Okay, confession time. Over the past 6 months, I have been in some pretty dark places. Most people probably wouldn’t suspect that. Especially not my clients. As a working copywriter and content marketer, I was still showing up every day for them. Creating strategies and working through data. Uncovering stories about them and their businesses they could hang their hats on.
But as a business owner working on my business, I was flailing.
After 9 years, I should have had a huge bank of content under my belt. A strong brand. A winning content strategy that’s a great example for others. Made a serious dent in my dreams. But I had none of it.
I always told myself I was too busy, but at some point in the future I would start. But there always seemed to be something more ‘important’ or ‘urgent’ in the way. If you visit my website, you’ll see I hadn’t written a blog post since 2016. Which was over a year after the one before it.
My standard line has always gone something like this:
“I’m like a plumber whose taps are leaking. My content is terrible – I’m too busy doing everyone else’s,” she chuckles.
But it wasn’t funny. At the end of the day, my business was suffering. So why wasn’t I doing the things that I knew worked for other people? The past 6 months have been painful, but necessary. A pulling apart of what I stand for. Working out what I’m doing here. I’ve been doing some serious work. It’s been slow going, but I’ve been getting there.
It all came to a head a few weeks ago. I had scheduled out some time to finally write a blog post. It was going to be about the right content marketing mindset. It was my chance to get back on track. I sat down at my computer. No distractions. I had the topic and outline, and I should have been good to go.
But the words did not arrive. Instead, what arrived was a tight feeling in my chest. And a barrage of reasons why I should step away from the computer. The topic idea was shit, I was shit and my business was shit. If I kept typing, someone would find out my secret.
I just wasn’t good enough.
So I stepped away that day. And cried a little. And thought long and hard about what had just happened. I had never had that kind of writer’s block with client work.
Then it dawned on me. I wasn’t too busy to build my brand. I was too scared.
Have you had this feeling before too?
What I did about it
So I left it a little while. And in that time stumbled upon the work of Gary John Bishop. I highly recommend his books Stop Doing That Shit, and Unfuck Yourself. Great titles right?
Gary, in his irresistible Scottish accent, tells us that everyone has an internal dialogue. Most of it is designed to keep us safe. So the voice will loudly protest anything that is not comfortable for us. If you have an internal dialogue that you’re not good enough, smart enough, strong enough, you will fight to keep from doing anything that might expose that. The voice will keep you from pushing forward. Unless you acknowledge it and hear it, it will always be ruling your actions.
He says it’s not about trying to remove the feelings but living with them. To make a promise to yourself that you intend to stick to what you say you’re going to do, no matter what the voices say. You’ll do it anyway.
We all have something we’re telling ourselves. Something that acts as a great big elephant squashing the very things we would love to have. Stopping us from building the brand that truly represents who we are. Doing the work to uncover it is hard and necessary.
So, I am about to end this post now and go write the one about mindset. The one I said I couldn’t write. Oh, and by the way, this is the first mindset shift that you should make if you want to commit to content marketing. To get out of your own way. Now, let me tell you about the others…
Until next time X