Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously
September 29, 2008
When I hunted down the above image for this post, I searched for the term “carefree”. Think back, when was the last time you felt completely carefree with no worries, burdens, or responsibilities? Maybe it was quite a long time ago. Maybe it was never. Everyone would like to experience the feeling of being carefree and having no stress, but few people actually do. So don’t take yourself so seriously.
This advice not only applies to your actual and personal life, but to your blog as well. All you see and hear and read all the time is how you should treat your blog like a professional business and nothing else, or if you want to succeed you have to do this, this, and this but if you do this or that then you will fail. Try turning the statistics around for once and do the opposite of what people tell you. Most of the success stories you’ll ever hear don’t come from a specific formula, but instead they come from experimentation and trying something new. You can’t always replicate another person’s success, which is what most bloggers or internet marketers try to do. You have to define your own path.
You might think I’m crazy with the advice I’ve been giving because just the other day I told you to DECREASE your posting frequency, which is usually the opposite of what you’re used to hearing. And today, I’m telling you not to take yourself so seriously, when the rest of the blogosphere insists that your website is a serious business and if you ever consider it anything but one, you’ll never get anywhere. This isn’t true!
When you stop taking yourself so seriously, a lot of the truth comes out because the excess and what isn’t needed is cut. That’s the time when you focus more on what truly matters. If you’re worrying all the time about writing the perfect content and publishing it only on set, planned dates, you’re creating more stress for yourself. If you’re trying to be an overachiever and setting bigger and better goals than your competitors, you’re being unrealistic and creating more stress for yourself. If you’re constantly thinking about your blog, how you’re going to promote it, or what you’re going to do next, you’re unnecessarily creating more stress for yourself.
This turns into a very bad habit. The more you worry, the more you’re going to want to put it all off. As you continue to take yourself too seriously and invent more problems for yourself, they’re going to pile up and you’re not going to know where to start anymore. And then even more tasks will arise for you to do because you never completed the original ones, and this will continue, turning into a very horrible cycle. You’ll have too much work to tackle and it will be overwhelming, so you’ll get to the point where you just want to give up. It won’t feel worth it anymore. Trust me, I know, I’ve been there.
I’m writing from experience here. I made goals for myself that were too much for me to handle, and I felt that if I didn’t do things perfectly that I shouldn’t be doing them at all. But the truth is that there is no such thing as “perfect”, only what other people DEFINE as perfect. You should put your effort into writing quality content, but just because it’s not perfect based on someone else’s standards doesn’t mean it’s never good enough, period. You shouldn’t follow the “laws” of blogging that have been set out by others. It’s fine to go by guidelines, but set your own rules. Like I said earlier, you have to carve your own path. What works for you? Not what works for everyone else, what works for YOU? The only way to discover the answers to these questions are by experimenting and by trial and error. You’ll never be right all the time and you’ll definitely have your fair share of mistakes, but once you find the answers you’ve hit gold.
Don’t be afraid to step out of the box or to try something new. If something that works for everyone else doesn’t work for you, don’t keep doing it just because everyone else does – ditch it. Try writing with a new style or voice. Step out there and try something no or very few bloggers have before. If that doesn’t get you noticed and catch people’s eye, nothing will.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. If you’ve been restricting yourself to a certain formula or a certain way of life, drop it and let loose. Cut yourself some slack and find motivation in something else. When you sit down to write just let the words flow out and don’t stop, even if you think they don’t “sound right”. That doesn’t mean sloppy writing – go back and correct the spelling and grammar errors – but don’t go back and change your words to cover up their true meaning.
I’m definitely not saying to be messy or let the quality of your blog drop, but be down to earth with yourself AND with your readers instead of being uptight – they’ll be able to relate to you better and feel more connected, which results in lots of loyalty and friendships.
Basically, learn to be carefree! Set your own standards and definitions instead of following those of someone else, or just sticking to the norm. Work on your own accord and do it for YOU. Cut out what doesn’t matter and focus on what does, because not only will you be happier and more motivated then, but people will also be more attracted to your website and what you have to say. By not taking yourself so seriously, you can actually become more successful than you ever have been before. Try it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.