There’s a phrase my 2 year old son knows well now because I say it to him all the time. “Keep going”. When he gets stuck climbing something, when he is about to give up learning something in some activity we’re in the middle of, we say “keep going”.
But how about me? How about dad? Is he being a role model for that?
#REALTALK - I’m less than a few months into starting this blog, and I already feel myself slipping. 1 week away from Koo likin’ anything, cuz work is too busy. Another cuz it was Thanksgiving. And now, it’s been weeks since I’ve posted. I know this is a self-imposed goal to write every week, and I'm not letting anyone down by not writing - but I sit there from time to time and start entertaining the idea that I probably should let this thing fade away, like every other blog I’ve attempted writing in the past.
This feeling is unfortunately all too familiar, and I have SO many reasons why… again. And this feels a bit like a PART 2 to the entry I wrote about “perfectionism” - but I’m finding that there’s more to it this time around. But I digress. Here are some of the reasons:
No one is reading. No one cares about your thoughts or what you’re a super fan of. You can just have a private journal, and it would be more real anyway. (And I don't mean this in a pity party kind of way - just practically speaking)
This isn’t your strong suit. Do something you're good at. Music? Maybe a Podcast if you can write and edit? But.... it takes too much time.. that I don't have!
Speaking of time - why are you wasting your time with this? Why don’t you do something that makes money, or helps save up for your kids' education?
The list of reasons go on. And you know what? They all seem to make some kind of sense, right? I mean, I’m 40! I don’t have time to waste. But today, I started reading this book “The Compound Effect”, by Darren Hardy, and I had one of those moments where I had a flash back of a bunch of one-liners from all of the self-improvement books I’ve ever read, or TED Talks and Podcasts I’ve listened to. Like a movie scene. And they all played in my head, panned left to right, coming in at all different volumes. Some with reverb, some really dry and up front. (Ha! Can you tell I spent some time with ProTools?) Kind of like this... “You need to be consistent”, “CONSISTENT”, “consistent…” “Grit” “Different kind of genius” “daily” “time management” “practice” “PRACTICE” “everyday” “every morning” ”morning pages” “no excuses” ...... and then there's this escalating sound that comes to a halt, and then the most prominent word, "Consistent".
You get the idea.
All of a sudden I saw my whole life through the lens of this deficiency of NOT being consistent. And then I replayed in my mind this moment of a conversation with a guy I met years ago. I forgot his name, what he looked like even. But he’s a friend of a friend. I don’t know how we got to this one part of the conversation in the first place, but he pulled out his phone, looked at my instagram feed, and said “Man, good stuff dude. It’s weird to me you don’t have as many followers. Yeah.. you should have way more followers”.
Here’s the thing. I’m not going to pretend I don't care at all about that stuff. I'm gonna pull back the curtains a little for you. To be painfully honest - I DO care about the number of followers I have. BUT.... Not necessarily in the way you might think. It’s not the numbers per sé. It’s more about the QUALITY of the numbers. (Laughing to myself at how dumb that sounds, but let me explain). Having a good following (or let's call it having a TRIBE) signifies something a bit deeper for me at the age of 40. It means that I’m trusted, respected, safe, liked, and, influential. It means that one day if I ever want to do something great with my life, I have that many people I can invite on the journey with me.
In this day and age, you can just about do anything for attention in the social media world to achieve the goal of having many followers or having some kind of viral video/content. But I truly don’t care about the "numbers" in that sense. I’ll give you an example. Every time I post a photo of well known friends of mine, my number of followers go up that day. Then, as I continue posting more of my regular day to day stuff - those new followers start dropping like flies, and I chuckle to myself every time it happens, and say “Sorry to disappoint you, I am not a fan page of so and so … it’s just me here again”.
This is precisely what I mean about not caring about the number. I DON'T in that situation, and that is very much the reason why I just post whatever I want most of the times. I think to myself, well - if people stick around after I just post actual moments from my life, they’re there cuz they like me, or my photos, or my perspective. This sounds like a ridiculous thing to admit - but I used to obsess over the way my instagram “gallery” appeared. All the photos had to match each other in style. And then one day I just posted something that broke the “theme”, and I said “Oh well! If they like me, they’ll stick around". And it’s so weird as I type this all out, it’s kind of like I have abandonment issues but with social media. “Oh yeah? I’m just gonna go ahead and act out now and try to push you away!” *Keeps one eye opened and scans the room to see if anyone’s left* Social media is a weird thing. I'm weird too.
But herein lies the problem, and ties back into why I’m writing today. It’s one thing to not be consistent in my content, but it’s a whole other thing to not be consistent in practicing a craft I'm trying to develop.
I’ll be honest and say that for a few weeks, I lost a little bit of passion (already) for writing about things I’m a fan of. But now let me get honest one layer deeper. I actually didn’t lose passion for writing about things I’m a fan of. In fact, I just started getting scared to share about things that people won’t resonate with, or afraid of being late to the game and have a reader say "Thanks, captain obvious - we all know this". Another layer deeper? I’m afraid I’m still not finding my style, not sounding knowledgeable enough or entertaining enough. And then you add that with busyness and having 2 two kids. Radio silence.
Well, NOT TODAY.
I have a BIG LIST of people/things/ideas I want to write about, but what I really felt like sharing today was THIS. About my struggle to stay consistent. And if writing about why I am struggling with staying consistent helps me to stay consistent, then I will do just that.
More real talk: I want to deliver great projects again in the future (hopefully music as well). I want to be successful at everything I do. I want my work to connect with people. I want to be healthy. I want to be SAFE. But if I cannot stay consistent with anything because I spend all of that time in my head and get stuck in analysis and fear, OR get discouraged w/ my failures for too long - there’s a good chance that will turn into laziness and shame - and get further away from hitting ANY of those wonderful goals I've listed up there.
So... here’s to making an attempt at being faithful and consistent with the little things. Here's to puttin' up my dukes and fighting self-hate and perfection..... again.
As I tell my son all the time, I’m gonna "keep going".