Challenge Yourself: Lessons Learned

challenge yourself main

I did it! I met my self-initiated challenge to do a blog post every single day during the month of May! It hasn’t always been fun, but it’s been a great experience that has taught me a few things and reminded me of a few others.

Here are the key takeaways for me from this experience:

Drop Perfectionism

Because of my education and background as a journalist, it is painful for me to publish a written piece of work that I know isn’t up to my usual high standards. To successfully meet this challenge, I had to let go of the idea that each post would be “perfect.” Some of my posts had grammatical errors and even a couple of typos. If I would have insisted that each post be perfect (which is a total myth — perfect doesn’t exist), I would never have written a single word. My mantra became, Done is better than great.

Don’t Force It (aka take only inspired action)

When I decided to do this challenge, I did not have a list of topics. In fact, I rarely had any idea what I was going to write about on a given day. A couple of times, admittedly, I tried to make myself write about a topic I thought I “should” write about. But when I did that, the writing was painful, slow, and felt forced. In each instance of trying to force myself to write about an uninspired topic, I ended up scrapping the piece and waiting for inspiration.

dont force it

This has been an ongoing lesson for me since leaving behind the corporate world and becoming an entrepreneur, as well. Any time I try to force something to happen, or force myself to do something that an “expert” tells me to do, it falls flat. The things that have worked best in my business, in my life, and in this writing challenge were the things that felt truly inspired to me. Which leads me to…

Have Faith

It was daunting initially to wake up every day knowing I had to write a blog post and having absolutely no idea what I was going to write about. I had to develop faith that every day inspiration would come. Sometimes as the day was wearing on, I’d start to worry that I wouldn’t get any inspired ideas. But without fail, every day something came to me. And that too, is a huge life reminder. Have faith. The good always comes.

faith man on cliff

Focus on the Big WHY

A lot of days I didn’t want to write and it felt like a burden. Sometimes I had the thought, “Well, hell! No one is reading this stuff any way. Why do I even bother? No one will care if I don’t write today.”

And yet, it was never about how many people read it.

I did this challenge for a couple of reasons: First, I wanted to push myself out of a bit of complacency and a bit of a rut I’d allowed myself to fall into. And more importantly, I wanted to offer something of value to my tribe. As my business is still young, I have a small but faithful following. I love my tribe and I want to give them value, and I want to show up for them. If even one of them benefitted from even one of these posts, then it’s been totally worth it.

Let Go

Sometimes I wrote a post that I thought had a powerful, important message, and then I’d be disappointed because it would have very few views or likes, etc. Then there were days when I felt like I was writing something that was less impactful, and I would be surprised when others would comment how much that piece helped them.

I had to learn how to let go of all expectations around how a particular post would perform. I had to just keep giving from a heart full of love and a desire to be of service, and completely let go of attachment to whether a piece was popular or not.

I’m so grateful that I initiated this challenge and that I rose to the occasion and successfully completed it. The lessons have been invaluable.

My Challenge to You

Where can you challenge yourself a bit in your life? What is one thing you can do to push yourself a bit and to give value to others?

Taking on a challenge like this one might not be your thing. However, if you are feeling stuck or in a rut anywhere in your life, challenge yourself to try one new thing.

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