As a mindset coach to entrepreneurs and small business owners, the conversation I frequently hear is this:
I know I should be writing blogs/recording videos/being more active on social media, but I just can’t seem to get going with it. Help!
The good news is, everyone has the ability to ‘get going’ with it, but when you’re not there yet, it feels incredibly frustrating (and worrying), because if there’s one thing we all know as creators of our own income, money comes when we get visible to people.
So let’s address what gets in the way when it comes to creating and sharing content online:
Fear Of Being Criticised
What if people don’t like what I’m saying? What if they don’t get what I’m saying? What if I’m talking nonsense?
There’s so much noise in our heads sometimes, it’s a wonder we get anything done, isn’t it? The fear of being criticised by others can look and feel so real to us, that we retreat and it seems easier just to not bother, or produce something more ‘vanilla’ or bland than what we really want to say. What I’m about to say here is not vanilla so be prepared: there is a possibility that the next blog post you write or video you record could get criticised. That could happen.
But… and here’s the good news…
The issue is not that you’ll be criticised, the issue is that you think you couldn’t handle it if you were; and the truth is you could. Whatever happens, you would deal with it.
As humans, we are far more resilient than we think or give ourselves credit for; in fact, we are so much better at dealing with the reality of things not going our way than we are dealing with the same scenario, imagined.
In other words, we are built for reality, and resilience has ‘had your back’ all your life, whether you’ve been aware of it or not.
Our Expectations Are Unrealistic
Is the time you need to create content actually available to you in your diary? If you have an expectation of yourself to write one blog post every week to go out on a Wednesday, but Monday and Tuesday is taken up with client work or catching up on admin, then you don’t have a blog post!
We humans are so funny, we overlook the basics and then beat ourselves up for not keeping up. The reality is, we so often (innocently) set ourselves up to fail, and the moment we see that we can correct it.
I’m sure Cate would agree, consistency is more important than quantity. A monthly newsletter that arrives regularly and consistently is far better than an ad-hoc weekly one.
Allowing How You Feel to Dictate Your Actions
If you’re finding there’s inconsistency in how often you create content, and you’ve already looked at (and corrected) your expectations vs. time actually available, then my guess is that it’s something else; and it’s probably this:
You’ve been allowing how you feel to dictate your actions.
There’s no doubt that when we’re feeling passionate about our work and full of energy, it feels good and getting stuff done is a lot easier, right? However, what about those times when we don’t feel good?
Does that mean we don’t do it, or we just have to white-knuckle our way through? I’m actually going to suggest an alternative.
The truth is we can take action (on anything) regardless of how we feel. Contrary to popular belief, how we feel and the task-in-hand are not connected. Let’s take recording a video for example – I know it really seems like there is a cause and effect happening – Look, I go to record a video and I feel nervous, I’m not making that up! – no, you’re not making that up – but the fact that the activity causes the anxiety? That’s made up. It’s a misunderstanding.
And the reason we can know it’s a misunderstanding is that if it were true creating videos is the cause of anxiety, then it would be true for every single person who creates videos. And of course, that’s simply not true. Some people LOVE creating videos, I happen to be one of them. Now, that’s not to say I don’t sometimes feel nervous, but when I do, I know it doesn’t mean anything.
You see as humans, we feel all sorts of emotions on a daily basis – happy, sad, excited, anxious (all quite normal) much of it goes unnoticed, but the minute we become aware of what we’re feeling, we immediately put our detective hat on and try to find the reason, invariably opting for something ‘outside’ of us, and it’s at that moment ‘boom!’ we’ve made a connection, but it’s a faulty connection.
When you begin to realise, insightfully realise, that activities, situations, other people are not the direct cause of the thoughts and feelings you experience inside your mind and body, that only you are the creator or your thoughts and feelings, well the implications of that are huge. It means, in the words of my mentor Jamie Smart, “you are free to play full out in the game of life.”
Many thanks to Sarah Swanton for this Guest blog. Sarah is a podcaster and the founder of Happy Healthy Entrepreneur where she teaches entrepreneurs and business owners how to enjoy the journey of growing a successful business without sacrificing their health, happiness, and wellbeing. You can find out more at www.sarahswanton.com