I remember about six months ago, when I had just launched a newsletter subscription option on my blog, I read a website post, which basically ripped on everyone who has that option on their site. I could have ignored it, but then I read the comments which supported that sentiment.
A more well adjusted person would have easily brushed it off and said, “well to hell with his/her opinion, I’m going to do what is best for my business.” But apparently I wasn’t quite that well adjusted, and I gave it all of five minute’s thought before I deleted the subscription plugin. I justified it by thinking, “well I’m not sure what I’d put in a newsletter anyway.”
Most people would think that it’s insane to have a fear of success. I mean, why? Fear of failure maybe, but success?
I think what fear of success comes down to is trying to be a people pleaser. Trying to make sure everyone is happy and making sure no one dislikes you or thinks what you are doing is total crap.
But I, of all people, should know better. I say that because I’ve studied a lot on happiness, and the surefire way to unhappiness is giving a rat’s poop what people think of you. So basically, ahem, it’s time to grow a pair.
There has been a lot of chatter recently about these gigantic Youtube or Instagram stars suddenly deleting all their accounts, because they were seeking validation through likes, shares, thumbs up, hearts, dancing donkeys, or whatever the latest social media app is using these days, to validate their fragile self-esteem.
But I’m here to, sort of, defend likes, shares, and general growth on blogs and other platforms.
The truth is, we kind of need those numbers to measure growth, especially if those platforms are somehow tied to a way you make a living.
For instance, I’m studying up and trying to learn all I can about what it takes to gain new subscribers (see what I did there?) to my Youtube channel. Numbers, shares, and whatnot, give me information on what kind of videos people like. And this is tied to my livelihood.
I also used to be one of those people who would poo-poo numbers on my blog. It’s as if I was donning a beret, smoking a cigarette and saying, “I’m just about the art man. The art.” Don’t get me wrong, I am. And I really never want to lose my voice or the integrity of my blog. But you know what dammit? I want to grow my readership!! What can I say? Shoot me.
That’s taking some “strategery” (spellcheck is having a fit on me!) on my part, and really, it’s just smart business. Hey if this was ONLY a hobby, who cares?
Now here is where I play devil’s advocate. There is a slight problem with numbers increasing, thumbs going in the up direction. shares, etc. If we base our happiness, self-esteem, or self-confidence on those things and those things alone, we are doomed.
Just like impulse spending, all of those things provide a temporary boost in serotonin, but eventually you will return to your baseline happiness, and if you don’t live on solid ground with a healthy self-identity, you will eventually crumble. Because there will come a time where numbers will lag, or people won’t think you’re hot, funny, inspirational, etc.
You gotta be OK with yourself if the numbers rock, or they don’t. It’s just a learning process.
You also have to be careful of the comparison trap. I’ve spoken about that a lot on my blog, and I have often fallen into the trap of comparing my numbers to someone else’s, but as I mentioned in another post, numbers don’t tell the whole story. So use other people for inspiration, but focus on your journey.
What areas of your business have you been trying to grow? Have you ever felt nervous that people might think negatively about what you’re doing?