The Lost Year

I joined my friend Cheryl Sleboda's 31 day blog writing challenge last December with the intention of kickstarting a blog that I would then keep updating regularly all year and I was going to push myself out of my comfort zone and I was going to be creating lots of great content (maybe even video tutorials!) and it was going to be faaaabulous and then oops I dropped off the face of the planet. My last blog post was at the end of last year's 31 day blog writing challenge.

I have tons of excuses:

  • Who reads blogs anymore anyway?

  • I barely have enough time with my "real" job, and my quilt pattern business on the side, and everything else "life". Finding even more time to write engaging content is impossible.

  • I have nothing interesting to say.

  • People will just think I'm trying to sell them something.

  • There is no engaging content left in the world of quilting. Everything's already been said or done or blogged or videoed or tutorialed or instagrammed.

  • What if I fail?

  • I'm not an expert.

  • I can't just write about quilting, but I'm so boring. No one will want to know what else is going on in my life.

  • I need to redesign my website or move to a new host, so I should just wait until I get that done.

  • I need to get my sewing room clean and organized and perfect before I can show you pics of the sewing table/ design wall/ ironing station/ etc that I built.

  • I need to lose weight before I appear on video for all the world to see.

  • It's too much work to come up with content for the blog, the Facebook page, AND Instagram!

  • This writing thing is so haaaaard!

But here is the truth, you guys. I am crippled by my fear of failure, and even more by my fear of being vulnerable.

Have you ever heard of Dr. Brene Brown? She's a researcher in Houston who studies vulnerability & shame. She's written several great books. I first heard of her on the TED Radio Hour, which is one of the podcasts that I listen to when I'm driving or sewing (more on my podcast addiction in another post). Click on the picture below to open a new window and listen to it.

This talk really hit me in the feels. She was talking directly about/to me. I was sure of it. Everything she said was everything that I never knew I felt. And I cried. Like ugly cried. I looked up her TED Talks to watch them. You can see them here and here. And it was like she was just peering into my soul. Cue way more ugly crying. I vowed to open up, be more courageous, live my life more vulnerably.

It's been a few years since I heard that podcast, and watched both of her TED Talks, and read her groundbreaking book "Daring Greatly". And I'm still not there. I'm not even close. It's something I struggle with every single day. I let very few people into my world. This vulnerability and shame thing just has me at a standstill. Both in my personal connections and in my business.

I have friends, but I don't have super close best friends because I never allow myself to be vulnerable. I never fully open up to anyone. And my business is not as successful as I know it can be because I hold back, I don't share my progress and thoughts on Instagram and Facebook. If I don't 1000% commit to making it work, and letting the world know I'm here, then it won't hurt as much when it actually doesn't. That's some backwards thinking right there.

Dr. Brown said that "In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen. Really seen." So I am going to try allow myself to be seen. I have to lean into the uncomfortable-ness. I have to acknowledge my fears without giving into them any more. I need to be open, and I need to be vulnerable in order for this to work.

I'm starting up the blog again this month. You can see all of the other bloggers that are participating in this 31 day challenge on Cheryl's blog here. I'm not planning to post every single day, but I do want to post things regularly. Hopefully, I'll stick with it after December this time and let you see more of me in the future. If you see me slacking, reach out to me and give me a nudge, won't you? This is going to be super super hard for me. We're already three days into the challenge, and I'm still having trouble pushing the "Publish" button on this post. Here goes...

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