Close
Close

Is Your Self-perception Killing Your Blog?

This guest post is by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt of aMINDmedia.

We all know this dream: you’re walking down the street, wondering why everybody is laughing, snickering and pointing at you. You look down and notice you’re naked. The shame that washes over you is immeasurable. Everybody saw you. All of you. The parts you’re extremely insecure about, the parts that you’ve always tried to hide, and the parts you hate and would do anything to get rid of. You’re revealing it all.

Blogging tends to feel that way too.

You put yourself out there. You write from the heart. You try to get real. You’re basically repeating that nightmare, with the only difference being intentionally telling people to look.

People will read it. People will discuss it and they will criticize it.

Putting yourself out there makes you vulnerable. It makes you attackable. It’s like taking the defenses down in the biggest battle of your life. It often feels counterintuitive. However, once you become completely authentic, you’re blogging success is practically guaranteed.

There’s only one unknown barrier: your self image.

How hating yourself ruins your career

I hated my body, but most people—at least secretly—have something about themselves that they hate. So in the following discussion, feel free to substitute your secret hate for the word “body.”

Hating your body means having a lot of inhibitions. When you feel constraint by your physical appearance, writing about things in your life that aren’t perfect or may cause some controversy is brutal.

However, that’s exactly what readers want to read. They don’t want you to make them feel bad about themselves because you’re such a flawless human being and have your life all perfectly lined up. They want to read about your struggles, your challenges, weaknesses and maybe even your problems. That’s what makes you interesting and will keep readers returning to your site.

Being ashamed of your body is a telltale sign of having no self-confidence. Readers notice that right away. Sure, you can always fake confidence to a point, but when it’s real, it shines through every word you put on a piece of digital paper.

The time you spend worrying about the way you look, hating certain body parts or wishing your next diet will forever liberate you from these limiting thoughts is time you can use much more wisely. Just think of how many hours you waste that you could use proactively working on new blog posts, strategically planning guest posts or working on new ideas. The possibilities that will present themselves are endless and thrilling.

Tapping into your emotions when feeling insecure about yourself is almost impossible when you hate some aspect of yourself, but that is an integral part of successful blogging. People are moved by emotions and they want to read about them. Some of the most successful blog posts ever written focused on stirring up feelings in the readers in order to influence them to comment on and share your content.

Overall, your dislike for yourself hinders your blogging career in more ways than you can imagine—and I speak from personal experience.

How hating myself almost cost me my life … and how I saved myself

I was ten years old when I turned against myself and my body. The pressure of living with a brother who was mentally and physically abusing me finally broke me.

I had been too strong for too long, but now I needed relief and I found it in obsessing over my body. I blamed my body for everything: the beatings, the spitting, the screaming and the sheer terror of my brother’s presence.

I didn’t like a single thing about myself. My belly was too big, my thighs were disgusting, my face was fat, my legs and arms too short and my fingers round like sausages.

So, I tried to fix my life by fixing my body. Instead, I almost died.

I started a diet that quickly led into anorexia nervosa. I was miserable, depressed and hoped that shedding more weight would finally make me happy again. The insecurity was eating at me and was slowly but determinedly killing the once vibrant, creative and confident little girl.

I started retreating into myself, losing all my friends, too weak to engage in social activities. I sobbed on the way to my three– to four–hour workouts because I was so weak my feet were hardly carrying me.

I fainted several times because of malnutrition. I stole laxatives from my mom’s pharmacy. I told hundred of lies in order to protect my addiction. I tried to commit suicide in order to escape this disgusting body.

I went through nothing short of hell.

When I woke up after 14 years, it was almost too late. It was then that I faced an even bigger struggle than I had been fighting for most of my life: I needed to make peace with the body I was given.

Make peace with yourself

How did I make peace with myself?

I started to transform my thoughts from negative ones into purely positive ones.

I started to sit up straight and walk with a head held high. I started to strategically work with the mirror and only focus on the parts of my body I liked. I started to express my feelings in healthy ways instead of simply translating emotions into feeling fat. I started to readjust my values in life and put my body in perspective.

