I love to write.
In fact, as a kid, I used to have dreams of writing a fiction book.
I even started a neighborhood “magazine” with my childhood bff, Lindsay. I wrote movie reviews, neighborhood news, and “reported” the weather, always a few too many days behind. But I digress…
Writing has always been a way for me to feel creative and free and like I was contributing something to the world.
But when I started writing my blog, especially as my audience grew, I became nervous. Like super nervous.
I’d worry that my readers wouldn’t like what I wrote. I worried that I wouldn’t stand out. And I worried that I wouldn’t inspire.
In fact, I used to cringe every time before I’d check my newsletter stats.
What ended up happening (if you couldn’t guess) is that I didn’t enjoy writing anymore. And I’d go weeks without writing or sending out a newsletter and then, I’d send one out because I felt like I had to.
One day it hit me. The only reason I was being so weird with my writing was because I felt pressure from expectations.
Would this piece get a good response? Will anyone want to read this? Will it get likes? Will this newsletter have a “high enough” open rate? Will it actually help people?
My expectations of myself were preventing me from doing the thing I once loved, writing. They were holding me back.
In my dire need to be perfect, I was, in fact, getting absolutely nowhere … except in my head.
So I had to go back to the basics. Why did I write? Who was I writing for? What quantified as success for me?
I discovered I wrote because it brought me joy. And that I was writing selfishly for myself, but also for others because I had something to say. And what did success look like for me? It looked like reading a piece that made me feel warm and fuzzy and that made me feel like I was making a difference in another woman’s journey.
So, here I am, challenging you to go back to the basics too.
To find what you used to do or what you want to do but aren’t because of expectations from others or yourself.
And most importantly, to ask yourself the question, What does success look like for me? In whatever you’re grappling with right now.
Because getting clear on this stuff paves the pathway for freedom and action and in turn, confidence.
Want some examples of expectations holding you back? Here are some pretty common ones.
Maybe you want to join a course or ask for help but aren’t because you’re already telling yourself you’ll fail.
Maybe you’re not finding the kind of love you want because you think it needs to look a certain way. (Sidenote: nothing ever looks how we think it’ll look).
Perhaps you want to bake again but aren’t because you’re afraid of how many brownies you’ll eat if you do.
Or, maybe you’re not buying that dress that makes you FEEL so amazing because you expect to be at a smaller size before you wear something like that.
Let me let you in on a secret – I can’t say this with 100% certainty, but if you’re anything like me and most of the women I’ve worked with over the years – your expectations are preventing you from feeling confident, happy, and whole.
You gotta release them. You gotta let go of the outcome.
Because the truth is…
Who cares if it doesn’t go as planned?
Who cares if people disagree?
Who cares if you “fail”?
The truth is no one cares.
People applaud people who do big, bold, and brave things.
And those who don’t aren’t your people.
The only person who really, truly cares is you.
So do yourself and me a favor and release your expectations and instead focus on doing something radical and bold and kinda crazy.
Start living your life. Because when you do the things you know in your heart you’re meant to do, things will shape up exactly how they’re meant to.
And I’m pretty sure they’ll eventually end up being even better than any of your expectations.