I get inspiration from a lot of different sources and one of those sources shared an interesting point: that a lot of blogs like mine only share the wins – “Look at how successful I am! Here’s how you can do it, too!”
And that’s great. I really love my niche and want success for others in it as much as I want success for myself. I love reading about a blogger who took her blogging income to 4- or 5-figures a month. Heck, I love when I hear that a blogger is making a few hundred a month consistently.
But it’s true – for the most part, you’re only seeing the success. And people want to know about the struggles, too…for the most part. 😉
I know some of you don’t give a hoot about what I struggle with. You just want to know what I do, how I do it, if it’s working and if it’ll work for you. I get that, really. But there’s a lot to be said for sharing hardships.
I can’t be the only one who’s comforted knowing that I’m not the only one struggling with impatience, setbacks, frustration, doubt, and fear.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d share about this today and hopefully it connects with you.
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Struggle #1: Impatience
I am incredibly impatient when it comes to seeing results and that’s a tough struggle to overcome when you’re building an income online because it’s all about the long game. You put in a lot of work upfront and it can take months before you see results.
Not a very comforting thought, right?
However, I’ve also been in this business long enough to know that results will come with long-term consistent work.
So that’s my counteraction – consistent action on my business. I am fully committed to showing up to serve you guys every day. I have clear goals, a relatively clear plan of action, the intention to be consistent, and I’m flexible if I have to course correct.
That doesn’t really solve the issue of wanting results and success NOW, but experience has shown me that the results will come, so I hang on to that knowledge like a lifeline and I pray for more patience every day.
Struggle #2: Doubt
Because success comes after putting in the time and effort, it’s easy for me to get bogged down in thoughts of self-doubt.
- “Am I doing the right things?”
- “What if I can’t make this one work?”
- “Are my writing/keywords/SEO/site structure good enough?”
- “What if this site never makes any %#$ing money?!?”
You know. Stuff like that.
Thankfully, I’ve become better at believing in myself and understanding that these thoughts are normal, temporary, and a complete waste of time. It took awhile to get here, sure, but I did and I continue to work on my self-confidence, knowing that I’ll probably never “get over it.” However, I’m pretty sure – like building an online business – this all gets easier with time and experience.
When the going gets tough, I give myself pep talks, go to family and friends for support and encouragement, write and speak affirmations, journal (love this book on the topic!), and focus on past accomplishments.
If I’m really feeling sorry for myself, it might take a little tough love (from myself or loved ones), but I get back on track as fast as I can and get back to taking action.
Action really is one of the best ways of managing self-doubt because when you take action, you’re growing your skills, your business, and you’re learning.
Struggle #3: Fear
Though I consider doubt an aspect of fear, I include fear here because it encompasses so many things.
- Worry = FEAR
- Anger = FEAR
- Frustration = FEAR
In one way or another, these feelings are all coming from fear. So I decided to become a master at fear-busting.
Once I realized that fear was all about anticipating the worst and being afraid of the unknown, it became easier to face my fears and watch them dissolve away.
Doesn’t always happen overnight and I often have to repeatedly face the same fears showing up in different ways, but I’m much better at releasing the icky feelings that come up and taking action anyway. (A great book on this topic is Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.).
Struggle #4: Planning
Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you one of my weaknesses is planning and organization. We all have our strentghs and this is definitely not one of mine!
I like the idea of planning. Being able to plan out weeks and weeks of blog posts, having a set plan of action every day of every week, knowing exactly how many hours I’m going to work and when…
But that’s totally NOT me. When it comes right down to it and I actually try to DO those things, I end up freaking out, having a mild panic attack, and I freeze up for hours – sometimes days – at a time.
Yep. I’m the poster child for choking when it comes to planning.
So to remedy this, I thought I’d try taking baby steps. I love to-do lists – I can totally handle to-do lists – so I’ll start there. A list for the next day and the week ahead.
I’ll also keep things very flexible and if I plan a post but feel like writing about something else, I’ll either write the one I want to write or write both. Winning!
Struggle #5: Overwhelm
As a result of my complete failure at consistent planning, I end up getting completely overwhelmed, which also causes panic attacks and freezing up.
I’ve shared some tips for dealing with overwhelm before and those tips are still how I deal with the feeling of getting bogged down.
Only now, I know that the feeling passes pretty quickly and it’s just not so bad anymore.
I’m also much more aware when I start taking on too much. I may not be the best planner, but I’m better at identifying when I need to work, when I need to step away, and when my priorities need to shift.
A Work in Progress
That’s me. A work in progress. That’s my business, too. And focusing on two things helps me keep going: what I want to achieve and how I can get there. If I know where I’m going, I can figure out how to get there and all I have to do is take action.
Sounds simple, sure, but it’s not always easy. So I just keep on keepin’ on and somehow, things eventually fall into place.
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