When I first started this blog, no one else knew it existed. That was fine for a while as I got more comfortable posting my words on the internet, but I wasn’t writing just to write. I was learning so much about living more authentically and I hoped sharing what was helping me might help others as well But it doesn’t do a lot of good to write about what is helping me if no one else is reading it.
One of the ways to get my writing out to more people is to guest post on other blogs. Maybe reading one of my guest posts is how you found me. Submitting guest posts sounded scary. I was asking someone else to share my words in the space they’d worked hard to build.
When I decided to start guest posting, my coach gave me a helpful suggestion—instead of focusing on getting a lot of guest posts published, focus on becoming a person who submits a lot of guest posts.
There are so many reasons why a submission might be rejected. Other than doing my best writing on the piece and following the submission guidelines carefully, there’s not much I can do to control the outcome. I can’t control the quantity or quality of submissions submitted by other writers. I can’t control whether the person reading my submission has a headache.
But I can control my own actions. I can decide to submit guest post after guest post after guest post, regardless of whether any of them are accepted. By doing this I’m measuring my success by what I do and how I show up, which I do have control over, rather than someone else’s response, which I just can’t control.
Putting my focus on the process and not the outcome removes a lot of the pressure. A rejection doesn’t matter as much when it’s just one of many pieces I’m submitting. Of course, if I get some feedback I try to learn what I can from it for next time, but for the most part my job isn’t to try to figure out why my piece wasn’t chosen—I may never know.
To be sure, it still stings when a piece is rejected and I’m still nervous to click send on a submission. But no matter what happens I can still be proud of myself for doing what I set out to do. Whether my writing is rejected or accepted and published, my job is to keep submitting work.
I know not all of you are writers looking to guest post, but I think this idea applies to so much of life.
Maybe you want to create delicious new recipes. If you’re only willing to cook things you know will be a success, you’re not likely to create much new. Likewise, daydreaming about a beautiful cookbook cover keeps you focused on where you want to be someday instead of what you are doing right now. What if instead you decide to become a person who cooks an experimental meal once a week—even if that means keeping a couple of frozen pizzas in the freezer for those days when your results don’t match your vision?
Maybe you want to make new friends. What if instead of trying to find just the right person, you become someone who reaches out to others? You won’t always click with everyone. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either of you—there are a million reasons two people might not hit it off. Will you dwell on why it didn’t work and assume you’re just not capable of making friends…or will you be someone who reaches out to people and keeps trying?
Maybe your goals are something else entirely. I’d love to hear about them! Share in the comments or send me an email. Whatever your goal is, who you are is not determined by the outcome.
You can choose to become someone who takes the steps needed to move you where you want to go. Focusing on the process instead of the end result eases the pressure. We don’t have to be fabulous. We have to become someone who shows up again and again. And that isn’t about striving to do more and be better. It truly is a process of becoming. We’ll talk more about that process, but for now…
What is something you want to do or have? What step or steps will move you in the direction of your goal? Are you willing to become a person who does those things? What are the things getting in your way?