Why I Started Blogging

I actually started blogging in 2012, I was running an Amazon beauty business and kept a blog on the side as a way to promote. I had learned about SEO, online ads and how to put together a website through WordPress. When I started blogging it was surprisingly easy.

It was a beauty blog and I would write reviews about the products. People would find my blog through SEO and follow. It was slow going and there would be days when I would get 0 views and other days I’d get 20.

I learned everything I needed to do and yet I gave up too early. In 2012, I had prenatal depression and in 2013, I had acute postpartum depression. I just didn’t have the motivation to keep up with it, even though it was showing signs of success. I quit my blog. So I forgot about my blog for a few years and even went back in 2015 to make sure I closed my old blog out and shut it down. I couldn’t stand the thought of my failed blog sitting in the blogosphere and languishing. I had lost my motivation for blogging.

So I stopped writing for a bit and focused on what made me money for some time, real estate.

But writing was never far from my mind, I always went back to it as a way to cope with my hard times and secretly I wished to make a living off of blogging. One can only hope.

I’ve written a few posts on my current job and how miserable it has made me at times.

Status Update: I’m Still Not Vibing At Work

Dealing with Toxic Work Culture

The thought of working there and until I retire at 65 seemed too daunting. I can barely make it through a days work, let alone several decades of working. I long to work for myself and be my own boss. And more than anything, I long to be able to spend time with my children and family. But what kind of job would let me do that? How would I be able to put money and food on the table?

My thoughts went back to the time when I wrote my first beauty blog. If I had kept up with it, chances are I would still be doing that full time at this point. I’m literally kicking myself for quitting. But there’s a quote that I love, “The best time to start was yesterday and the next best time start as now.” So even though I messed up by quitting too early, I could still start again and build another writing portfolio. Hating my job actually inspired me. So I picked up everything I learned with my first blog, and began rebuilding with a second one.

It’s been challenging. When I was writing my beauty blog at 22, I didn’t have money to invest in my blog. What I did have was time to write and spend on it. But now at 30, I’m literally trying to scrape time together to pull out a 1000 word post. My husband needs me, my children need me and there’s housework waiting for me.

Right now I’m on maternity leave so I’m home all the time but what happens when I go back to work? I’m praying that I have the motivation to keep this up because this is really what I want to do and I’m already strapped for time.

My mother is only getting older; I wonder what I will do when she needs help getting around the house and running basic errands. I dream of a life where I’m writing full time and can be there for her. I look ahead to the future and I want to see a life where my work is flexible. My children are getting older and they’ll want to go to do after school programs, play dates with their friends and school trips. I’m going to miss all that because I’m working and commuting a hell of a lot.

My work continues to motivate me to write, like most jobs it’s always changing and trying to be more productive. Now it’s my compensation they’re trying to change by adding another employee to take a cut of the commission pie. It has me thinking that nothing is really secure in this world and I need to find alternative ways to supplement my earnings. It feels so demeaning that I’m doing a great job and seeing my earnings slashed because upper management wants more productivity for less.

So blogging gives me hope. Hope that I can change my life, rely less on my job and be happier. It allows me to do something I love- write! And best of all I get to connect with other writers and people who love to read.

Though there are days I get like 5 visitors and it seems like I’m writing to myself, I hold out hope that I’ll find a clan that appreciates and finds my writing helpful.

So I’m in this for the long haul. With the good and the bad. Even when I don’t have time, I’ll carve it out. Because I need to have this hope that blogging can change my life.

Check out my other posts

The Power Of Positivity

My Favorite Motivational Mantra

Help! My Husband Doesn’t Help Around The House

I like to visit relationship forums to give advice and share thoughts on marriage. I don’t know why, I think I like to make sure my marriage is on the right track and see what areas we can improve. It also helps to see how others manage their struggles and succeed. So far we’ve been able to avoid financial issues and dead bedrooms.  However a husband who who won’t clean remains an a problem for most women.

This is the one reoccurring issue we have that I do see on the forums: the problem of having one spouse who cleans thoroughly and is obsessively clean versus the other who maybe isn’t as active on that front.

To name Jenny and Steve as an example. Jenny is great, she’s able to clean the whole house and maintain everything. She’s very organized but she so frustrated with her husband Steve. Steve is less detailed and often leaves cups out on the counter, always needs a reminder to put dishes in the dishwasher, forgets to take out the trash and leaves the laundry right outside the hamper. She’s tired of telling Steve what to do and wishes he could just take initiative himself.

