The lie that drove Michael Jordan
It's been told, even by the man himself, that Michael Jordan was cut from the Varsity team when he was in high school. He was mad enough to slam the door of his room and cry. But that's not the true story of Jordan and his high school basketball career.
The truth is that it wasn't normal for a sophomore to make the Varsity team. So no shock when Jordan didn't see himself on that list. He did, however, see himself on the JV list.
That's not being cut. That's simply not making the team.
But what made him mad wasn't that he didn't make the team. What made him mad was that another sophomore did. A 6'7″ sophomore made the team that year because the coach was looking for height.
And that was the slight that pushed him. Challenged him. Made him work harder than anyone else and lead first the JV and then the Varsity teams. It propelled him in College and on to the Pros. Years later he would remark, while being enrolled in the Hall of Fame, that the coach made the wrong call.
That he was cut was a lie. But that Jordan believed it, internalized it that way, was all that was required. Because the lies we believe impact the way we live.
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What lies do you believe about blogging?
When it comes to blogging, lies hold the key to the prison we create for ourselves.
We tell ourselves these lies and lock ourselves up, in a prison of our own making, and then wonder how to get out of our situation. The truth is simple – we need to stop believing the lies.
But like most things, that's easier said than done.
If we can't get past the lies, we all end up in the same place – ready to quit blogging because it “just doesn't work for me.”
So when you ask yourself, “Should I stop blogging?” my answer is a definitive “no!”
Five lies we believe & the mistakes they cause
Lie #1: We need to be inspired to write
You don't need to be inspired to write. You just need to write. Inspiration is wonderful but it's not a pre-req for sitting down at a computer and typing.
[Tweet “Develop the habit of being helpful.”]
We tend to think that only inspiration will cause words to flow, but an interesting topic, a question you've answered a million times, or a recommendation will also get the words going.
So don't fall for this lie at all. Instead, develop the habit of being helpful.
Lie #2: We're not great writers
When we don't believe in ourselves it's often because of all the negative self-talk we've grown accustomed to.
When I first started writing, it was easy to say to myself, over and over, “but I'm not a real writer.” It was because I had neither the formal training nor the clear understanding of the distinctions between em and en dashes.
But you don't need to be a professional writer to write. You don't need to be amazing or incredible. You just need to be disciplined. To keep doing it. Because over time, you'll improve.
Lie #3: We need something spectacular to share
It's so easy to think that blogging requires a kind of insightful writing that is found in research documents. You know, the kind of stuff that gives you an “aha” moment after telling you about some new research you've never heard of.
We love reading it, so we think we need to write it. And until we do, we feel inadequate and willing to wait on the sidelines for the new insight to arrive.
But here's the thing. We have no idea what is insightful to someone else. It's very difficult to know which things we know are interesting to others who don't know them.
[Tweet “We have no idea what is insightful to someone else.”]
So share your knowledge because there will always be others who find you insightful even when you don't feel it.
Lie #4: Our stories and lives are boring.
You might be ready to kill your blog because you're bored of it. You're tired of writing. Or you're ready to quit because you've started believing the lie that you have nothing interesting to say.
Maybe you're right.
But the answer isn't to stop writing. The answer is to do more things that are interesting. The more challenges you face, the more you have content to share.
Some of your best posts will be the result of having conquered a challenge that others have yet to face.
[Tweet “Some of your best posts will be the result of having conquered a challenge that others have yet to face.”]
And our final lie…the one that is so easy to believe.
Lie #5: I should stop blogging because I'm not getting any results
Most of us are impatient. We want results before they show up. And that's what causes us to wonder, “Should I stop blogging?”
But results take time. And are often a consequence of discipline and hard work. And that's what takes the time – the consistency of writing regularly.
Ridiculous consistency will outperform just about anything else: intelligence, speed, creativity, and luck.
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Should you stop blogging? No.
Those five lies may cause you to stop blogging. But they shouldn't.
Instead, reject the lies and skip the mistakes and given time, you'll soon discover what I know already:
The world needs your voice.