All of these actions helped me become more confident, and as a result, my writing improved drastically.

Now I am not ashamed of my emotions. Now I am not hiding my brilliance behind self-hatred. Now I am not shying away from spending hours upon hours in my office doing nothing but writing. Now I am not enveloped in a cloud of misery, but giddy with excitement about every day that I am given.

I wish I hadn’t wasted so much of my life by despising my natural self. I could have advanced in many areas of my work where I put a serious limit to what I could achieve by simply portraying how uncomfortable I really felt. However, now that I am in love with my body, I am ready to change the world with confidence, drive and a welcomed lack of limiting thoughts.

And the best thing is if I can do it, so can you. In the end only one thing matters: taking action.

If I was able to radically change my self image, you can write that epic blog post.

If I was able to overcome a deadly disorder, you can improve your craft.

If I can use my past for something good, you can put a dent in the world.

If I can embrace life with the excitement of a toddler getting a new toy, you can start following your dreams.

Don’t let your self image stop you from making your life and your work matter. Don’t give your poor self perception the power to determine your career. Don’t hide your greatness behind a layer of self-hatred and doubt and let your life’s work remain hidden for the rest of your life.

Take advantage of the freedom and the possibilities we have in this world, act upon them and by all means, let the world take a close look at the bright shining star you are.

Anne-Sophie Reinhardt is an anorexia survivor, body image expert and the owner of aMINDmedia. She empowers you to achieve a healthier and more successful life by returning to your true purpose and values.

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. Samuel says:

    Hi Anne, sorry what you had to go through. Self perception needs to be always improved.

    I have been attacked before with my writing, but it hasn’t affected me at any point. Just move on and have value in what you do.

    • Hi Samuel,

      being attacked for your writing hurts, I can relate to that. Good for you that you’ve been able to build boundaries and move on without letting it impact you in a negative way. There will always be naysayers, but if you keep going and put out great work, more people will respect you and value you than not.

      Anne-Sophie

    • Justin says:

      I used to have a graphic design portfolio that I was attacked for by…just about everybody. The truth be told, it hurts every time, and it’s way too easy to give it to the attacks. That was actually one of the reasons why I took down the portfolio. The other reasons were because I wasn’t getting any work in my field, and I would much rather write blogs.

      Anyway, any advice on how to improve self perception?

  2. It takes bravery to put yourself out there. I know you must be proud of yourself–what an amazing accomplishment. And the steps that helped you accomplish it were small baby steps–from standing up straight to no longer hating your body.

    Thanks for sharing a piece of yourself :-)

    • Hi Omelia,

      yes, it was a bit nerve-wrecking to put myself out there like this, but I am really hoping that people will be able to relate and that my story will help others discover their own worth.

      Thanks for sharing your comment. :)

    • Hi Omelia,

      yes, it was a bit nerve-wrecking to put myself out there like this, but I am really hoping that people will be able to relate and that my story will help others discover their own worth.

      Thanks for sharing your comment. :)

  3. Bryan says:

    Inspiring post, Anne-Sophie. I’m sorry you had to go through so much to get where you are, but congratulations.

  4. Obaidul says:

    Taking action is the most vital thing to get ahead in life. But you can get into the ‘active mode’ only when you change your self-perception. You need to get rid of your negative thoughts and start looking at things with lots of positivity.

    Thanks for this inspiring post, Anne.

    • It looks like you have it all figured out. :)

      Taking action is so important in all areas of life and positivity needs to be your go-to coping skill for all the challenges that life presents you. :) The more positive you think about yourself, your body and your mind, the better and the more positive and fulfilling your life will be.

  5. Dhruv Bhagat says:

    Well Anne, you have explained it all…. Instead of criticizing, people will surely appreciate you from now. You have gone through many unbearable phases…
    One should not be ashamed of his/her emotions.. You are so bold…
    Good Luck for your future !! :)

  6. Very inspirational post Anne-Sophie. I can’t say that I’ve ever that deep of a struggle. I mean, I guess at some level I have felt a bit insecure…but, I can’t say that I’ve been at that level of despair. Unlike you, I didn’t have any real emotional, physical, or psychological abuse. I had a very supportive family. However, even then, I have found it difficult to really ‘bare it all’ in my writing. I tend to hide my true feelings behind my words. Far from lying or putting forth a false face…I tend to write the ‘safe’ things to say. However, your post has encouraged me to step up and get even more ‘real’. Thanks for sharing.

