Today’s post by Rob McPhillips of Stress Management and Beyond.
If you knew that your blog was vulnerable to hacking or some similar security breach, would you take the time to secure it?
I ask, because I want to warn you about a greater, yet almost unknown threat to your blog’s growth and success.
That threat is stress and as today is National Stress Awareness day in the U.K, I would like to share with you why I believe how you respond to stress is perhaps the most critical factor in determining the future success of your blog.
We’re all gathered here because we share a common goal. To grow our blogs to be more successful. And what’s at the core of a successful blog, is a Blogger that has developed a high level of skills at;
- Traffic generation
- Community building
- Writing attention getting posts
- And the other tasks involved in a popular blog
Put more bluntly, a Blogger with 100 Readers and averaging 3 comments a week is at an entirely different level of skill and capacity than one with 1 million Readers and 3,000 comments a week. The difference isn’t just luck. If you have the skills and capacity of a successful blogger than success is only a matter of time.
However, in the case of most of us, success is a journey of mastering these skills. That doesn’t mean we are less worthy, less capable or have any less potential, only that we need to develop new skills that we haven’t yet developed. Isn’t this why we read Problogger?
And as any journey involves uncertainty, risks and hazards, so too does our journey to success. In order to grow our blog, we have to grow our skills to a higher level. In the course of this, it is natural that you will experience stress because you are stretching beyond your comfort zone and developing new or refining existing skills.
In fact if you don’t experience stress on a regular basis, then you either don’t care enough about what you are doing or you aren’t coming close to your potential.
Let me give you a new way of looking at stress, that will be more useful in aiding your evolution as a Blogger.
Stress is like the river between two lands. On one side is your current situation. On the other, is the end result that you dream of. If you refuse the risk of getting to the other side, success will forever evade you and you will have to resign yourself to this being as good as it gets. But if you are successful in your attempts, you get to live your dream.
Therefore the key to your success (and that of your blog) is going to be entirely determined by how you respond to stressful challenges.
Every stressful situation is actually an indicator of where you need to upgrade your skills in order to be more successful. You only feel stress because the road to your goal is blocked. And when you are capable of overcoming the block, the stress will dissolve. And you are closer to reaching your goal.
Let me try to make this clearer with some concrete examples. Say your stress seems to be about dealing with negative comments or wondering if your next post will be popular.
Sometimes negative comments or unpopular posts are helpful because they guide us back when we get off-course.
Mostly though, negative comments are just someone who isn’t really our audience reading or someone misunderstanding. Equally unpopular posts are often those too simple or too complicated for our Reader’s level of understanding so that they don’t see the relevance in it.
These only really bother us, when they hit upon something we doubt in ourselves.
What it’s really about is gaining the clarity to know what your purpose is and who the right audience is for you. When you gain conviction and clarity in what you believe and what you are doing, it is like standing a flag in the ground and so the Reader’s that are right for you will gather around it.
If instead, you are all the time only seeking praise and approval from everyone, then there is nothing solid, consistent or certain about your blog and so ultimately it will never gather a sizeable core of die hard fans. Only drive by Readers who scan a post and never look back.
Or maybe, most of your stress comes from having too much to do and too little time to do it in.
In this case, your success depends upon you resolving this conflict. Which ultimately means identifying the critical core tasks, finding more efficient ways to get them done and being capable of doing all that needs to be done.
The Mistake Most People Make In Dealing With Stress
Typically people see stress as an irritation that interrupts them. And so almost all stress management materials are focused on stress relief. Go for a walk, exercise, breathe deeply etc. These are all tactical ways to deal with stress. Which is perfect if you are stuck in the swampland of stress and need to get some perspective. But tactical stress management, in itself will never lead to growth and development.
What if your stress is caused by the problem above, of too much to do and too little time to do it in. Well feeling stressed about it, is only going to make things worse and so you’ll end up running around like a headless chicken and getting nowhere.
Relieving the feeling of stress will be helpful, as it can enable you to look at the situation more clearly.
But the only way of resolving the situation, once and for all, and so growing your blog, is by getting clearer about what should be done and becoming more productive.
So as a Blogger looking to evolve you are really needing to develop your skills at strategic stress management.
What Is Strategic Stress Management?
Say you are struggling for ideas to write original posts. Tactical stress management would try to dull the pain or ease your emotional discomfort about the situation.
Yet the fact that you have a problem bothering you, indicates a deeper problem that it is critical to your success. So changing the way you feel is only part of the problem.
Strategic stress management focuses on identifying what caused the problem and why. In addressing the root core of the problem, you not only overcome the emotional discomfort, but you become a stronger and more evolved person. Which in the case of your blogging leads to a more successful blog.
How can you use this new perspective on stress to grow your blog?
We are as successful as our limits allow us to be. And so as we remove our limitations, we become more successful. Stress is an early warning indicator of a problem, or problems, that will limit you, or your blog, from growing.
- So take a few minutes to think of the most stressful issue in your life.
- Then you need to separate your feelings from the issue. It is getting stuck in strong negative emotions that pulls us into the grip of stress, from where we can see no resolution, which is why many people get great results from coaching and consulting that they cannot achieve alone.
- Now try to identify and analyze what limitation is causing the issue.
- Solve that limitation and your potential for success is much greater.
- Repeat for continual growth.