In my elementary school years, learning did not come easy, especially reading and writing. Back then, extra support was considered staying in for lunch or after school for additional practice and I was typically “tagged” for this privelege. As you would expect, this had a negative effect on me and I felt like “bad writer” was tatooed on my forehead. So, through my secondary and college years, I did the bare minimum and nothing more, always second guessing myself when I handed in my final writing version.
Hold on now!!! That was the past and not me now. As a goal lover (did you see my post from New Years – New Year’s Day and Goals – Perfect Together!?), I decided to make writing a top priority for me and added writing a book to my goals on January 1st….back in 2010. Then, I added it in 2011, 2012, and 2013. OK… writing a book was too lofty. In 2014, I changed it to starting a blog. I can write mini-articles. Leap forward 3 years, I am finally stepping into my growth zone and starting to write publicly!!
What was holding me back?
I have been thinking about this for years. I believe there are 3 big reasons for this:
- Fear – Overcoming a fear is extremely challenging and the biggest barrier to starting anything new. In this case, it all stems from my youth. Whether or not it was true, I believed that I couldn’t write and that belief has been etched on my brain since I was 7 years old.
- No outside pressures – I didn’t share my writing goal publicly because of this fear, so no one would be able to ask me about it. Since I didn’t have anyone encouraging me to take the risk or to be accountable to my word, it was an easy out.
- Giving myself a choice – Having a choice gave me the ability to rationalize the why NOT to write. There were always higher priority items on my list.
The forces pushing me to ACT
The collision of internal and external forces pushed me into my new growth zone. From an internal perspective, I have stepped into my growth zone over the past several years and I am getting accustomed to the feeling of the unknown. This included shifting into a new field at work and transitioning from only running to competing in triathlons. I now crave learning new skills, whether at work or in life.
From an external perspective, I started sharing my goal with others close to me, who would hold me to my word. It’s amazing how powerful positive peer pressure is for lasting change. There is a ton of research on this for both work and life. Check out the 2 articles below.
I am now clear on what was holding me back. I needed the internal and external forces to collide and push me into this new space. Then, I was able to articulate my mission, my voice and my WHY!!!
My 5 WHYs of writing
My big WHY consists of 5 objectives that will guide my writing:
- Share my passions – I will write about the topics that energize me. This includes my learnings about work, leadership, life, health & fitness, family & friends.
- Own my growth zone – I will own my fear of writing and will work hard to develop my unique style. I won’t be perfect but I am committed to improve.
- Write Positively – I will write to inspire while being open, authentic and vulnerable.
- Connect Broadly – I will write to connect learnings at work and life. I don’t believe we live in separate worlds. It’s all connected!
- Spur Action– My aspiration is to spark new ideas and conversations that I hope you will share with me!!
Let’s Get Started!
I learned that there are 2 different kinds of goals. Goals that are within (mostly) your comfort zone and goals that are completely outside of it, which require a different motivation model. These growth zone goals require having a deep understanding of WHY it’s important to you, as well as, understanding what will push you to ACT.
I am ready to learn and grow in this new adventure! Now, I know I will make writing mistakes and I will skip words (my brain seems to work much faster than my fingers), so I ask that you be patient with me as I grow. I will do my best to write 2 posts per month and I hope you will be interested enough to subscribe to my blog: Blog. Most importantly, I hope to spark new ideas and conversations at this intersection of work and life. If anything I post does, please share with me at firstname.lastname@example.org!!
I would also like to thank Jack K. for sharing his kind words of encouragement from my last post that inspired me to write this one!