Last week I published this post explaining about how my all or nothing personality tends to lead to burnout, and why I felt like I needed to step back from the blog a little bit in order to reevaluate. I was truly touched by the kind words and expressions of support and encouragement from you, my wonderful readers, who told me to take whatever time I needed in order to do what was best for me.
Thank you for your understanding. You are all amazing.
True to my analytical nature, I spend the better part of the week thinking. And thinking. And thinking some more about exactly why I am blogging, where I am heading with this blog, if I am happy with that direction, what challenges are keeping me from loving the experience (because some days I really want to quit), and most importantly, where I want to go from here.
I wrote page after page of unfiltered thoughts in a notebook, being very careful to write things as they were and not as I wanted them to be. It is funny how my thoughts are often a jumbled mess in my head until I start to write, at which point things become perfectly clear.
As I wrote about my reasons for blogging, my goals, my worries, and my challenges, I began to see a clear pattern emerging. It became very apparent that I am feeling burned out, not only because I have been focused so intently on my blog and the corresponding social media presence, but also because I have been spending a huge amount of energy worrying about it.
Worrying about whether or not I am writing about the “right” things that will resonate with my readers.
Worrying about inadvertently offending people.
Worrying about being attacked with nasty comments by those with differing opinions.
Worrying about how many people are (or are not) reading or commenting.
Worrying about spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.
Worrying about not having anything worthwhile to say.
Worrying that I am not doing all of the things that a good blogger should do.
Shall I go on? I have pages of handwritten notes explaining these and other worries in greater detail.
Worry is draining, you know, and I didn’t even realize that I was doing so much of it until I stepped back to look at the big picture. No wonder I am exhausted. If I am going to keep blogging (and I am), I simply must evict the worry monster before it defeats me.
While that may be a process, I am going to start by relaxing the pressure that I put on myself to do everything that other bloggers are doing. I am going to stop worrying about what I should be doing or writing about and follow my heart. I feel like I have somehow lost myself in the wake of trying to measure up to other people’s expectations of me, when the truth is that the pressure and expectations are only coming from within me.
From this point forward, you can reasonably expect me to be true to myself – nothing more, nothing less. While I have been trying to do that all along, I am now going to try my level best to do it without worry or fear. From the topics that I write about, to how often I publish new posts, to the way that I approach social media – I will do what feels right to me. Even if it differs from the norm. Even if people choose not to follow me anymore. Even if I never achieve viral growth. Even if my platform never extends beyond a small following.
At the end of the day, my authenticity and peace of mind are infinitely more important than all of that.
Worry and fear cannot get the best of me unless I allow them to do so, and I’m done granting them permission to dwell in my heart.
Neil L. Anderson said:
Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time.
I am going to choose faith. Faith that the Lord will lead the way – because this blog is a regular topic in my prayers. Faith that I do not need to do everything perfectly in order to move forward. Faith that what I have to offer is good enough, even if it does not seem to be as good as what somebody else brings to the table. Faith that I can learn to put my worries behind me as I trust in God more completely, because He can see the big picture when my vision is so limited.
I already feel a new sense of purpose and am excited to see where it takes me. As always, thank you for reading. I would love it if you would join me as I move forward on this journey. A new chapter awaits.