. It’s not always easy and there are times when it gets hard, which is why it’s so important to have people in your life who get it. Shoutout to the Bloghearted community and Beautiful You community which I couldn’t imagine navigating the online world without.
5. Done is better than perfect. It’s easy to get caught up in creating the ‘perfect’ site, blog post, product, newsletter – or anything. But at the end of the day the imperfect things you do put out there is better than the ‘perfect’ thing that never sees the light of day.
6. Do the work. My best advice is to show up and do the work — and keep showing up (again and again and again and again). Committing to taking action and to showing up is so powerful.
I think having a blog is one of those things that forces you to grow, stretch and learn in ways you perhaps couldn’t even initially imagine that you would, which is why I’d love to hear from you: What is the biggest thing you’ve learnt from having an online space? Share away in the comments below, (as always) I’d love to hear your insights 🙂
Thank you for being here and for reading my words — grateful doesn’t even cut it.
PS. You might also like: Life-changing books, questions & lessons. A Link Fest of my most popular posts of all-time.
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