The responses to that kind of question would usually sound something like:

“Your not his mother, he needs to clean after himself”

“Seek counseling, there a lack of communication”

“It’s not right he treats you like a slave, you’re both adults and he needs to act like one.”

In Steve’s defense, I am Steve.

I’m the more cluttered one in my marriage.  I would be labeled as the lazy spouse. My husband is constantly getting annoyed at my lack of organization, the fact that I’m not naturally disposed to being neat, and my worst offense, leaving my clothes inside out in the hamper. One of our biggest fights was over the state of my laundry. It was so bad, I needed to take the night away from home to cool down.

I like to think I’m not some sort of woman-child and that being an adult doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re hundred percent tidy all the time. I don’t believe that housework, chores, and cleaning should be the basis for marital fights let alone divorce and separation. And yet somehow it is.

You see I’m just not that type of personality that obsesses over every single piece of dust in the house, takes pleasure in emptying out the garbage or making sure the house is like a spread from Housekeepers Magazine. I don’t get excited going through the cleaning aisle deciding what to get that will be tough on grease. I’m not good at playing hostess and cleaning up after everyone at the party, and I’m definitely not great at cleaning every nook and cranny in my apartment.

My issue with cleaning goes way before I was married anyway. My mother was perfect at keeping a home. Everything had its place in the house and if you made a mess you would hear it and maybe even feel it from the slipper she used on us. I never understood why my parents stressed when they had to clean the house. As a child, all I wanted to do with was play or be outside. I was often stuck inside every Saturday while my parents broke their backs maintaining their home. It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When they were cleaning they were like Mr Hyde, manic and crazy over anything that got in their way. They also used cleaning as a form of punishment. “Oh yeah you didn’t do your homework? I guess your cleaning both bathrooms this weekend!”

So yeah I have a weird relationship with cleaning, nothing triggers me more than someone nagging about me needing to clean. I’m an adult now, I should be able to live as clean or filthy as I want.

The truth is that even if I did make an effort, it would be met with derision. Either that I’m not cleaning fast enough, in the right order or using the cleaning supplies correctly. Apparently the kitchen is the last area you tackle. So I purposely let him go through cleaning weekend on his own now, he’s too particular to please.

But I think my husband has gotten used to my cleaning challenged self. We’ve taken a divide and conquer type of approach to it because we both recognize we have different strengths in our relationship. I’m very particular about our finances. I’m budgeting every week, deciding how to allocate funds, telling him where where to stop his overspending (his vaping), and planning for savings. I also make sure we take care of our health, make all the doctor appointments and cook 50% of the time.

So thankfully, I’m not a complete waste of space in this relationship.

For those of you struggling in terms of who shares the housework load I’d say give the slacker a little credit and room. We aren’t adult children taking advantage, but people with a different set of priorities, talents and strengths.

Household tasks shouldn’t be the reasons why relationships end, but surprisingly they are. Chances are you don’t have a selfish husband who won’t clean, more like a partner who just doesn’t have that kind of strength.

Couples counseling is another way to find a middle ground on such a tumultuous topic.

And if all else fails, just save yourselves the headache and get a cleaning service. No shame in that game.

So to Jenny and Steve, I hope you’re able to work through this difference, worst case, just hire a cleaning person, and keep both your relationship and your sanity.

Check out my other posts on relationships and marriage!

The Biggest Red Flags In A Relationship

Marriage, Finances And Money: The Benefits And Pitfalls

Tags: lazy spouse, husband doesn’t help with anything, should a husband help with housework, sharing chores, household chores, benefits of cleaning service, how to get spouse to clean.

How To Stay Motivated And Keep Your Goals

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Lately I’ve been going through a slump. Like I haven’t been falling behind and I haven’t been getting ahead. I used to be so motivated in college, I even graduated a year early. I graduated college in three years with top grades. It seemed like everything was going to pan out and for the most part everything did. But after college I’ve kind of been worn out.

Life gets to you after a while; with jobs and relationships that fall apart. And even though it’s not where you imagined you’d be, you finally settle someplace comfortable.

Sometimes I miss being in college and feeling like the whole world was in front of me. It made me self  motivated and kept me going. Now that my life has settled with kids, a husband and a semi career, I find it harder to keep that positive energy I once had. Yet you hear stories of people pushing themselves to the limits. You see people going to school and graduating valedictorian while raising three kids; climbing Kilimanjaro and  Everest in the same year; running an ultra marathon.  I look at those people and realize I need motivation.  How can I get the motivation to take my life to the next level? How do I maximize my potential so that I’m getting all I can out of life?

