I’ll be completely honest with you. It’s hard to be a mental health blogger when you suffer from anxiety and try to deal with depression yourself. Especially, when you’re INFP at the same time. We are notorious for handling criticism badly and for being harsh on ourselves, which are precisely the qualities that prevent us from succeeding in our professional lives.
I was and still am terrified about blogging. Before I started this blog, I had several other, but none of them has ever gone public. Even this one is actually my little dirty secret because so far I haven’t shared it with any of my friends, except for one. I have so much to say, but I have difficulty in putting it into words, and I am scared of being judged both for the form and the content – especially by the people who know me in the real life. I’ve already started over 20 new posts, but still haven’t found the courage to finish them. I want to change the world, but without drawing anyone’s attention. My writing in a foreign language is not as witty and engaging as I would like it to be (and possibly has some grammar mistakes that I should be ashamed of). This is just a sample list of self-doubts that haunt me every day.
Gremlins. That’s how Brené Brown, the author of Daring Greatly, one of my favorite books, refers to the nasty voices in your head that tell you that you suck. Every one of us has his own gremlins, but some have just more than the others. And those people are perfectionists. So, what do the hosts of gremlins in my head say? ” You are not enough. Are you really going to publish this post? It sucks. Nobody wants to read your blog anyway. You’re boooring.” If the gremlins feed on shame, mine must be already pretty much overweight.
To some, it might seem that I am at ease with this whole blogging thing. Well, I’m not. I never feel competent about anything that I do. When I type, I just can’t stop thinking…
Am I disclosing too much or not enough?
Should I get out of the closet or remain relatively anonymous?
Will I get a ton of nasty comments from trolls and haters of all kinds?
Can revealing my blog to the world jeopardize my reputation or potential employment?
Am I really helping anyone with this?
Am I making sense?
Is anyone even reading my blog, anyway?
How do I get more readers, if I hate self-promoting?
HOW CAN I EVER SUCCEED IN ANYTHING, IF MOST OF MY PROJECTS REMAIN SECRET FOR THE SAME REASON?!
Eventually, I get to a point where I am still not convinced that the post is good enough, but I’ve run of the ideas how to improve it, and have already spent too much time working on it. Sweaty and hesitant, I close my eyes and take a deep breath. That’s the moment when I take advantage of the tired gremlins and actually hit the PUBLISH button. Ta-daaam! Consummatum est. Now it’s sharing time, and here we come again to the starting point.
Knowing how much it costs me, I celebrate each post as an act of courage. I am daring greatly overcoming my fear of not being enough. Let’s face it – people will judge. Haters gonna hate. All I can change is myself and the way I handle criticism. For this to happen, I need to work on my shame resilience. And probably read Daring Greatly once again.
How do you handle your anxiety about blogging, or showing your art to the world?
PS. Please don’t forget to share this post with your friends if it’s inspired you.