Oh, hi. It’s been a minute, huh? I guess I have some explaining to do. That’s kind of the whole point of this post, if I’m being honest. Self-help books made me stop blogging. Okay, that’s dramatic. But…it’s actually kind of the truth.
I was once a relatively balanced person who always prioritized the things that made me feel like myself. Reading, spending time with friends, watching TV, painting my nails, you name it. But, somewhere along the way, I decided I wasn’t good enough.
My life wasn’t good enough.
I wasn’t smart enough.
…challenging myself enough.
So, I did what I do best. I started seeking information. Learning, growing, changing. When this is done right, when it’s done in a healthy way, it can be incredible. But for me? It was the start of an ugly addiction.
I could always be better, learn more, perfect.
And soon, I edged out all the things that once made me me to be a better version of a me who doesn’t make time for anything other than better.
I forfeited enjoyment.
I structured myself into a dull box full of inadequate feelings that only encouraged my perfection addiction.
I’ll admit it, the fear of starting a business is what sent me down the self-help rabbit hole. I was so afraid that someone was going to expose me for what I really was: someone who was just figuring it all out one day at a time. As a business owner, that freaked me out. Not knowing was unacceptable to me. I had to have all the answers. Everything had to be perfect! I’d spend hours absorbing new information and learning new skills only to then turn around and deliver new creative for the biz. That would have been enough, maybe even healthy. Learning and using new skills is a great thing.
But then I’d spend hours, sometimes days obsessing over it. That’s when the negative self talk would creep in. I could have done that better. Maybe I should have approached it like this person. OMG this business is offering the same services and they must be better than us and I should just give up.
So then I’d turn to self-help.
Freaking out as an entrepreneur is NORMAL. I knew this! So I turned to all those people like me, those brave little creatives, for some sound advice.
Always do your best!
It’s okay to fail, that means you’re trying!
Always be learning.
Hustle. Hustle. HUSTLE!
Sacrfice. Sacrfice. Sacrifice.
Full, but empty.
I’d hustle from the moment my eyes opened until the second my head hit the pillow. If I couldn’t give something my best, it got scrapped. If something wasn’t serving the overall purpose of reaching my goals, it got scrapped. If something could be defined as a waste of time, gone it went.
I stopped reading books for fun. My manuscript sat untouched. This blog grew cobwebs. I stopped being Joey because Joey wasn’t good enough.
My life was so full. I was doing big, exciting, risky things often. And don’t get me wrong–that makes me feel so alive! But somewhere along the way, I drained myself of my creativity and personality. I was a slave to perfection.
It’s ok to chase your dreams. In fact, do it! Fill your head with what you need to know and constantly be learning. Just don’t let any of that strip you of the person you once were.
As bloggers fell off the bandwagon over the years, I always claimed that would never be me because writing is just part of who I am. Now, I get that I own and run a business that has me writing literally all day. But this space, these words? They’re mine, all mine. And without it, without them, I slowly started to disappear.
My business is hugely important to me. And I will always want it to be the best it can be. But I have to remember that it was this little space that even made that business possible. All of my dream-come-true moments root back to blogging.
Over the last few years, I’ve put entirely too much pressure on this space. I forced it into something it was never meant to be: a job. I love the opportunities blogging brings my way, and I’ll always be down for a fun collaboration. But this space was never intended to be just that: a money maker.
Self-help taught me I could do anything but paralyzed me into silence.
So I’m brushing off the cobwebs and setting out to reclaim my voice.
Hi, I’m Joey.