Here are my fail proof tips on finding motivation and how to make goals/dreams a reality!

1) Make A Schedule

This seems so obvious but making a schedule and sticking to it is harder than it sounds. Your schedule needs to align what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re a salesperson, you might schedule more time trying to prospect leads vs doing paperwork vs organizing your office.

Your schedule should optimize your time so that the most rewarding tasks get prioritized and the least productive ones aren’t but are still tended to.

I absolutely hate prospecting leads but it’s what will give me the biggest return for my effort, so I make sure that I do that every day, no matter what’s on my plate.

2)Break Up Goals

Nothing is more demoralizing than having what seems like an impossible goal. But unless you are trying to defy the laws of physics, like turning a flower into a rock, no goal is truly impossible. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no.

One way to manage larger than life goals is break them up into smaller goals. Reaching 400 blog posts has been one of my larger goals and sometimes it feels impossible, I’ve only written 73 posts, but my goal has been broken up into smaller “just finish one post at a time” goals. When I’ve focused on how far I am from reaching my 400th post, it’s so discouraging. When I think “I just need to do one more entry or 2 entries a week” it seems more manageable.

3)Be Consistent

This means showing up and putting in the work. Don’t put in part time hours and expect full time pay. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. If only it did.

Stick with things even when it gets hard. I took a 6 month hiatus from this blog, mainly because it was getting daunting and I wanted to pursue something else. And it’s OK to take a step back once in a while to gain perspective but for those wanting to take their lives to the next level, you’ll need to show up each and every day and get things done.

4)Work With The End Goal In Mind

Know why you’re doing it! It’s so easy to get side-tracked and start comparing yourself to other people. Or start worrying about the wrong things. So often people want to do things for themselves but halfway through they start worrying about what other people think.

For me, my job is about earning money for my family, getting benefits, and having stability. I’ve written a few posts on how hard and negative the environment is. I need to keep my motivation at work.  At the end of the day, I need to look past the petty coworkers, the rude bosses, and the unreasonable clients. The end goals is to pay off the loans and gain a bit of savings before I can move on. A lot of people lose sight of their end goal and let the small stuff run them out of their jobs before they can reap the benefits.

5.  Push Through Setbacks

No matter what you do, there will always be setbacks. Two steps forward, one step back.

It’s how you handle the setback that matters. You could be saving for months then have your car breakdown. Then have spent $1500 to repair it and have that feel devastating because it took you so long to save. On one hand, you spent months worth of savings in one shot, on the other hand, you had $1500 cash handy and didn’t have to go into debt to take care of that expense. A person lacking motivation might say, “what’s the use of saving if I can never get ahead?” A person with motivation will just pick themselves up and start the savings again.

When faced with a major obstacle, just remember that it’s expected. In some cases, setbacks can help you grow and find ways to be more efficient or help you learn a lesson to avoid repeating the same stumbling block.

6. Block out the negativity

The most well-meaning people like to give advice and sometimes that advice is unwelcomed negativity. How many times did I had friends or family tell me you can’t do this or that, mainly in regards to my self employment. Or that I need more stability at the expense of my own goals. If you hear that enough you start to believe it.

When dealing with naysayers you’ll have to either avoid them or straight up tell them where they can go. Nothing should be getting in your way when it comes to keeping your motivation. They say birds of a feather flock together, so if your friends and family are telling you that you can’t do something, you’re going to believe that.

I would also recommend keeping positive and motivational posters at your work or on your desktop/phone to keep you in the right mindset.

7. Build a Support Network

And that brings me to my last point, once you’ve removed all the negativity surrounding your goals you’ll need to find a group of people who support you.

If it’s not your friends and family then you’ll have to find people who are trying to accomplish the same thing as you and can help either coach you or give you the moral support you need. I’m a big fan of Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter and general social media to help find other people who share your same interests.

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These may sound like easy things to do but mastering all 7 and being consistent day after day, month after month, and year after year is harder than you think. The key is to take it one day at a time and implement these tips in unison.  This is essential to set up goals for yourself

If you’re able to master this, you can watch your life change and your business flourish because putting in the time and work is all you need.

 

CHECK OUT MY OTHER MOTIVATIONAL POSTS AND SUBSCRIBE!

