Have you ever read a book that felt like a perfect road map for a more fulfilling life?
I have. This week.
It’s called Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. After reading the first few chapters, I decided I had to buy it for everyone I know.
If you’ve never heard of Brené Brown, she is known for her research on vulnerability. Check out her viral TED Talk below.
In Gifts of Imperfection, she writes that in order to live a wholehearted life, we must live with courage, compassion, and connection. She writes that we must practice these 3 qualities in our lives.
We need to practice these 3 qualities in our blogs, as well.
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Blogging is weird.
It’s personal, and it’s often a part of business, as well. It’s a place to share our innermost thoughts, but it’s also something that everyone in the world can see.
Many bloggers struggle with blogging consistently. And I believe that the reason isn’t a lack of time, or writing skill, but a lack of confidence, clarity and purpose.
I recently wrote about this to my email list, and I got a very wise response from a reader. She wrote that in addition to confidence, we need courage to blog consistently.
But how can we cultivate courage in our blogs? How can we cultivate compassion and connection?
Courage originally meant To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.
The first ideas that come to mind when I think about courage are the typical ideas about bravery. Soldiers, and firemen, and other strong burly guys who save people from scary things.
But that’s not the type of courage Brown writes about in her books, and that’s not the type of courage I am thinking about here.
Practicing courage in your blog means being willing to write something new, and different, not knowing if people will like it or not. (Like this post, for example.)
Courage means a willingness to share things that really matter to you. Like personal stories, and not just ones that paint you in a positive light.
Courage means that you come back to your computer week after week and publish a blog post, not knowing who will read it.
Courage means being willing to take a stance on something in your blog, even if you know that people will disagree.
Courage means cultivating your voice, and writing in it, and not writing in a certain way just because you think you should.
The heart of compassion is really acceptance. The better we are at accepting ourselves and others, the more compassionate we become.
Have you ever told yourself things that you would never, EVER say to a friend?
Like, That blog post sucked.
Like, You’re never going to be a successful blogger, so you might as well stop trying.
Like, Who are you to think that what you have to say is important?
I know I’ve thought those things in the past. And they’re really damaging. They stop me in my tracks. They make me truly afraid to create.
It’s SO important to practice compassion in your blog, to be kind to yourself instead of cruel.
I really do believe that the act of blogging, of putting our writing out into the world, requires constantly practicing acceptance.
Practice compassion by accepting yourself, even as you write something scary and vulnerable.
Practice compassion by accepting your fears and doubts about your blog, and seeing them as signs that you are doing something you really care about.
Practice compassion by accepting that blogging is hard. It’s not supposed to be easy.
Practice compassion when you don’t blog consistently. Because beating yourself up about it will definitely not get you to write the next post.
Brown defines connection as:
The energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive substance and strength from the relationship.
Connection has truly sustained me on my blogging journey.
The other bloggers that visit my blog and leave comments, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, they matter.
Because they let me know that they’ve seen, heard and valued my words. They help me have the courage to keep going.
How can you practice connection in your blog?
Connect by building relationships with people whom you know will support you and your words.
Connect by reaching out to other bloggers and letting them know that you’ve seen, heard, and valued what they’ve shared with the world.
Connect by speaking to your readers’ innermost fears and desires so that they know that you’ve been listening to them.
Connect by seeking out a mentor who can help guide you on your blogging journey.
Brené Brown writes that courage, compassion, and connection are key components to wholehearted living. And they’re key components to wholehearted blogging, as well.