Week 2 Recap: I’m Not Sure If This Was a Good Idea

Last week was a lot and here are more of my thoughts.

“Chipo, are you sure about this?” – Self

Another week, another chance to find my way through this thing.

Last week started off really well, but a couple of major curved balls led to two posts and nothing from Wednesday to Friday.

There’s no need to embellish my observations. Last week was hard and I wasn’t able to meet my goal of five posts a week.

But, it hasn’t stopped me from showing up today.

Sometimes, I find myself thinking,

“Why on earth did I agree to this challenge in the first place?” 

I’ll be honest and admit that I’m writing this with a bit of angst in my chest. You’d think, after 2 or 3 years of being vulnerable online, I’d be used to this.

I’m a firm believer in sharing all parts of the process, but I am human too. The thought of saying, 

“Hey, guys. So last week didn’t work out either,” makes me feel nervous because who wants to admit that they’re “failing”?

The anxiety in me pictures the ones shaking their heads thinking, “Girl, give it a rest you aren’t ready.” And while I may never encounter these people face-to-face, the thought still daunts me. No one likes showing their mistakes in front of the world – even if the world is 30 – 40 readers.

I guess it’s part of the conditioning that comes with “Hustle” culture. You have to have everything together at all times.

But, I can’t blame hustle culture alone. There is also the part of me that questions when will I get this right? When does this process become a well-oiled machine?

I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve wondered if I’m ready for this. Did I start too early? Should this have waited?

Simple answer: No.

As I share my fears, doubts, and concerns, I can also acknowledge the stubborn resilience in me. The side of me that says:

This stuff happens. Carry on.

Last week’s post was about the reality of starting a project and dear reader, you have a front-row seat to my experience. It makes me uncomfortable, but it pushes me to be accountable, too.

By the time the end of the week came through, I knew that there was more work to be done. But first, I needed to lay off the work and take a break.

On Thursday evening, I closed my word processor and accepted that no social media or blogging was going to be done. My mind was shot, my schedule was a mess, and I knew it was time to throw in the towel – for the week.

This is what my process looked like, and maybe it’ll help you navigate your troublesome moments too.

When to temporarily throw in the towel:

  1. Evaluate the situation for what it is

Put your go-getter mentality aside, take a look at what you’re really dealing with, and understand what it is doing to you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

  1. Spell out the conclusions for yourself

This is another way of saying you need to accept that things are not working out and instead of trying to fight through it, you need to pause. Sometimes resistance doesn’t mean “fight back harder”, it means stop fighting and let go.

  1. Ignore the guilt that will try to pull you back

Taking a step back, or putting things on hold, will trigger feelings of doubt. Hold on to your decision to pause everything and follow through. Remind yourself that you need this break.

4. Indulge in activities that bring you joy and rest

This is the time to listen to your body, pay attention to the state of your mind, and let yourself be. Watch a few series, take a nap, read a book (for pleasure), plug a podcast, etc.

5. Try again

This is happens after you’ve allowed yourself to rest. If you want to see your idea live past the initial stages, you’re going to have to get used to trying again many times. I’m learning this reality all over again.

Last week may have only seen two posts out, but I’ve managed to make changes in my personal and professional life that will allow for easier navigation. I spent the weekend identifying a system that would work for me.

This week is for testing it out and so far it’s working. The test will be how I handle this week’s midweek madness. Until then, I’ll keep focusing on how to make this process work for me – and you, of course.

Last week started off really well, but a couple of major curved balls led to two posts and nothing from Wednesday to Friday.

There’s no need to embellish my observations. Last week was hard and I wasn’t able to meet my goal of five posts a week.

But, it hasn’t stopped me from showing up today.

Sometimes, I find myself thinking,

“Why on earth did I agree to this challenge in the first place?” 

I’ll be honest and admit that I’m writing this with a bit of angst in my chest. You’d think, after 2 or 3 years of being vulnerable online, I’d be used to this.

I’m a firm believer in sharing all parts of the process, but I am human too. The thought of saying, 

“Hey, guys. So last week didn’t work out either,” makes me feel nervous because who wants to admit that they’re “failing”?

The anxiety in me pictures the ones shaking their heads thinking, “Girl, give it a rest you aren’t ready.” And while I may never encounter these people face-to-face, the thought still daunts me. No one likes showing their mistakes in front of the world – even if the world is 30 – 40 readers.

I guess it’s part of the conditioning that comes with “Hustle” culture. You have to have everything together at all times.

But, I can’t blame hustle culture alone. There is also the part of me that questions when will I get this right? When does this process become a well-oiled machine?

I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve wondered if I’m ready for this. Did I start too early? Should this have waited?

Simple answer: No.

As I share my fears, doubts, and concerns, I can also acknowledge the stubborn resilience in me. The side of me that says:

This stuff happens. Carry on.

Last week’s post was about the reality of starting a project and dear reader, you have a front-row seat to my experience. It makes me uncomfortable, but it pushes me to be accountable, too.

By the time the end of the week came through, I knew that there was more work to be done. But first, I needed to lay off the work and take a break.

On Thursday evening, I closed my word processor and accepted that no social media or blogging was going to be done. My mind was shot, my schedule was a mess, and I knew it was time to throw in the towel – for the week.

This is what my process looked like, and maybe it’ll help you navigate your troublesome moments too.

When to temporarily throw in the towel:

  1. Evaluate the situation for what it is

Put your go-getter mentality aside, take a look at what you’re really dealing with, and understand what it is doing to you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

  1. Spell out the conclusions for yourself

This is another way of saying you need to accept that things are not working out and instead of trying to fight through it, you need to pause. Sometimes resistance doesn’t mean “fight back harder”, it means stop fighting and let go.

