The Struggle is Real

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly struggling with the pressures of life around me. Pressure to be a better wife, pressure to be a better businesswoman—but mostly, pressure to constantly be at the top of my game, no matter what the circumstance. 

For instance, I am a writer. That means I am my own boss. I don’t have someone looking over my shoulder every day telling me what to do and how to do it, but I still feel this impending sense of doom if I don’t do what I think everyone thinks I should be doing. 

I’ve taken marketing classes from social media experts who harass you with the idea that you have to constantly be spitting out new material. 


While, I believe that’s true, I also firmly believe that forcing yourself to create something you don’t feel any connection to is where terrible products come from. 

I beat myself up on a daily basis about how many instagram followers I have, how many blog posts I’ve gotten up, how many pictures I’ve posted on social media… the list goes on and on. 

But where does that faceless feeling of dread stem from? 

I suppose it comes from a part of myself that feels as though I am not measuring up to the standards of society. 

We are definitely products of consumerism—meaning, we are always searching for the next thing to consume. 

But I don’t want to always have this invisible entity I’ve created hovering over my head making me feel guilty for taking a bubble bath or reading for pleasure instead of working. 

That’s the hard part about working for yourself… you never get to leave the office. Your brain is the office. 

I’m bordering on rambling at this point, but I feel if I don’t say these words to you, no one will. 

Here they are. Are you ready?


Breathe. Slow Down. Everything will be okay.

So what if I don’t put up as many posts this week as I’d hoped to? Will the world stop turning? Will people stop liking the stuff I do post just because it took me an extra 24 hours than I wanted it to? 

No. None of those things will happen. 

So to the mom who didn’t get the dishes done today, I say, who cares! Is your kid alive and fed? Great! Then today was a productive day for you! 

To the nurse who worked a 12 hour shift and just couldn’t bring herself to cook dinner for her family when she got home. Who cares! That’s what take-out is for! You saved lives today! That’s a win! 

I could go on and on, but you get the point I’m trying to make here. 

When did we become a society that frowns upon taking time to relax and do nothing? Why is it not okay to have a day, or even just an evening, where I watch Netflix in my hole-y sweatpants? 

And when someone inevitably asks me why I’m not working on my next book instead of binge watching Friends for the 100th time, I might just strangle them with those hole-y sweatpants! 

I am a writer! Of course I’m working on stuff. But do I need to be reminded that I haven’t finished my next book yet? Why no, no I don’t. The constant anxiety I feel about it is enough motivation for me—thanks. 

But this is what I’m talking about—it’s ridiculous that the smallest thing, like asking how far I am into my next project, can cause me to devolve into a pile of sobbing depression because I’ve allowed myself to create these insane standards. 

All I’m saying is, give yourself some grace. 

Don’t let the pressures of the World—or the pressures you think the World is putting on you—allow you to fall into the cycle of self loathing and defeat.  

Breathe. Slow Down. Everything will be okay. 






The Measure of Success

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Lots of people have asked me what it’s like to be a successful author.

To be honest—I was never quite sure how to answer.

Some part of my brain knew that I was a published author, but the majority of it still hadn’t truly let the idea set in yet. It’s like I was afraid to accept it.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t feel like an author.

I still had a 9 to 5 job that I worked on the weekdays, everyday life hadn’t changed much, most of the people who knew me personally didn’t really ever mention my new career choice.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was what was holding me back. I didn’t feel like an author because I hadn’t allowed myself to truly become one.

When people asked me what I do for a living, I would still mention my day job. When people asked about my books, I would answer them with an air of embarrassment rather than one of confidence.

If I wanted to be taken seriously as an author, I needed to start taking myself seriously as one!

Once that happened, the flood gates seemed to open wide! I was writing more, happier, more confident.

The point of all of this is to say, don’t let the fear you feel hold you back, no matter what it stems from. Here is my list of things, once I thought about it, that I realized I was fearful of:

Fear of being judged for my career choice.

The arts are always a career field that seem to bring out the best eye rolls in people. I could practically see the thought bubbles popping up around peoples heads of “Yeah, you do that” and “Oh, alrighty then” when I told them I was writing my first book.

Fear of failure.

Surprisingly, this one fell second to fear of judgment. For myself, if I failed, I could at least say I had tried. But the judgement I would receive after was what really got to me. The last thing I wanted to hear was people telling me they knew it would never work.

Fear of realizing my dream would never come true.

This is the one that sticks with me the most. Sure, those other things would suck, but this one is the life-changer. My dream is to be able to have a sustainable income that solely stems from my writing. It doesn’t sound that far fetched but—let me tell you—it’s hard! And the worst part is knowing that, if you fail, it 100% falls on your shoulders! You can’t blame anyone else!

But the real fear for this one is that I will eventually feel like I’ve failed enough times to give up on that dream. That I will let the nay-sayers and my own doubts win, and stop trying to become what I aspire to be.

My fear is that I will no longer have a purpose in life.

All of these things are a revolving door of anxieties I’m constantly having to squelch. Just because I’ve accepted my rightful title of “Author” now does not mean these issues magically disappeared—I wish!

What that means is I have to work extremely hard to constantly tell myself that I can do it, that I am enough! This has made all the difference for me. Self-acceptance is key.


If you’re still reading by now, I’m sure you’re wondering what the point of saying all this is.

Well, it’s simple.

The point is to tell you that you are enough.

That’s it.


You don’t need anyone else’s approval for you to feel like you are good enough. Sure, it’s nice to hear, but you don’t need it. We live in a society that is full of insecure people posting pictures of themselves online pretending they’re not feverishly checking their posts every 5 seconds to see how many more likes they have, hoping for that little jolt of dopamine to make them feel they’ve been accepted by their peers.


All of that is crap.


Don’t you let yourself think, for even one second, that the size 2 girl in her bikini on the beach whose life seems so perfect isn’t sitting on the other side of her smart phone making herself miserable waiting for just one more like, or one more follow, to make her feel like a success.

The mistake we are all making is a simple one, but it’s a very hard one to change.

We are all looking to everyone else to bring us self gratification, to tell us we have “made it”. When, in reality, everyone around us is too wrapped up in their own quest for fulfillment to even consider helping us on ours!

So what do we do?

We choose for ourselves what makes us a success—whatever success means to you.

It could be finishing the laundry today, or going for a run. Once you get to a place where you set your own opinion of yourself as your compass, things will just fall into place.

So—if only one person reads this blog and finds some meaning in it, then that is a success for me. If only two people in the entire world buy my books, that is a success for me.

Why?

Because I have chosen that as what success means to me today.