3 Painstaking Truths in Life & How to Overcome Them

 Adulting is hard. Growing up is difficult. We get a lot of advice that can lead to perfection paralysis or comparison, leaving us stuck or unfulfilled. Check out these tips on how to overcome unsolicited advice and still be a successful millennial.

I am a creative, but it took me a long time to realize and embrace this part of myself. When I was a little girl, I was constantly writing short stories and drawing. I loved it. Then fear kicked in and I stopped showing off my work. Fear has crippled me on and off for years. I would start painting, have a stack of finished or half finished work, that and decide to throw it away rather than display or show them off. I would start a blog, then stop after a month. I’ve been “working on” a book for the last nine years. I was terrified to have any of my work judged (heck if you go on The Confused Millennial’s Instagram page (formerly my personal page) you will barely see a single selfie out of fear of judgment!). Even in keeping up with this blog in it’s infancy, I am scared I will get writer’s block again and quit.

I think it’s normal to struggle with identifying as a creative when these spurts have happened so frequently (and infrequently) in my life.

I want to take a look at some of the best (and simultaneously worst) advice I have received (primarily for blogging and starting a business, but it holds true in most other areas of life as well):

Create a schedule and stick to it. This is some of the most common advice in life. Whether you are trying to start a business, job searching, or working out. In the blogging world, I often hear: “if you reader’s expect a new post every Monday, you better have one!” This advice actually stopped me from getting serious with blogging for years! It seemed like way too much pressure to commit to posting on certain days of the week forever. I was even more scared to commit to writing a “good” (read: perfect) post each week. I was so scared if there was a typo, or uninteresting topic, readers would never come back and that would be the end… This perfection paralysis ultimately led to insane writers block. It’s been over 2 years since my last attempt at starting a blog, and I think what has been so freeing with this blog, is that I am trying to embrace the typos and sub-par grammar at times. Sometimes I am so passionate about some of my posts, I barely get through an editing once-over before hitting “publish”… and that’s okay! I do agree with creating a schedule and sticking to it, but not every post needs to be pristine, today I challenge myself to get the post up, and if I need to edit it after, I do.

Know your audience. This is great advice whether you are launching a business or finding a career, but it can again, lead to perfection paralysis. I think part of the reason I’ve been attracted to working with millennials is that I understand the struggle, because it’s just as real for me, as it is for you. Sure, I know how to brand myself as an expert, but inside I don’t really feel any different than you… just figuring it out as I go trying to tame all my interests and passions. I think it’s important when starting a blog, or figuring out who your audience is, to know yourself above all else; otherwise you will get swallowed by the noise out there. When blogging, write to yourself. Would you be interested in the content you are putting out there? When job searching, look at your resume or interview responses and ask yourself “Would you be interested in the skill set you’re boasting to an employer?” Usually, we have a lot in common with our target audience, it’s why we are drawn to them.

Be true to your voice. Again, great advice, but how the heck do I find this voice you speak of? We seem to need this voice in our careers, it’s often linked by to our “uniqueness” and our “creativity” (aka what makes us desirable to hire or work with). As someone who has been writing on and off since I was six years old, this is tough to find. I have tried copying and modeling myself after people I’ve looked up to, and always felt like part of me was missing from the work. Recently, I’ve had a few conversations with people who are struggling with finding their voice… I think the funny thing in adulting, is unlearning all the BS we learned in school and from society. My voice is how I talk with my friends… it’s grammatically incorrect at times, I make up words, and I curse like a sailor… and that’s okay. Obviously, there is a place and a time for different aspects of your voice, but too often people speak of this elusive voice without really helping anyone get to it, so let me re-write this even clearer for you:

your voice is how you talk with your closest friends.

That’s it. Think about it… that’s usually when you are your most creative and unique self. This is when your guard is down and you’re more comfortable and authentic. Don’t try to be more polished or more crude than you actually are. Do try to make your thoughts coherent and logical (if you’re prone to rants like me ?). Don’t worry about appealing to that “ideal audience” if it’s not true to your voice, because even if you have that audience eating out of the palm of your hand, you will (probably) be miserable.

With love,

 

rachel signature

What advice has been great, but has you frozen with perfection paralysis? I would love for you to comment below or send me an e-mail!


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  • Erica Gilliam

    I can’t tell you how much I needed to find your blog today. I have been struggling for years identifying myself as a creative when I was not actively being very creative over the last several years. And yet here I am, on this journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance and I feel so paralyzed by it all. I feel extremely happy and even excited by finally accepting myself as I am, yet I still struggle to actually accomplish anything. I, like you, have started many blogs that were great initially and fizzled out. And I am so scared of "failing" this time that I am, in turn, scared of starting. SO, all that to say, thank you for sharing these little tips. I needed the reminder today. I may need the reminder again tomorrow too. But we will get there when it comes.

    Erica

    • Thank you so much Erica! Your comment seriously just gave me chills, because I totally know the struggle! I think it’s important to remember, even though it may not feel like we’re accomplishing anything, the practice of acceptance is a daily feat in itself.

      <3 <3 Sending you lots of love and positive vibes.