 

Organize Your Mind: How To Be More Productive With Your Day

The Power Of Change

The Power Of Positivity

Motivational Book Club: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Signs Of Social Anxiety And How To Get Over It

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It’s a question I’ve been asking myself since forever. For people who know me well, I’m more introverted than the average person. I’d say I’ve come out of my shell over the years but I still have moments where I just don’t know how to interact with people.

What is social anxiety? How does it affect people? Can you get over it?

Well, social anxiety is an irrational fear of being judged, feeling irrationally embarrassed, not knowing how to communicate with other people, social phobia and worrying obsessively about what other people think of you.

I would say I was like this from middle school to my mid 20s, it wasn’t until my late 20s that I was able to feel more confident in my interactions and had enough experience dealing with people to no longer feel anxious.

Some of the social anxiety symptoms and the issues I had during those years were:

Feeling like everyone was watching me and what I was doing.

I could literally be eating a sandwich in the lunchroom and I would feel like everyone would be seeing my sandwich, judging the sandwich I had, how I was eating it etc. I would be very self-conscious about how I dressed, whether I’m re-wearing something very recently and wondering if people thought I didn’t have enough clothes. I thought a lot about the social implications of how I dressed.

Replaying social interactions in my head and self criticizing how they could’ve been better.

They say practice makes perfect but this was just obsessive compulsive disorder happening because for every word I said to someone I would replay it in my head over and over and over. And try to figure out how I could’ve made it better. I realize now socializing like that doesn’t help you in any way. It just makes you more anxious.

Imagining pretend social interactions and practicing them in case I needed to use them in the future.

This was just a waste of time because none of those pretend social interactions ever happened.

Not being able to convey ideas concisely

Sometimes I would just ramble and then I would see the other persons face getting all confused and lost as to what I was trying to say. I would even get confused as to what I was trying to say. I’d lose track of what I was trying to say halfway through the conversation. This would make me even more anxious and embarrassed.

Trying to control other people’s perspectives of me.

I am who I am and, at the time, I guess I wasn’t ready to accept it. That I’m an introvert. I would get really upset if people told me I was shy or that I needed to get out of my shell because it made me feel like there was something inherently wrong with me; when really I’m more of a listener. If I don’t feel like I have something to add or say, I shouldn’t have to fill the conversation with filler.

Avoiding people if I couldn’t remember their names.

I’m terrible with names. Horrible. And if someone remembered my name and I couldn’t remember their name, I would just avoid that person instead of asking them to repeat their name. I felt ashamed for not being able to remember it.

Avoiding people that I don’t know very well.

I still do this.

Not wanting to put myself in group situations and avoiding events where I would have to socialize on my own.

I liked clinging to my extroverted friends and using them as a crutch to socialize. Then feeling lost when they’re not helping me socialize. It was painful of being at parties or at school and trying to look interesting. At the end of the day, my friends were never responsible for helping me socialize.

How did this affect my life?

I was very unhappy. I thought that I wasn’t doing the right things to put myself out there. I was overthinking everything and I wasn’t putting an effort to get to know people who actually wanted to get to know me. It made my husband frustrated because he felt like I was isolating myself. I couldn’t do things that would benefit my life because they were social. I couldn’t go on interviews. I couldn’t make phone calls to strangers. I wouldn’t ask questions if I didn’t understand something.

My life really couldn’t move forward with how much anxiety I was having.

How did I get over it?

I looked for a job that required me to be personable. I decided to do real estate sales. I had always imagined a real estate person being so outgoing, friendly and easy to talk to. I met a hundred new people that year. Putting myself in situations that terrified me actually helped me. I learned that people don’t care if you say the wrong thing. They don’t even care if you’re an introvert or shy. Most people are just worried about themselves. Most of them won’t even remember your name and that’s normal. I went through a lot of awkward moments with clients and at the end of the day they didn’t matter, I still made money, I still got other clients.

I think it comes more with maturity; accepting rejection, accepting other people not noticing you and just living your own life.

Now when I meet people and there seems to be no chemistry or I think they’re not interested in getting to know me, I realize maybe they’re just not my type of people and that’s OK.

I’m still introverted. I still prefer being in small groups or getting to know you one on one but I’m not shy anymore.  I’m not afraid of how people react to me or what they think of me. I’m not concerned with getting them to like me and I’m pretty happy just being me.

