photo credit: In Her Image

If one is not careful, doing what you love and the internet monetization journey can chew you up and spit you out.

That’s the place I found myself in, just a few months into working for myself and the “doing what you love” journey. Instead of doing what I loved, it turned out I was spending too much time on the computer, answering emails and blogging and tweeting and trying to dream up new projects and figure out branding and wondering where in the world all the people were, since so many social media experts and strategists online had insisted that if I built it, the masses would come, and they would want to support my work, both emotionally and financially, and it would feel great. Every time I built and masses did not come, I both appreciated the love I was getting (there were no “masses” but there was definitely love!) and looked at my bank statements with some panic.

In my saddest and most triggered moments, the fear was that I had nothing of value to offer the world.

Yet, this was not actually the problem.

The “problem” (read: challenge to rise to) was really in that entire line of thinking that I didn’t have anything of value to offer or that there was some standard of perfection that I needed to rise to. (Perfectionism is by far the biggest of my fear routines).

I changed this by going into what I loved.

I had always loved to write, and always loved to blog, and always loved to receive emails from people who read my blog (were you one of the original people who read my blog waaaaaaay back when it was called “self taught girl” and I was perpetually divulging my angst–every bad day, every breakup?), and had always loved the way I’d met some amazing people via the internet…

…the day that I remembered all of that was the day that I decided that my only job was really to show up to the page (er, screen) and express what I felt to be true, and trust that it resonated with others.

At all costs, hit publish.

I realized that I do have a unique way of looking at the world, that I had done a ton of really beautiful personal work and that I could share that and be of service, and that’s what went into the heart and soul of creating my Courageous Living Program–it’s also what goes into each blog post. I was creating “real value” all along, and it had nothing to do with money in the bank or followers–it was about loving writing and connection.

In the midst of the vulnerability and stress, and regardless of what my bank account said, I needed to choose. You get to choose. If the process of following your dream is causing you so much stress and heartache that you find yourself thinking, “This isn’t living,” then something’s not aligned. This might not mean “quit.” It might mean, instead, “Get aligned.”

What would be ease? What would be courageously self-nurturing? What would give you peace of mind so that turning on your computer each morning doesn’t feel like an endless game of comparisons and self-flagellation that you need to do more do more do more do more?

And then, at all costs, hit publish. Align, and hit publish. Recalibrate, and hit publish.

It’s not about your message being worthy. It’s about you deciding to be worthy of spending your time doing the things that you love, whenever and wherever you can.