I spent the first week of August in New York City, attending the BlogHer conference. I attended a fabulous session on blogging and branding that included my friends Jill Krause and Gina Crosley-Corcoran. Basically, it was about faking it ’til you make it in the blogging world. (If you want more on faking it ’til you make it, stop by on Saturday for this week’s vlog.) One of the things that they discussed is giving yourself permission to take your thing seriously, whether it’s a blog or a business or a dream.
Many of us use the word just a lot when we’re talking about our dreams and passions. As in, just an idea, just something small, just something I’m starting, or just this thing I’d like to someday. We qualify our dreams and downplay them. We do this because we’re worried it won’t work out, because we’re afraid of looking silly in front or others or because we feel as if we don’t know what we’re doing. We all feel these things from time to time, including people who others regard as being very successful. But when we downplay our dreams, we’re doing ourselves a disservice. We’re listening to our dragons and talking ourselves out of doing the work that we need to do to make great things happen.
The panelists get ready at BlogHer
In contrast, when you give yourself permission to really believe in your thing – whatever it is – great things can happen. Sports psychologists talk a lot about visualization techniques. Visualization is about creating a mental image of what you want to accomplish. Research shows that this can improve both psychological and physical reaction. One Russian study actually found that Olympic athletes performed best when they spent 75% of their time in mental training and 25% in physical training.
This isn’t magic, and I actually don’t think it’s the same thing as the Law of Attraction. This is about creating a mental space for yourself where you believe you can accomplish something, and you’re willing to work to make it happen. When you feel that your dreams have worth, and you’re a capable person, you have two of the most important ingredients for motivating yourself. And, in truth, motivating yourself is one of the hardest parts of any job.
It’s always easier to sit on the couch and watch television. That takes no effort. Creating a meaningful life and pursuing your passions, on the other hand, takes a fair bit of effort. But you’re worth the effort. So give yourself permission to be serious, and take a few steps towards your bliss. You may be surprised by how much you can do once you really get going.