Ever have times when you love what you do and you feel like you’re riding on the crest of a wave, and then other times it feels like that waves on top of you and you doubt yourself and your abilities? – We all have.
There are days when we love the words we’re putting on the screen and there are days when we read back through it and question why anyone would let us near a keyboard.
On those when you feel like throwing in the towel, here are a few things to ask yourself…
Am I Trying Too Hard?
Although Yoda said that there is no trying only doing, sometimes trying too hard is as bad as n0t doing. It’s those times when we’re trying to write a perfect blog post, recording a video over and over again, and putting in extra effort to make that thing perfect that we find it just doesn’t gel. – And how could it?
When there’s effort involved it’s usually for one reason, we’re trying to impress someone with our work. We feel that we need to raise our standards to show someone else how good we are, instead of just losing ourselves in the process and allowing everything to just flow through us.
As I’m writing this post, you aren’t even in the equation. Although I know that there will be a reader here at some stage, putting all the doubts I have about this piece to the back of my mind and not worrying about what you’ll think of it means that I’m lost in my writing and not trying to impress you with my ideas. It also makes the writing process so much easier.
Maybe it’s time you stopped trying to impress someone and just do the work, you’ll find it a lot easier.
Is It Really That Bad?
Ever notice that when you’re in a foul mood, everything you see just makes it worse. You see clothes thrown on the floor, cupboard doors left open, and a sink full of dirty dishes. – Welcome to my home. And on other days those things don’t register with you until someone else points them out to you.
You’ll find the same when you’re down on yourself. Reading back through that last piece you’ve written you’ll see that weak idea, the poor choice of words, and how the quality is worse than last week. Yet tomorrow, those things probably won’t even register with you. – Time and some space from your work might prove that you’re not as bad as you thought you were.
We can also be terrible judges when it comes to our work too. What we see as bad, could be just the piece someone needs to see today. And assuming that other people will see the faults in it could be way off the mark. The stutter you made in minute two of your video isn’t even noticed, and people love the tip you shared in minute five. – Your attention is on the stutter, and everyone else’s is on that great content you gave them.
You’re probably the worst judge of your content right now. Put it out there and allow your followers to be the judge of how good it is. – Even if that means closing your eyes as you hit the publish button. ; )
Am I Really That Good Yet?
As the great Jim Edwards said once, there are a lot of places that you have to stop off in on the journey to being great at anything. We’ve got to go through the terrible, weak, not so bad, getting better, OK, good, and then Great stages. And like a railway journey, we can’t go from starting point to destination without stopping off and spending some time at each place.
Although we know this, none of us likes to admit that we’re terrible at something. We give up on our first attempt, then put ourselves through the misery of repeatedly showing the world and ourselves that we can’t do it. But can we really expect to go from bad to great without being terrible along the way?
Of course, we can’t. And that may be something that you’ve got to admit to yourself right now. The standard you may have set for yourself is one that you haven’t reached yet. And all the tutting in the world waiting for yourself to be two stops down the line from where you really are isn’t being honest with yourself.
No one likes to admit that they stink, or that there’s still work that needs to be done, but taking ownership of where you are is surprisingly freeing. Once you do, you’ll realize that every piece of content you write, record, and publish, is bad and that it’ll get better over time. And once you get to the level you see as great, you’ll realize that being a master at that thing is a journey further on from there. – And one with even more places to stop off at.
Are you good enough yet? Or are you expecting more from yourself than you should? Even if you’re at an advanced stage right now, you’ll look back at your work in six months’ time and cringe at what you thought was great right now. And the only reason you’ll notice that, is because you’re at a higher level by then.
Now, go back to that work and look at it with fresh eyes. Is it really that bad, or are you poking holes in it because you’re tired, grumpy, and not seeing it as your audience might see it? And if it does suck, could it be that you’re on the journey to being great but that you’re at a stopover stage right now?
Life’s a journey, and so is the one you’re on right now too. Why take a moment to look out the window and enjoy the ride? Who knows where it’s going to take you from here? – Keep going and let’s see how great you can get.