Thursday, 23 May 2013

3 ways to beat your fear of not measuring up


By: Nila Sweeney




I've been wanting to blog for a very long time. I know it should have been a no-brainer as I've been writing for many years.

But I was very afraid of not measuring up to the “standards” set by the prominent bloggers out there. I was wracked with self-doubt.

Who would read my blogs? Will I be able to produce compelling articles that people want to read? Would people like what I write? There are already millions and millions of bloggers out there, who would care about what I have to say?

So I spent a couple more years consuming other’s work rather than creating them myself.

Then one day I realised, I’ve been letting my fear of not measuring up run the show. It’s been holding me back from pursuing the things that I really care about.

I realised that just because I’m new and unknown doesn’t mean I should give up the idea of blogging altogether. I may not be amazing yet but I can aim to be.  I can write honest and hopefully, helpful posts that people find relevant.

So far it’s been an interesting experience. It was scary and exhilarating at the same time. So how did I make the leap? Here are a few things that helped me get over my fear.

I stopped comparing myself with others
This is easier said than done. Even as I write this, my monkey mind is busy telling me that this subject matter have been done to death and there are better posts out there discussing this topic. And that I shouldn’t bother.

I now know that if I allow this voice to rule my action, I would stop. If I allow myself to compare my writing ability with others, I’d be utterly depressed and unable to proceed.

So instead of simply ignoring this nagging doubt, I face it squarely and acknowledge its presence and I keep on blogging anyway.

I focused on the things that I’m good at
This step is harder than I thought. That’s why I find it really difficult to put together my resume. I feel uneasy talking about the things that I’m good at.

When I first attempted this exercise, I could not list more than three qualities I see in myself. I’ve taken for granted so many things that I do well because I see them as rather “normal” and nothing too special. I thought anyone could do them, given training and time.

What I realised is that I can do and have done a lot of pretty exceptional things. I also became present to the vast knowledge on various subjects that I carry around and that I’ve taken for granted for a very long time. Taking stock of my strength made me aware how much more I can offer as a human being.

So try it. Make a list of everything that you’re capable of doing.  List all your strengths and accomplishments, no matter how trivial they look to you.

The aim here is not to brag about your achievements, but to get reacquainted with your innate greatness.

I learned to accept my flaws
Becoming aware of my limitation but not allowing it to control me has been another breakthrough for me.

I know I don’t have a perfect body, and I’m ok with that. I know that I have many character flaws such as procrastination and being judgmental, so I’m working on improving those areas. Instead of using these flaws to measure myself unfairly with others, I now see them as an opportunity to improve myself.

Comparing ourselves with others is completely unnecessary. It only makes us miserable, depressed and even jealous.

Instead of focusing on the things that you do not currently have, look at the things that are now present in your life, all the people in your life and the good fortune that you’re enjoying. That’s right. You have everything you need to live a happy and satisfying life, right now.


You may also want to read my article No Time To Lose for an extra dose of inspiration:-)