“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Thus said Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1932 presidential election campaign speech. Powerful words indeed. They shed light to the fact that we oftentimes give in to our natural reflexes and responses without ever truly thinking about the effect of the particular emotion.
Fear is a destructive force and those who succumb to it are defeated before the task or battle has begun. Now the most damaging effect of fear is that we either never embark on our mission, or procrastinate towards stagnation. So it is also with blogging, online marketing and every other business venture or task we take on. Our fears of rejection, failure and even success, cripple us and leave us down the road with feelings of “what if” rather than the satisfaction of “been there, done that.“
There’s a lot of discussion about the failure of a majority of bloggers and the techniques and principles one should employ to guarantee success. Methods ranging from blog publishing frequency, which platforms to use, creating original content, using beautiful themes and templates, etc. All of these are wonderful but there are many mental and emotional concepts and approaches which lead many to success and the lack thereof, to failure.
It is true that succumbing to fear is what ultimately leads to failure, since it prevents you from doing what you should do in the first place to attain victory. Therefore, let’s look at the various ways you can overcome fear and reset your attitude towards blogging.
Causes of Fear of Failure in Blogging
We all have different belief systems and measure and model our success based on what we see around us. Many bloggers are measuring success based on what the big money making bloggers are doing. Thus comparing oneself with another. The act of comparing is unhealthy because you can never be someone else or have their success. You have to realistically find your own voice, your own niche that makes your heart sing and direct your own path with its own key performance indicators. Begin with a blank slate and set targets and goals within your limits. Be honest with yourself. It is not impossible but highly unlikely that you will make $2,000 in your first month of blogging. Don’t set that goal and disappoint yourself on day 31. However. that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ambitious but at the same time be real with your objectives and timelines.
So what ignites your fear? Ask yourself what you’re afraid of and mark them off as irrelevant, nonexistent and inconsequential because none of it really matters.
Fear Can be a Creeper
Fear creeps up and manifests in many ways you may not realize, and is closely related to procrastination as you create and find reasons to not do everything you must. Are you delaying writing that ultimate guide idea you’ve had for a while? Are you doubting your ability to blog in a particular niche? Does everything you decide to do somehow get sabotaged by your lack of prudence or attention? Does everything have to perfect and you thus proudly call yourself a perfectionist? Fear may be the source of your misfortunes disguised otherwise. Be honest with yourself, stop procrastinating and get the small tasks done today and everyday.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your blog be.
Failure is Merely a Matter of Perspective
The great thing about perspective is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Why is it that some achieve great feats while others don’t? Even though we’re all humans and blessed with pretty much the same basic features and characteristics. It’s because one person believes he can and eventually will, while the other does not. If you’ve been blogging for more than a couple of years and you’re just not seeing the results you want, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed you just may need to try something new.
If you accept it as failure then you’re saying that your experience was worthless and you haven’t learned anything. So you quit. That is not true. Over the course of 2 years of blogging I’m certain you have learned a lot about writing, web technology, marketing, promotion, engagement tactics and so much more. You’re better and more equipped than when you first started. That is powerful and that’s 2 years of experience blogging that many others do not have.
Use your previous attempts at blogging success as learning experiences that were useful for sharpening your writing and marketing skills. Document what you’ve learned, create a new game plan and execute once again. Whether it’s through relaunching your blog or creating a new one. Remember you’re smarter now and success is much closer than what it previously was. Failure is not the opposite of success, it is a part of success.
Overcoming the Fear of Failure
Fear is a natural emotion and there’s no getting rid of it, regardless of how experienced we ever become. There will always be challenges greater than us and that’s all part of living. If you have no challenges in blogging then you’re not going for a big enough goal. Take note of your response to fear; it should be a validation that you’re embarking on something that will help you grow rather than viewing it as something that will destroy you.
On the road to overcoming, here’s what you should do:
Analyze all potential outcomes - Many experience fear of failure because of the unknown. Rid yourself of this by considering all the possible outcomes of the tasks you have before you. Success is one of the possibilities!
Think only on positives - Reject negative discussions and visualize your desired victory and who you will become.
Address the worst case scenario – What is the worst that could happen if you somehow miss your mark of blogging success as you envisioned it? Seriously! You have nothing to lose. Be aware of that.
Have a contingency plan – We can only do so much with the 24 hour days we have. Create a Plan B. This offers comfort in knowing that there’s always other possibilities and techniques to try.
Set small, daily, attainable goals - Your fear of failure can be conquered over time as you learn how to win daily. If your objective is to write 30 blog posts per month, then focus solely on each day’s task. Tomorrow will take care of itself, today alone exists and is everything.
A little milk is going to be spilled occasionally throughout your blogging journey. You will make mistakes. However, there is no finality in whatever you do wrong. It’s an opportunity to use what you’ve learned to be a better blogger. Let your fear fuel a courageous success you can be proud of. Create your own blogging story worth sharing.