      • Rachel
  • Laura Malone

    I totally feel you! I try to follow all of this advice. I’m often paralyzed by fear with my blog (seriously… I’m more comfortable sharing it with strangers than my own friends)

    But I find that once people know about the blog, I’m more confident about sharing ideas, taking photos (ad nauseum) or sharing that side of my life. Soemthing I need to get better at
    xxox
    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • I can relate… I think it’s pretty common. I still feel weird taking pictures in front of others who don’t really know or "Get" my blog. But it makes me so much more happy to just do me, so I just to walk through the fear 🙂

  • Kayla Sipple

    Great tips! It sounds like you’re really coming to terms with how to best handle blog life vs. real life for you.
    Kayla || <a href="www.keynotesfromkay.com">Keynotes from Kay</a>

  • Jamie Rinderle

    This is all so true! When I wrote my about page for my blog (which badly needs completely redone because it is so not me), I was trying to get people to like me. Now, when I write a post, I just let the words and thoughts flow. I do make up lots of words and I have a sense of humor (lots of sarcasm) and I try to include a little bit of me in every post! It comes off more meaningful that way 🙂

  • Gabby & Hannah

    This is awesome advice Rachel! I think the hardest part for me has been keeping a schedule – it’s so easy to schedule blog posts in my planner, but when it comes time to writing them sometimes I just don’t feel like writing one or I get really sidetracked and run out of time!

    // Hannah
    https://theswirlblog.com/

    • Totally get into that mode too! I sometimes just have to sit down for an entire day and write. Batching the work helps a lot!

  • Gabby & Hannah

    This is awesome advice Rachel! I think the hardest part for me has been keeping a schedule – it’s so easy to schedule blog posts in my planner, but when it comes time to writing them sometimes I just don’t feel like writing one or I get really sidetracked and run out of time!

    // Hannah
    https://theswirlblog.com/

  • Gabby & Hannah

    This is awesome advice Rachel! I think the hardest part for me has been keeping a schedule – it’s so easy to schedule blog posts in my planner, but when it comes time to writing them sometimes I just don’t feel like writing one or I get really sidetracked and run out of time!

    // Hannah
    https://theswirlblog.com/

  • Gabby & Hannah

    This is awesome advice Rachel! I think the hardest part for me has been keeping a schedule – it’s so easy to schedule blog posts in my planner, but when it comes time to writing them sometimes I just don’t feel like writing one or I get really sidetracked and run out of time!

    // Hannah
    https://theswirlblog.com/

  • Michelle Mink

    i don’t feel like i’ve been held back with blogging but there are so many things that have held me back with acting. the best advice i’ve been given but haven’t fully taken is to launch at 85% because things will never be perfect

    • Totally can relate to that advice! Sometimes you just have to get it out and take some time before you revise and improve it!

  • Ashley

    This is amazing, inspiring advice! I’m still working on balancing my real life with blog life. I get so nervous telling people about my blog! I used to be incredibly secretive about it, but notice when people know about it, I am more open and willing to share. I hope to get a little more confident in it!

    xo Ashley

    • Haha I know that feeling! I am okay with telling strangers, but I don’t really promote it to friends or family. You will totally get more confident with time!

  • Amanda Kushner

    Love this post. For me, the biggest compliment as a blogger is when I meet a reader/follower for the first time and they say something like "you talk EXACTLY like how you write!". I’ve worked so hard to maintain my voice… ellipses and all 🙂
    XO Amanda | http://www.glitterandspice.com

    • Haha I know that feeling! It’s so great! or even when friends finally read my blog and they are like "I actually here you saying everything that I am reading" – It’s the best!

  • Caroline Moses

    This is so true! I love that you said your voice is you when you’re with friends.. that couldn’t be more accurate: that’s when I’m the most "me" and that’s who I want to portray through my blog and my channels!

    • Totally agree! Thanks Caroline! And I love your blog!

  • Pick Your Beau

    I absolutely love this – especially the last quote about your voice! I am constantly struggling with consistency and I think a set schedule would really help with that.

    <a href=“www.pickyourbeau.com">Pick Your Beau</a>

    • YES! I totally just lost my schedule and re-did it all!

  • Jordyn Brown

    I feel so much the way, when I was younger I would write elaborate stories-I would write all the time! But as I grew older I wanted to hide that because it was kind of embarrassing…it took forever for me to make my blog public and start sharing it with my real life friends! But I’m thankful that I took that leap 🙂

    xoxo, SS

    <a href="http://www.southern-stylista.com">The Southern Stylista</a>

  • Alexandra Hollander

    I love this, great piece and tips!

  • La Belle Sirene

    I think we all struggle with insecurity in our creativity and our voice as a blogger or creative and we need to go through ups and downs to really find our true voice. The fact that you are willing to be so open about your insecurity speaks volumes about how successful you will be!

  • Stephanie Therese

    I love this so much! I have also struggled in the past (and sometimes still do) with allowing other people to see my work (or to hear me practicing music, etc) for fear of judgment or being embarrassed. Showing others our work makes you feel vulnerable for sure! But all of these thoughts you’ve expressed here are so true and certainly inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

    Stephanie | http://www.stephanietherese.com

    • Awe thank you Stephanie!! We got to stick in this together! In the words of Wayne Dyer "Don’t die with your music still in you!"

  • Ashley B Nicholas

    Such a great post! I completely agree- so important to say true to your voice. It’s something I try to do each and every day!

  • Kate Steadman

    I think you just spoke to every creative and blogger… We have all felt these things at some point and your tips really are great ways to get over them.

    xo,
    <a href="http://www.sarakatestyling.blogspot.com">Sara Kate Styling</a>

    • Oh wow that such an amazing compliment, thank you Kate!

  • Cheryl Little

    Love it! Too true. Analysis paralysis, perfectionism, and people-pleasing are such soul-suckers … and a lot of us creatives struggle mightily with them. Claiming creativity in itself can be scary… especially for those of us with butterfly syndrome! 🙂 I enjoyed your thoughts, and am glad you gave yourself permission to express yourself.

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