What Does Writing and the Boogie Man Have to Do with You?
Take a look at your boogie man. What’s behind the mask? Photo Courtesy of LexScope-Unsplash
We all have a boogie man. Does that surprise you? Did you think you had grown out of that fear you had when you were little? Think again. If you're a writer; if you have a blog, website, or small business on the internet, this could be what's holding you back.
All Good Intentions …
Do you remember your early years, when parents taught you right from wrong and molded your character? From as early as I can remember, I was taught to fear…well, pretty much everything. If you had that spare-the-rod, spoil-the-child upbringing, I guarantee it haunts you like a ghost. You'll feel like you are swimming upstream in the rapids and drowning in a lashing current while being cut on sharp rocks.
How We Become Invisible
"Watch your tone of voice," my mother would snap. "Get that look off your face," father would growl. Don't understand something? Don't you dare ask a question. Nobody wants to be bothered. Your concerns would be answered with harsh criticism and ridicule. As the proverb says, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt." You are now afraid of what people think.
Separate Fantasy & Fear
But did that ever really happen, or is it just a fantasy in your head? A fear thought. Did you experience criticism and ridicule? You learned to hold back. You learned self-doubt. You probably learned to keep things to yourself and not think too well of yourself. It's time to have a serious chat with yourself.
The Crossroads of Time & Self-Worth
What about time? Do you sometimes worry that you are not worth someone's time or that you are bothering them? Do you worry that they may think your service is not worth their time? You were taught to think of others before yourself. That is wise and empathetic, but how does it affect your client work? Time is precious and limited. Place as much importance on your time as on the time of your clients.
The Beginning of Self-Erosion
What other people think, their opinions, especially of our work, carries great weight. Of course, it does. Your success depends on it. Worrying about what others might think of you is drilled into your head from childhood. Perhaps you were never taught that your opinion of yourself matters even more than the opinion of others. We learn to be very self-conscious.
When Putting Others First Becomes Toxic
You worry about what your clients think of you and your work. You fear what a client thinks, dislikes, or disagrees with to the point that you cater to the client. You give in to what they think you should be doing and how you should do it. Some clients think they know more than you and try to micromanage you. Is that the kind of client you want? If not, check your self-conscious self-esteem.
Who Gets to Say How Much You're Worth?
Do you let clients dictate how much you are worth? How can you possibly think you are worth the money if they don't? That's your boogie man nagging and stomping in your brain again. People will always try to bring down your price no matter where you set your price point. You are worth what you say you're worth, not what they want you to believe.
Boundaries for the Tender Hearted
Do you feel responsible when they moan about the price and give you a sob story? Do you feel obligated to help them? It is easy to say "No, I don't" when you are not confronted with that very kind, wide-eyed, sweet person who you really want to help. You know that their finances are not your responsibility. But what is that you're hearing? Is that the voice of your mother again?
The Commodity Boogie Man
When someone disrespects and devalues your profession, what do you do? Does a client act like your only value is saving them the time of doing it themselves? You'll hear that a lot, "I would do it myself, but I just don't have the time." They don't recognize the effort, training, and skill that goes into the finished product. Often, they don't know a good product from a bad one. They'll say something like, "My daughter needs a job. She could do that." I say, "Could she? Well, have at it!"
Who is Your Boogie Man?
It is helpful to you to know who your boogie man is and the power he holds over you. Is your boogie man a mask for your critical mother, your harsh father, or your condescending English teacher? What poisonous nightmares has that boogie man created in your deepest being? To be rid of the tyranny of the boogie man, you must find those poisonous darts and call them out! Take on one at a time, and you'll be free of those chains that are holding back your success.