Those who do not get up and move, do not notice their chains.
About a decade ago Angel and I started the blog that would ultimately become Marc and Angel Hack Life. We didn’t know how to design a website. We didn’t know what a blog was. We didn’t even really know how to write very well. All we knew were five things:
- We recently lost two loved ones, unexpectedly, to illness.
- We were struggling in our personal and professional lives.
- We needed an outlet.
- We were passionate about writing, and improving our writing.
- We had not been writing enough.
So we created a website and turned it into a blog. Since we didn’t know exactly what it would be about yet, we just registered the domain name marcandangel.com. The idea was that even if our concept for the blog changed over time, our names would remain the same. They were a safe bet.
To be honest, we didn’t feel ready to write publicly on a blog. But the important thing was that we started anyway.
It was a week after a mutual best friend passed away unexpectedly. We were spending a lot of time thinking about that, and about our new blog. We wanted to make it different than all the other blogs out there. We wanted to make ours stand out.
We’ve often felt this way, with writing and with our other life endeavors. That if we couldn’t do what hadn’t been done before, there was no real point in getting started.
It’s the same thing that stopped us from blogging a few years earlier when we initially had the idea – as we were enrolled in a college psychology class together and found the concepts enlightening. We mulled over the idea of writing about what we were learning and how it applied to our lives, but there were a hundred other blogs in the general self-improvement space. What did we have to say that would be different than any of them?
We couldn’t answer that question. And so we delayed.
Now we were experiencing, firsthand, many of the psychological issues we had learned about years earlier, and found ourselves in the same position. We were second-guessing ourselves again. We didn’t know if our ideas and writing were good enough. We didn’t know what we could offer that was any different from the crowd. We didn’t know if we were capable of standing out.
But again, the point is, we started anyway.
Take it Step by Step
How did we learn to start a website and build a blog? Same way anyone learns anything new. Bit by bit, step by step, one page at a time.
You start reading and learning. You make decisions and take action. You make mistakes. You learn some more. You try again. You get a little better. You learn some more. You make more decisions and take more action…
And before we knew it, we were blogging daily on Marc and Angel Hack Life.
This is one of the most essential habits you need to develop to succeed in life. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a blogger, an entrepreneur, an artist, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Learn to start before you feel ready, and you will learn how to succeed, step by step, before you even realize that you’re good enough.
Did we think the first version of Marc and Angel Hack Life was a good blog? Not exactly. But that was perfectly OK. Only our close friends and family were reading it initially. And they cared more about what we were up to and what we were going through than they did about perfect grammar and catchy titles.
But as more people started to read our articles, we became motivated to make each article better than the last. I wrote a few articles about my personal struggle with loss and they started to get shared around. Within a few days the articles had amassed over a thousand unique views.
I couldn’t believe it! A thousand people just checked out our little mom and pop blog. “It’s time to clean this blog up,” I thought. “We need a cleaner design. We need a server that loads faster. We need more articles like this for people to read.”
“We need a better blog!”
How did we learn to build a better blog? Same way anyone learns anything. Bit by bit, step by step, one page at a time.
And a powerful thing happened when we started before we felt ready. We discovered new ways of achieving what had once seemed out of reach. We developed our own voices. We developed our own writing style. We developed our own habits for success. And by not focusing on the reasons we should stop, but the reasons we should continue, our blog got better and better. Today, over three million people read it every month.
Rewire Your Brain
It was just a matter of ignoring the negative voices chattering in the backs of our heads, and giving our power to the positive possibilities in front of us.
How about you? What happens when you tell yourself things like, “I don’t have what it takes” or “I’m not ready yet”?
It certainly doesn’t lead to success. A successful person would never say something like that. That’s the hard truth.
When you constantly tell yourself these little self-deprecating lies, you start believing them and your behavior naturally backs the lies up. You start procrastinating. You put your biggest goals on the back burner. You always feel guilty and regretful for not taking action. You give up when the first obstacle comes your way. And the list goes on and on.
You know what the really scary part is? Most people don’t know they are digging themselves a hole by repetitively listening to their negative self-talk.
To get yourself out of it, you need to literally rewire your brain and replace the negative mindsets with positive, productive ones. Instead of saying “I don’t have what it takes” you must start saying “I can figure this out!” And by doing so, you’ll stop saying “I’m not ready yet” and you’ll start taking action because the new mindset is something along the lines of “I am ready to learn and grow!”
There are dozens of common self-deprecating lies (negative self-talk) that hurt your self-image and, as a result, your success and fulfillment. Then these lies start to affect other areas of your life like:
- Lack of energy
- Stress in your relationships
- Little motivation to do anything new at all
If you have caught yourself stuck with similar negative thought patterns, you need to take action ASAP. The longer you let these little demons linger around, the harder it is to get rid of them.
And of course, if you’re struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track. This is precisely why Marc and I built “Getting Back to Happy.” The course is filled with time-tested steps on how to do just that, and we are available to personally guide you and other course students whenever questions arise.
What do you want to start doing, even though you don’t feel ready yet? What kinds of negative thoughts (lies) have been getting in your way? Leave a comment below and share your side of the story.
Finally, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign-up for our free newsletter to receive simple weekly tips and strategies for living a happier, more productive life.
Photo by: Leonardo Regoli