It is not easy being self-employed, being your own boss, and being responsible for every aspect of your business. Many days I find myself unmotivated, discouraged, feeling like a fraud because I don’t have the answer to everything (as if anyone does), and feeling guilty because I don’t always pull my own weight when it comes to contributing to household finances.
Over the past year while developing my business I have sought out several different courses to teach me about marketing, social media, website development, and copywriting. And while I desperately needed a lot of the information and help, it also left me reeling from a whirlwind of “should’s”.
For example, just in writing this post, I am breaking all kinds of “should’s”:
- According to one expert on blog writing, my very first paragraph should be full of keywords so that I rank at the top of search engines. But most times I am compelled to start my posts with what is going on, how I am feeling, or some quirky line because it is totally relevant to what I will be talking about.
- According to another expert, I should be vulnerable and tell my story. But if I tell my story, I really won’t have a keyword rich first paragraph, and this goes against the first expert giving me advice.
- You should also never start a sentence with “but”, “and”, or “so”. (In case you haven’t noticed, I do this all the time.)
- And according to some of the money-generating experts, you should always end your blog post with a request to take some kind of action toward making a purchase, highlighted in yellow, you know, flashy like Las Vegas. Um, can anyone say, sleazy salesman?
The reality is all of these “experts” mean well.
But here’s the problem. Someone else’s “should” is what works for THEM. It isn’t necessarily what feels right and works for ME.[Tweet “Don’t let someone else’s SHOULD become your MUST.”]
All of the rules that I am not following while writing this one simple post could really send me into a confused frenzy if I let it. I could stress over Google and keywords. I could have anxiety worrying about someone dedicated to preserving the formal written language sending me hate mail because I started a sentence with “so” or “um”. I could feel guilty because the advice given by all the “experts” just doesn’t feel like me, and believe that I am a crappy and broken entrepreneur.
Think about all the “should’s” you come across in a single day, from your friends, family, co-workers, and random people behind you in line at the grocery store. It can be very overwhelming!
Here’s what happens when you get caught up in other people’s “should’s”:
- You lose yourself and forget what YOU really want.
- You fall into the comparison trap, thinking you need to do more, better, different to measure up.
- You stop listening to your intuition and make decisions that you wouldn’t normally feel comfortable making.
- Your stress level skyrockets as you try to manage the confusion, anxiety, and guilt.
I challenge you this week to ditch other people’s “should’s” and focus on YOU. What “should’s” are you going to toss?