Self-reflection is important and I’ve been doing a lot more of it than usual lately. Some of it is due to my recent birthday and the inevitable reflection that accompanies each trip around the sun. It wasn’t a milestone birthday but it is an age that at one point seemed REALLY far off.
So there was the standard questioning of am I where I thought I’d be at this stage of life? My answer to that was, nope, not exactly. But given that I have so much to be grateful for and that most people I talk to have similar thoughts, I’m mostly okay with that.
We're also nearing the end of another calendar year, which invites reflection of the previous year’s accomplishments and challenges, as well as intentions for the next one.
A big theme that came up for me was creative and playful expression. I haven’t had much of that lately so in some ways I find myself in a place of stagnation. Creativity and play are, of course, very important to me and they're crucial to healing, self-exploration and expression, growth, and connecting with others. I don’t feel as much like myself when I’m not creating and playing and life overall just isn’t as rich and fulfilling.
I could easily blame this creative hiatus on the fact that I’m in the process of moving, as well as seeing bunches of clients, but since we’re going for authenticity here I know that isn’t the whole truth. The truth is I stopped being me and I stopped having fun. So as a result, I haven’t blogged for FUNdaMENTALs in awhile.
I partially started blogging on the FUNdaMENTALs' website because “everyone” says you need to have a blog to drive traffic to your website. But mostly I started blogging because I’ve always loved to write and was excited for another opportunity to express myself. And heck, if I could help others and build my business along the way, WINNING! The thing is, I quickly became wrapped up in what “they” said I needed to do to build my business and lost the essence of who I am along the way.
I read article after article about how to blog better to attract more readers and as I attempted to incorporate all the tips into my blogs, I began to feel weighed down. “Put a number in the title,” “don’t write in book-like paragraphs ,” “use keywords but don't look like you're using keywords…”Some of the advice was helpful but there were a lot of contradictions and it didn't always ring true for me. Still I did it. Because the experts said it worked and what did I know about marketing?
Yet, even with all the “expert” advice, no one read my blog. I didn’t even like most of my articles because they looked just like every other generic self-help article out there. I don’t want to read another article entitled “10 Ways to Be Happier” or “5 Ways to Let Go” because they all basically say the exact same thing.
So if I don’t want to read another article like that, I'll bet a lot of other people don’t either. In fact, one of my best friends, who used to compliment the heck out of my writing, told me (very sweetly) that she no longer enjoyed reading what I wrote because it didn’t sound like me. Which made sense since I no longer enjoyed writing what I wrote because it didn’t sound like me.
I created FUNdaMENTALs because I was convinced I could make a living doing the things I love most and help others at the same time. And here, I found myself not even liking a lot of things I was doing on a daily basis. I still enjoyed working with my clients and I've had a steady flow, but the rest of it sucked and most of it wasn’t doing anything for my business.
I realized a lot of that was because I wasn’t practicing what I preached. I have a business singing the praises of mindfulness, play, and creativity, yet, was attempting to follow generic business advice that didn’t incorporate any of that. It was probably insulting to the type of clients I want to attract, intelligent, creative, and high achievers who want to reach their highest potential. Also, it wasn't authentic and how can I ask for that from anyone else if I'm not being that?
So I’m done with it. I’m no longer reading articles like the “6 Things Every Blog Needs” that popped up in my news feed this morning. I’m sure I've already read it in some form and if there are aspects of it that resonate with me, I’ll combine them with my own individual form of blogging. Whatever that is. I’m not even sure what that is yet. I just know this is the start of it.
So same as my clients do in their therapy and coaching sessions, I’m now going to use this blog to rediscover and express my personal experience. I feel nervous about it because I don’t know what that’s going to look like.
Also, my inner critic keeps insisting on making an appearance: “I’ve done too much research writing to ever go back to a more universally relatable and creative style of writing (Ugh, even that sentence screams academia!);” “Maybe I’m not interesting enough or can’t write interesting enough content;” “Maybe this market is just too oversaturated or I just don’t want to adapt enough to the new ways of doing things.” Okay, thank you inner critic!
Overall, I’m hoping that if I can look at it as a written adventure (And I so do love adventures!) I’ll push through the fears and create something I enjoy creating and am proud of that will inspire others to do the same. And that is essentially my goal in my business and life so here goes...