    • Freddy,

      I am so happy to hear that this post has inspired you to get more real. It is scary to write about personal things, but I strongly believe that if you have a purpose for sharing it and you believe it will help others, you should go ahead and do it. Sure, it may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but once you hear that others appreciate your work and were motivated to some action, you will know that you’ve done the right thing.

  7. Adam says:

    Great Tips..
    =D
    Everybody can be a good blogger! Just follow the pro..

    http://webberita.com/eyriqazz-vs-denaihati.html

  8. Dorci says:

    Oh okay. Is that all? After 48 years of hating myself because I’ve learned to mirror what everybody else has ever said about me, all I need to do is just love myself instead? No biggie. I’ll just go ahead and do that right now. I’ll ignore the fact that I’ve been putting myself out there for 5 1/2 years, virtually walking naked down Main Street and hardly anyone has even done so much as stopped talking about the importance of cookie-making to look at the girl exposing herself in the middle of the street. Maybe if I started banging tamborines and blowing one of the unfurling party whistles while down walking down the street while baring my soul somebody might look up long enough from learning how to frost a cake to learn how to change their lives. All sarcasm aside, it’s hard to love yourself when no one else does. When all you do is fail. What’s to love? That’s a mighty big hurdle to jump over.

    • Dorci, first of all, I am so sorry to hear what others have said to you and that you feel like nobody loves you. But, as hard as it is, loving yourself despite everything is the only way out. I know how dark a place it is when you feel alone, hated and not loved by a single soul. I know how hard it is to even consider that you are a good, decent, lovable person. But you are. No, I never said it was easy. It is a rocky road to loving yourself and there are ups and downs and the beginning is horrible. But if you start and take tiny baby steps using different methods of cultivating self-love, you will eventually know that you are worthy and that you can and deserve to be loved and love yourself.

      Oh, and that those you hate on you are wrong.

    • You do what she said- Change your thoughts. No one always fails. I’m sure you have had times that you have done at least ONE thing right :) Focus on that. Everyone has a story we all just don’t tell it. Most of us didn’t have the best upbringing. I know I didn’t. It’s completely YOUR choice. You either believe the lies or you decide on purpose that you are valuable, worthy, amazing, and unique. If I were you I’d start believing the good things about yourself and forget what others spoke over your life.

      My dad said pretty sucky things about me- I’d never do anything never go anywhere- guess what? I’ve totally proved him wrong. But it’s when I stopped worrying about “proving ” things to people that I was totally free. I hope you choose to believe you are amazing.

      • Anne-Sophie says:

        It all comes from within. The moment you decide that you are awesome, you will be able to transform into that awesome person, no matter where your start point is. I agree with you, Lisa, that the motivation to change and love ourselves has to come from within is and has to be FOR us and not for others.

        Self-love is not selfish, it is the catalyst to everything that is good.

  9. Hi Anne-Sophie,

    Love yourself. Then the world can love you. Your life is but a reflection of how you view yourself. You choose your self-image. You literally program people to respond or react to you in certain ways.

    Do you love yourself?You better, if you hope to be a successful blogger. Loving yourself brings you peace, calm, and a sense of relaxed confidence which attracts prospering ideas, people and circumstances to you.

    You become a magnet to good because you love yourself, you accept yourself and you are not swayed by the opinions or choices of others.

    Thanks Anne-Sophie!

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan and thanks for your thoughtful comment.

      You are so right. Love projects out into the world and so does self-love. The more you love yourself, the more people will see the light inside you and themselves. It may sound cheesy, but it’s the truth.

      Anne-Sophie

  10. ayesha says:

    Always try to develop personality as nobody can see any kind of mistake. Before writing a blog must think about audience who read this blog and always upto those expectation which readers has from bloggers. Inspiring Post!

