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It’s a funny thing being an entrepreneur. In a job, you have a supervisor or manager giving you direction. You usually have tasks that you regularly complete with specific deadlines. You know you have to make those deadlines because someone else is counting on you to have that work completed.
When you’re an entrepreneur, however, there is no one giving you directions and deadlines. You are your boss. There is great freedom in that. You get to choose when you complete a task, what you want to work on, and even where you want to work on it.
There is a downside, though, because there’s no one to tell you that it’s time to get to work, or to give you direction like in a regular job. It requires a lot of initiative and self-motivation to be an entrepreneur.
As beginners, it’s easy to hold ourselves back in blogging. We’re so accustomed to waiting for someone else to give us a direction that we wind up doing nothing. We feel we need external validation before we think we’re ready to promote ourselves. Only that validation isn’t going to come.
Fear Often Holds Us Back
You don’t need anyone’s permission to blog, or to promote yourself, or to create products.
You have to grab the reins and act.
That’s the thing about blogging. You get the freedom to work whenever you want on whatever you want. On the other hand, if you don’t show up and do the work, there isn’t anyone to punish you. No one will take away your blogging rights if you miss a deadline. Unlike your 9 to 5 job, there are no hard and fast consequences if you don’t work.
But if you don’t work, there are also no rewards.
Often, fear is what holds us back. We want to do the work, but we’re afraid of failing, or perhaps worse, we’re scared of succeeding. We tell ourselves stories about how we aren’t good enough or smart enough to become successful. We believe these stories, and then we create the failure that we feared because we never worked hard enough to find success in the first place.
We have to find the inner drive to fight those demons and believe we deserve success. No one is just going to award us with success. We must be willing to put in the work and that means starting even if we don’t feel like we know what we’re doing. One step will yield more results than doing nothing will.
Sometimes You Have to Fake It
You can waste weeks or even months taking every course and reading every book ever written about blogging, but you will most likely still feel that you don’t know enough to begin. I should know because I’ve done that. (Okay, not every course and book, but so, so many!)
Here’s the thing though: you’re never going to feel ready. All the knowledge in the world won’t make you feel confident until you have some experience. That lack of confidence will come across to your readers, and it will make them less likely to trust you.
So how the heck do you gain confidence without experience?
You fake it.
That may sound as though I’m saying you should be less than truthful, but I promise it’s not. The only thing you’re faking is your confidence to combat your fear. You will gain genuine confidence as you gain experience in your craft. The only way to gain experience, though, is just to start blogging.
You might feel like you aren’t ready because there isn’t anyone to tell you, “Hey, you’ve finished X, Y, and Z, so now you’re a blogger.” But, you don’t need external validation from an authority. You only need to begin, and you will grow in confidence as you continue.
Take the First Step
Sometimes, we have to stop finding excuses for why we can’t do something. Your fears may never completely go away. It’s scary to try new things and put ourselves out there where others can judge us. But we have to find the courage to take the first step no matter how scary it is.
And the cold, hard truth? You’re probably going to suck at first. Everyone does. Blogging has a high learning curve, and no one is an expert when they begin. What sets apart the successful bloggers from the failures isn’t that they had some innate talent for blogging and knew every business tactic out there.
It’s that they started even though they sucked and kept plugging along anyway. Successful bloggers practiced and learned and continued blogging.
While I believe researching a new path and learning about it is critical, it’s easy to get sucked into a research loop. We feel we still don’t know enough, so we need to learn more before we can take the first step. The problem is that the time never comes when we know enough because it isn’t lack of knowledge that’s holding us back.
It’s fear that holds us back, and the way to move past it is to acknowledge it’s there and act anyway. Fear is a powerful emotion that will paralyze you and hold you back from having the life of your dreams.
The solution is putting yourself out there and gaining that experience and knowledge through time and work. To realize your dream, you must be willing to put all of yourself on the line to gain that confidence.
Do you have any tips on working through the fear of beginning? Leave a comment below!