  1. Ignore the guilt that will try to pull you back

Taking a step back, or putting things on hold, will trigger feelings of doubt. You’re going to question your decisions – why you started, should you have started, are you a quitter, etc. Ride the wave, but stick to your decision.

  1. Indulge in activities that bring you joy and rest

This is where you listen to your body

  1. Try again

If you want to see your idea live past the initial stages, you’re going to have to get used to trying again many times. I’m learning this reality all over again.

Last week may have only seen two posts out, but I’ve managed to make changes in my personal and professional life that will allow for easier navigation. I spent the weekend identifying a system that would work for me.

This week is for testing it out and so far it’s working. The test will be how I handle this week’s midweek madness. Until then, I’ll keep focusing on how to make this process work for me – and you, of course.

One Week Later: This Was NOT Part of the Plan

An honest review of the other side of “just starting”. 5 things creators need to know when they launch their projects.

5 Things You Need to Know After You’ve Launched Your Project

Canva - Woman Feeling Emotional Stress
Photo by MasimbaTinasheMadondo–1388843

 

Last week was hard. 

I chose to write the articles on the same day, thinking I’d be able to carve time out. 

Here is a visual representation of how easy it was to find time to “carve out.”

But, that’s the reality of “just starting”. Whether you’ve planned ahead, or chosen to start on the spot, you’re going to encounter challenges. That pretty picture you have in your mind? That glistening image of how everything is going to turn out? Dead it. Now.

Continue reading “One Week Later: This Was NOT Part of the Plan”

Chrıs do, Seth Godin, and the Creative’s Remedy for Fear, Doubt, and Procrastination

Thursdays are for content-inspired posts. This week’s feature is a review of an episode of The Futur: Seth Godin—Make Something Everyday (Best Hour You’ll Spend Today)

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Chris Do & Seth Godin in the early minutes of the episode

Chris Do, the host, did a great job of navigating such important topics with Seth. He’s a natural conversationalist and this episode is a firm favorite of mine now.

There were multiple topics that were covered but I’d like to zone on the concept of “starting”.

This is now my personal and professional theme for the foreseeable future: Just start.

It was inspired by Seth’s 100-day blogging challenge.

For 100 days straight, Seth blogged every day, just for the sake of sharing. There was no focus on analytics, no push to share the work, and almost no plan. The goal was to make sure that every day a post went up – no matter what.

His blog has become a global sensation, with millions of subscribers and one blog post released every day. Seth also happens to be one of the leading minds in the marketing industry. He’s written over 18 books, appeared at countless conferences, and finds himself involved in new projects almost every other day.

His laid back demeanor caught my attention first. Most marketing thought leaders I’ve come across take the bright and chipper brand so seriously, I was almost thrown off by Seth’s chilled vibes. It was refreshing for me, to be honest. It was refreshing because it felt real.

I’m skeptical of following popular thought leaders because somewhere along the lines their content ends up saying the same thing, just with different words. But, this episode of The Futur, which also happens to be the first episode I ever watched, provided information that was refreshing.

Seth’s takes on topics like education, college & career choices, critical thinking, etc. were impassioned but realistic to listen to. Some of them caught me off guard and made me want to re-evaluate my stance on a few things, but at no point did I feel like I was being forced to understand his opinion.

The questions addressed during the episode are still relevant today – this episode aired in 2018 – and I’ve found myself raving about parts of this episode ever since I listened to it. If you’re someone who’s trying to navigate a stage of their life, then you should give this video a chance.

I want to zero in on the “just start” message Seth shared for creators. He spoke about the biggest struggle creatives face on a regular basis: trusting our work enough to create it. It’s safe to say that our field gets bogged down the most by crippling doubt, endless questioning, and overwhelming fear.

Some of us are sitting on stellar ideas that we’ve had for years. What’s keeping us from executing them?

“It’s not the right time.”

“I’m not sure if people will like it.”

“I don’t know if it’s worth pursuing.”

The point of “just starting” and focusing on releasing consistently isn’t to be good. It’s to be disciplined and to push ourselves.

“When you commit to sharing content every day,” Seth explained. “You become more observant of the things around you.”

I’ve only been at this challenge for four days and I’ve felt my mind adjust to finding interesting things to write on. One thing that encourages me the most is the absence of fear when Seth talks about failure and producing “bad work”. 

In a paraphrased version of Seth’s words: you’ll outwrite the bad stuff, eventually. But if you keep producing “bad work”, then maybe it’s a sign that you need to change paths.

Hearing those words was freeing and reminded me of Elizabeth Gilbert’s thoughts on creating work. Create because you want to. Create because you’ll enjoy it.

Take chances because you want to see where they’ll take you. Every decision to start will lead you somewhere worth going – even if the lesson is “don’t do this again”.

If you have an hour to spare or want to play something good in the background while you work, then I highly recommend this podcast.

The link is right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZmxAOHyDBI.

And as you listen, I hope you get a renewed enthusiasm for the goals you tucked away because you felt like the right time hasn’t come.

So, this is really happening?

This is it. This is really it.

We’re here. You’re here. I’m here.

source-1
*Gestures around*  This is really happening.

The idea is to blog, every day, for 100 days. I’ve tweaked this challenge to work with my schedule – and not burn out – by making it a five posts a week thing. So, from Mondays to Fridays, there will be a new post from me for the next +/- 20 weeks.

To be honest, I’m quite nervous. The usual questions have frequented my mind:

“Who’s going to read?”

“Will I keep this up?”

“What’s the point of this?”

But, I chose not to let my questions remain unanswered. I chose to sit with the fear and address it instead of pretending like it wasn’t there.

Continue reading “So, this is really happening?”