There is this voice in my head that questions every action I take, thought that I have and thing that I say. I’m an over-thinker. I think and think, and then think some more. Before I buy something, before I commit to something, before I leap into a project, I think of all the ways it won’t work or go wrong. Self-doubt is a powerful source, and it stops most of us from living to our best potential.
I’m trying to retrain myself. But old habits die hard.
“Over-thinking ruins you. Ruins the situation, twists things around, makes you worry and makes everything much worse than it actually is.” – Unknown
I had the idea to start Sparklers almost 2 years ago. And truth be told, this was the only thing I have ever jumped into without knowing how to swim. I was excited. I was pumped. I didn’t over-think it. I just decided I wanted this, and I got my Mom and sister involved, and I just did it. It wasn’t until after I started it that the doubt crept in.
I started to feel uncertain with it. We launched and I knew we had something special, but would anyone else see the value in it? The first couple months it was just fun and creative, and I just KNEW it would take off, I just needed to give it time. . . . . . . . . But after a year into it, it still hadn’t evolved into where I thought it should be.
We were putting out content, gaining a small but loyal little tribe and involving guests contributors. From not knowing what the heck we were doing, to having an online magazine, with a small following and excited supporters. We were getting a few sponsored projects and the feedback we received was heartwarming. I should have been proud. We were consistently encouraging others and lifting spirits. That was the WHOLE reason we started this. But I felt like it wasn’t good enough.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes-with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Steve Furtick
I started to obsess more with numbers, and less about content. Everyone else had grown much faster than we had, we must not be as good. Everyone else was getting more sponsored projects. We must not be good enough. Everyone else had more followers. We must not be good enough.
So I threw myself into getting more followers. I studied, and joined classes and bought programs. I grew 1 thousand Instagram followers in one month. That was double what I had. I was over the moon. Then I grew 2 thousand the next month. In six month I reached my goal of hitting 10k. But in doing that, I lost my engagement, because I was too busy gaining followers to properly foster relationships with my followers. I got sloppy on my content, and I wasn’t having fun anymore. I was stressed, worried about numbers over being creative with my content and in turn, I hurt my business more than I helped.
So I kind of gave in. I didn’t want to throw in the towel completely because I believe in Sparklers. I believe in what it started out to be. So I took a few weeks off, and really thought and prayed about what I wanted out of this. Why do I spend so much time doing this? Who was I helping? Was it worth my efforts? Was I willing to work harder to make it happen?
“The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.” -Sylvia Plath
I realized that I lost my creativity, my passion, my purpose. I stopped writing. I haven’t written in over six months. That’s not cool. I stopped reaching out to others, I stopped helping other women follow their dreams. I was so consumed with growing, but what was I growing!!?
So this is my wake up call. Take it as yours too! Don’t get overwhelmed with the process, you’ll lose your purpose. Sometimes things happen quickly and other times they grow slowly, but the end destination is still the same, if you keep your focus. Apply this to your work, your family, the holidays. Don’t work yourself into a tizzy trying to be and do all things at once. Be deliberate. Be purposeful. Overthinking leads to self-doubt and self-doubt will stop you in your track.