Have you ever dealt with an identity crisis, not sure of who you really are?
Did this ever lead to an impasse where you weren’t quite sure how to present yourself?
I’ve been there in every form and fashion since I started writing on this blog over two years ago. At the beginning I still was teaching high school and always felt the blog writing was an add-on to any conversation. When people would ask me “What do you do?” I’d respond by saying I was a teacher and then somewhat sheepishly add how I was writing a personal finance blog on the side.
The first part about teaching people could relate to and was met with the typical follow up questions one might expect when inquiring about someone’s career. The add-on about blogging produced nothing. The statement crash landed.
The experience continued earlier this summer when I began to lead with “I’m now a stay at home dad.” Same results.
It’s hard to convince yourself you are something when nobody sees you that way. All people could see in me was teacher or stay at home dad. They didn’t see personal finance writer.
I’ve come to realize that wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own. You are who you say you are. People will follow your lead and respond accordingly.
Identity Crisis: Turn Pro In Your Mind
Last week I had two different encounters with random strangers in my town. In each I decided to lead with the statement “I’m a personal finance blogger…I write about money” instead of saying “I’m a stay at home dad.” Do you know what happened? We actually had conversations where we talked about money problems they were having.
How cool! I engaged people on an issue that has been a passion of mine for years…all because I led with it.
You can’t be something until you believe you are. If doubt is present in your mind people will sense it and they will react to that doubt. Why should they be interested in your passion when you don’t lead with it?
Identity Crisis: It’s More Than Believing
Believing starts the process and is crucial in helping you cross the finish line. It doesn’t work alone though. To get where you want to go requires habitual practice.
To truly become that person you desire requires frequency and commitment. In my case as a personal finance writer, more than I’ve probably been putting in. If I’m going to claim blogging as my calling I’ve got to engage in it every day.
So to that end, and in response to the inspiration I received at FinCon this past weekend, I’m self-imposing a challenge to myself. The goal will be to write 31 straight days in a row – one writing session for each day in the month of October. I’m calling it a Writing Oktoberfest.
I won’t publish here everyday…I just want to get in the habit of writing everyday. Again, according to Jeff, that’s when excellence begins.
For this challenge I commit to write at least 500 words per day. That’s about 350 words shorter than this post but long enough to push myself a little. Hopefully by doing that I’ll write between 20-25 total posts over the course of the month that I can use here and elsewhere.
Will You Join Me?
I know this will be the toughest blog related assignment I’ve tackled yet. It’s going to take planning, discipline and a bit of luck (in that life doesn’t throw a curveball my way in October that might disrupt my plan). I could really use some accountability and support to see me through.
To that end, I’m asking if any of my fellow bloggers would like to join me in my Writing Oktoberfest? I can’t promise a huge beer party when we complete our goal. Just the camaraderie and support of friends pushing each other to be the best they can be.
Don’t feel as though you have to do 500 words either. Perhaps your schedule will only allow 200 or 100 words per day. That’s fine. You can still come along on the journey.
And this doesn’t have to be just for writers. Maybe you want to do something healthy, like not drink soda for 31 days in a row. Or perhaps abstain from watching TV for 31 days in a row. If writing is not your thing pick something that is and join our group. Excellence in any endeavor is only possible when you habitually practice.
I’ve found with any challenge there is strength in numbers. If you’d like to join Writing Oktoberfest, click here and send me an email expressing your interest. Over the course of the month we can encourage one another as we go through the process. I’ll sure need it.
Questions: For people who have dual careers or responsibilities how do you decide what to lead with? Anyone ever do a daily, month long challenge of some kind? What was the toughest part you encountered? What kinds of an identity crisis are you now facing?