I’ve been quiet on the blog the last couple months. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been so busy coaching and building my business that I simply haven’t had a lot of time to write.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for me. New clients, a website redesign, and a big idea that needed a few months to germinate, but is finally starting to take root. I attribute much of my renewed energy and focus to working with a stellar coach myself. After all, great coaches have great coaches, right?
But let me back up to early May, the last time I posted on the blog. I had just completed an exercise that literally gave me dozens of potential blog post topics. I had grand visions of a blog series that would evolve over multiple posts and carry me through the summer. It seemed like the perfect concept.
And yet, every time I sat down to write… I couldn’t. I’d stare at the blank page for a while, start to panic because I had nothing of worth to say, and then I’d find all sorts of HIGHLY IMPORTANT TASKS to fill up the time that I had carved out for writing. Because these HIGHLY IMPORTANT TASKS had to get done, and clearly they had to get done right then.
When I missed my first self-imposed deadline, the shame spiral set in, and with it came the voices of doubt and anxiety. What kind of entrepreneur was I? How could I coach other people about reaching their goals if I couldn’t even finish a simple blog post?
As I berated myself over not blogging, I became less motivated to write. Which led to more not writing, which led to feeling more anxious and less motivated… you see where this is going. I trapped myself a vicious cycle, comforting myself by working hard in other ways.
And to be fair to myself, I really was working hard. I was seeing clients and giving presentations and networking… doing all the things a business owner does to survive and thrive, and doing them well enough to see some growth. I celebrated my first year in business with my first profitable month, and I was (and am) proud of what I accomplished in only a year’s time.
But that pesky blogging gremlin kept poking up, reminding me that no matter how well I was doing in every other area of my business, I was still failing at writing. Word count zero, worth count zero.
So I decided to do something radical.
I gave myself permission not to write.
I decided that if writing made me so miserable, it simply wasn’t worth it. Not worth the anxiety, and fear, and doubt, and shame. Not worth defining my self-worth by how many blog posts I published. Not worth spending my energy on something that made me so unhappy.
So I actively stopped writing (as opposed to passively not writing, which is what I had been doing for weeks). I gave myself the gift of time – time to spend on whatever else I wanted to do, anything else, except writing. I told myself that the blog wasn’t going anywhere, and when I was ready to write again, I would. No timeline. No pressure.
And with that, the world opened up. It may sound trite, but it’s true. As soon as I extended myself that grace, everything became and remains easier. My coaching feels stronger and more intentional, and I’m readily accessing my intuition. And lo and behold, my creativity reappeared. Whether I’m asking an insightful question of a client, or coming up with new ideas and opportunities, I feel more connected and more creative than I have in a very long time.
Then tonight, I sat down at my laptop, opened a new Word document, and started to write. Over six hundred words in and I think I have a decent blog post. It’s not perfect, nor does it have to be. But it’s honest and it’s real, and it’s my way of reminding you (and myself) that we’re all in this together.
We all have times when we feel lonely or uninspired. We’ve all felt the cold panic of self-doubt. Each of us has our own inner demons, ugly and screaming, insisting that we’re boring, or unoriginal, or that we don’t measure up. We’re united by the secret that we’re not good enough, and by the fear that we’re going to get found out.
But we’re also united by something greater than secrets and fear. We share the extraordinary truth that each one of us is worthy, with something to contribute to the world. You are capable of amazing things that only you can do, because no one else has your voice or your perspective. And the same is true for me.
I’d love to end this post by saying that I’ve rediscovered my love of writing and I’ll be blogging regularly again. But I can’t say that because I’m not sure it’s true. I know I’ve enjoyed writing this post, and I suspect I’ll write more in the near future. But I’ve learned that I write best with a free and open heart, so for now, I’m not imposing any hard rules or limitations on myself.
I’m gifting myself my own compassion and understanding, and that feels good. It feels really good.