  11. Stanley Rao says:

    So all over self perception is what needs to be improved.

  12. Rita says:

    Uhm. WOW! Just WOW!

  13. Pauline R says:

    Such a motivational post. Glad you got your success eventually. Really inspiring

    • Anne-Sophie says:

      Thank you, Pauline. You really made my day. I am so happy this post inspired you and I hope you can take that inspiration and use it for your own success.

  14. I’m sorry this happened to you but I”m very excited you found a way to overcome. That is where victory is. No one decides how our life will be. WE make the choices and what happens or does not happen for us is not because of what people have done TO us, it’s because we decided to move past that. I admire you:)

    • Anne-Sophie says:

      Hi Lisa,

      thanks so much for this nice comment. It is true that by playing the victim, we won’t ever move past what happened to us. Only when we take our life in our own hands can we truly become who we want to be and live life in our way.

  15. cca says:

    I am glad you made the changes and you here today to share. When i hear stories like this which reaffirm my faith. God is Good!

  16. Carlos Ramos says:

    I kinda been there. Not so long ago my mind almost killed me. I went to the hospital because I couldn’t breathe. They told me I was fine, that the problem was in my head: stress, anxiety, if I walked down that road I was going to suffer a nervous breakdown. Then I started to do some exercise and changed some habits. But, as you say, is all about perception. All is about how you see yourself. And that is an area I still have a lot to grow in, for my own sake. Thanks for the post, Anne-Sophie.

    • Anne-Sophie says:

      Carlos,

      oh my, I am so sorry to hear about that. Are you better now? I sure hope so.

      Yes, it is all about perception and constant evolving. I don’t think we ever arrive at a place where we are 100% finished with our personal journey to self-love. But if we work on ourselves just a little bit every single day, we are headed in the right direction.

      All the best to you.

  17. I think to run a blog you got to have extreme confidence, and know what you talking about .

  18. Dalia Kinsey says:

    This post is incredibly helpful. I think this is the root of my writers block. The more you edit yourself in an effort to avoid criticism, the more stuck you become. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • I am so glad you found this post helpful, Dalia. I totally agree with you. Sometimes you just have to let it flow and you’ll see that real genius happens exactly then. Sure, you don’t have to reveal everything, but always holding back because you’re scared of being judged or criticized will only hurt you in the end.

  19. Anca Dumitru says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Anne Sophie.

    I am one of your Twitter followers and also a reader of your intercontinentallife blog. I see where you come from and am kind of familiar with your compelling story. Nobody should go through such ordeal, especially not a child. And when you think this is one of the many cases that happen out there and no one knows about them…

    I had self-confidence issues myself my whole life, most probably something that lies in my late childhood and my teens, when I had to grow up and become responsible too soon and too fast, for reasons I’m not going to elaborate on here.

    Like I said, my lack of self-confidence stuck with me like a pest. When I started writing for a living, after many years of hunting in the corporate world, I didn’t realize at first how much of a vulnerable position I was putting myself into.

    I am all for constructive criticism. But when I started to be targeted by people with a mean spirit, who would take advantage of their anonymity – the so called internet trolls – to put me down, I just realized how exposed I felt. And how much in need I was of a thick skin. It wasn’t my writing that was criticized. I would be OK with that, since I cannot please everyone. It was me, the person who wrote a certain story, an interview with an artist, that was attacked. It happened a few more times afterwards, and it most certainly would happen again.

    Anyway, I was tempted to quit many times. I haven’t arrived yet as a writer, but I know I’m doing the best I can to hone my craft.

    Just the other day I wrote an article (about the Olympic women’s gymnastics beam and floor finals) that got me nearly 6,700+ views in less than 24 hours. This is the highest audience I’ve had for a piece that I wrote in the last two years. It may not seem much for the popular bloggers out there, but it certainly does mean a lot to me. And it sure is a confidence booster. Which I hope would help me to develop a thick skin in time. I am very much a work in progress. Thanks again for your post!

  20. OMG… Great to Read