What is the paralysing effect of lack of confidence?
Lack of confidence shows up in your life in a myriad of ways. You may never find it hard, complicated, or scary to express your view, your opinion or your expert advice. Yet, when it comes to committing your professional advice to a blog, for the world to see, you may well be struck by paralysis… in the form of lack of confidence.
Being paralysed is unsettling, uncomfortable and painful. It makes your inner blog critic the main voice in your head: strong, right and omnipresent. It makes you question whether you have any true value to offer, whether you are capable of writing valuable blogs, if what you write will be good enough and if people will want to read what you’ll be writing about. This kind of thinking is stopping you right in your tracks. The thought of blogging regularly is then a paralysing one.
What happens when you don’t overcome your lack of confidence ?
I remember only too well, that blogging felt both attractive and repellent to me. Even when you can express yourself very clearly and distinctly, as I obviously did in the 12 years that I ran my translation agency, actually committing your ideas, tips, advice, thoughts and views to the internet – for the entire world to see, judge and criticise – was something so daunting that for a long time I sabotaged myself. I wrote blog posts… yet never published them. I read other people’s blog posts, and told myself that I could never be writing anything so interesting or engaging. That inner voice got the better of me for a long time. I kept focusing on my past: I was a construction engineer, good at maths, calculating reinforcement plans of pre-stressed concrete floors, and planning layouts for district general hospitals. I was no writer. I was a construction engineer, sticking to translating technical manuals, books on architecture and construction and writing blog posts about the translation industry that – for a long time – I never posted anywhere.
The real pain in that approach was that I kept playing small. Until one day, I realised that in keeping my knowledge, experience and views meant that I was selling my clients short. Why? Because I was withholding them relevant, important and essential information and insights from my clients and prospects, which impacted their business in a hidden way. Consider this: are you ever really serving your clients the best way possible if you don’t share the hidden gems you have? No, you don’t. You have a unique combination of expertise, knowledge, style, wisdom and experience that no one else can offer. Why would you let your inner blog critic stop you from serving your clients in the best way possible? They deserve the very best.
How do you gain confidence to write and publish blog posts?
There is only one way to gain confidence, and that is to play the game. Do the work. Just go and blog. Confidence comes with the doing. Don’t be led by confidence: grow confidence. Be the leader over your thoughts.
In my view there is no clear path to follow to gain confidence that fits all. However, what has worked for my, may well work for you too, so I am happy to share my most powerful insights that have built my confidence in writing engaging, authentic, valuable blog posts.
1. Confidence comes from Action
Your belief that you need confidence before you can do something well is what is paralysing you, so my message is do what I did and just start. Your best blog post is your next blog post. Really embrace that. Your best blog post will be written by first writing a blog post, and another, and another… Once written, once published, once shared, once read, once appreciated, once inspired… confidence will follow. Sooner than you may think. It is taking action by writing and publishing that creates and builds confidence. Not the other way around. Don’t wait for confidence to arrive, invite the confidence into your life, by taking action.
2. A step-by-step approach is allowed
I used to think in black-and-white, when it came to taking on projects, setting intentions and goals, and creating new habits. It was all or nothing. Do you recognise any of that? Do you tell yourself that if you set yourself a goal, you must reach it completely, timely and totally or else you will have failed? Why should you believe such a thought? What’s the benefit of believing that? There is no benefit… other than having a good reason not to start, so as not to disappoint yourself. So how would it be if you were kind to yourself? Take it one step at a time. First write a blog post. Don’t publish it yet. Don’t share it yet. Just sit with it for a while. Then decide on one trusted person you are willing to share this with. Someone who has your back, such as one of your happy clients, your soul mate, your spouse, your business partner or your best friend. Ask for specific feedback from them, such as “Would this blog post resonate with you?” or “What do you really like about this blog post, and what do you think could be improved?” Publish it when you’re ready. Share it when you’re ready. One step at a time.
3. Focus on Nourishment
It is all too easy for me, for you, to focus on what your inner blog critic says. Focus on what feels awkward. Focus on how you compare to others. I know that, and you know that. When it comes to blogging, it works just like anything else in life. When you focus on your lack of confidence to go and write your best blog posts that are engaging, what you need to do is shift that focus. Instead on focusing on the inner blog critic’s voice, try starving that inner blog critic. Starve it from attention. Focus on thoughts and feelings that nourish you. Feed your thoughts with decisions, choices and actions that support and nourish you to go and write those blog posts. Your clients need your blog posts. The world needs your wisdom. Go and share your wonderful gifts with the world.
Now, I would love to hear from you what it is that really resonates with you in this blog post. Please leave your comment here, as I know you’re not the only one who needs to silence your inner blog critic. You’d be helping so many other entrepreneurs silencing theirs. Would you do that for me?
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