Tags: Dealing with Social anxiety, social anxiety support, anxiety cure, feeling anxious, understanding anxiety

Quiet by Susan Cain: Summary and Review

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I’m an introvert and my husband is an extrovert. For some reason we’ve always felt like ying and yang. But for the longest I always felt in a way inferior to my extroverted counterparts. Like there was something wrong with me for not being as pumped as they were about a weekend full of parties or not immediately knowing what to say in a social setting. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I realized my personality had a lot of other gifts, that being an extrovert wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and that being an introvert wasn’t half bad.

Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, pretty much captures the plight of introverts. The book is amazing at explaining the differences between introverts and extroverts, how we became a society that rewards extroverted tendencies and how introverts can hone in on their gifts and embrace their introverted nature.

Apparently our society was not always extroverted happy. We used to be a country built on rewarding those with value. It wasn’t until the 1920s, when salesmanship became increasingly important, that the extroverted personality became highly sought after.

With several case studies, from Rosa Parks to Rick Warren, Cain describes the differences in management style for extroverts and introverts. Turns out that introverts are just as capable when it comes to rallying people. Whereas extroverts tend to inspire action from those who would otherwise been passive, introverts are more likely to take good ideas from the group and implement them to increase productivity.

Cain then goes to discuss working habits. Creativity, she says is directly related to introversion since creativity requires independent contemplation. Have you ever seen an artistic masterpiece completed from a group? Extroverts prefer group work and introverts prefer independent work. In my own personal opinion this is true. I try to avoid the group work environment as much as possible. Unfortunately that’s near impossible, since most jobs love meetings, group projects, etc. I would be more than happy just doing something on my own.

Groupthink has become an increasingly integrated way of working. Many companies are using groups to get projects done. Groupthink relies on the premise that the ideas of the group are greater than that of the individual. Open floor plan work spaces are becoming the norm. Brainstorming eventually caught on as a way of group thinking without judgment. Cain points out many flaws including social loafing-group laziness, production blocking-only one person can create ideas at a time, and evaluation apprehension- fear of looking stupid.

Quiet then goes on to question whether extroversion and introversion have physiological roots. After looking into many studies, she suspects it does. She also questions whether environment plays a role in this. It does, but only to some degree. I find this to be a relief since I had spent my late teens and early 20s trying to be extroverted to no avail. I became a salesperson as a way to break this ingrained habit. In some ways I became extroverted from this, wanting to meet people and feeling more confident, but I was still introverted and wanting my alone time.

The last few chapters she discusses how an introvert is supposed to survive in this extroverted world. She points out a lot of introverts play extrovert when the occasion calls for it. She reflects on a few clients and friends that would put on a show when they needed to. They relied on social cues and body language to navigate appearing extroverted for the sake of others. She also mentioned that this was optional, there were introverts that opted out of faking it til they made it. She acknowledged that some introverts find acting contrary to their natural inclinations as a lie or a falsehood. This really resonated with me because I felt like I had been playing extrovert for so long. Not only that but I was failing at it. Other times I felt like giving up and that I needed to stop lying about who I was. It’s a relief to read that other people experience the isolation of being an introvert and misunderstandings around it. I spent so long trying to fix my “lack of confidence,” not really understanding I was just very introverted and I had other strengths like self-awareness and empathy.

Chapter 10 really piqued my interest. It discussed how introverts and extroverts get along. Of course my husband and I are the typical introvert/extrovert couple. Everything she said in this chapter had hit the nail on the head for us. Our fights were very much as described, with me pulling away moody and him belligerently trying to fix the problem. It could be a match made in heaven or the relationship from hell. One that could only work for with lots of compromise since the two very different styles of communication often led to some sort of conflict long term.

Overall I found this book to be pretty awesome! It was nice to find out I wasn’t just some unconfident, quiet weirdo that couldn’t socialize. I would say it’s not really a self help book, more like a really well researched informative guide to introversion. Susan Cain really did her research as she cited many case studies, personas and personal experiences that help her get her point across about the introverted persons experience. This is one of the most bought book on Amazon and I can see why, she is the expert on the introverted/extroverted personality discussion. This isn’t a very light book though, like one of those self help books you’d pick up as an afterthought at the airport, but one that is highly intelligent, thought provoking and honest.

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Check out my other book reviews!

Motivational Book Club: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Motivational Book Club: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck By Mark Manson

Tags: Susan Cain books, The power of quiet, the power of introverts book, quiet book review, quiet book Susan cain, quiet power, Susan Cain introvert book, introvert to extrovert book, best book for introverts