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4/22/12

To Not Be A Quitter

It's 11:50 at night and my heart has been heavy all day.  And because I have chosen to make this blog a place for honest transparency, I thought I would lay it all out here.  Who knows. . . maybe some of you have felt the same way and this could be an encouragement to you.
Here goes nothing.

I don't know if it's a first born thing.  Or maybe my extremely competitive nature.  Or just the over achieving personality I have been blessed with.  But I've spent most of my life, pendulum swinging from an over-achiever to a quitter.

Take for example the book I wrote in high school.  I literally had such a passion for writing and my days were full of scribbles on lined paper, tiny note books and eventually on our huge family desktop.  I began a project of writing a personal story of sorts.  Really a compilation of funny stories from growing up in a big family.  Through a random course of events, my entire story was wiped from our computer hard drive with no back-up anywhere.  I was devastated. Literally crushed and broken.  I almost felt like someone had died  All those hours of work.  Gone.  Zip zero nada.
I've never worked on a story since then.

Second case in point.  When I was 17 I started a home based business selling a nutritional product that changed our family's life.  I actually had a fair amount of initial success, but as I began to hit road bumps along the way, I allowed my fears to overtake me.  I eventually quit all together.

Fast forward to last year.  I begin blogging immediately after we got home from our honeymoon.  My sights were set high.  I had my goals.  My purpose.  When my computer fell several weeks ago, I was forced to take a two week break from regular blogging.  Suddenly I felt like things began to fall apart.  My purpose and focus became muddled.  Suddenly the dream seemed silly and success seem unattainable.  I seriously contemplated deleted everything the whole blog and just forgetting it ever existed.

It all seemed rather pointless.  I don't have the ever elusive 'brand'.  My posts are all over the map.  My brain felt dried up.  Numbers dropped.  Followers unfollowed.  I began to ask myself, what the heck am I doing?!  Has this hobby turned into an obsession?  Is there really a point to what I'm doing.  Maybe quitting would be easier than risking failure.

After my serious funk today, lots of Husband drawing me out and some chest heaving sobs, I realized my problem.  And though there's no easy answer, I think I'm beginning to understand my own self a little more.

I am a dreamer.  And helplessly impulsive.  I get an idea in my mind and bolt off to make it happen.  I dream of making it big.  Dream of being that creative person I want to be in my mind.  Choosing to push past status quo.  And as I look at those who have been successful in a particular area I'm pursuing, I immediately want to be one of them.  I envision myself accomplishing the same thing.  And in record time no less.

The thing I fail to realize is that those who are insta-celebrities in many fields (bloggers, writers, small business owners, etc) are actually a very small percentage of the rest of the population.  Most people are successful after years of hard work, rarely hitting fame after just months in the arena.  Somehow I expect myself to do the same and when it doesn't happen, I resort to quitting.

I also realized that I am a pathetic comparer -- is that even a word?!  I look at those people who have been successful and I think, what do I have to do achieve the same.  Take for example blogging.  My very first blog crush was the adorable Sydney from The Daybook.  She suddenly starts posting her adorable outfits each day and her blog hits overnight fame.  When I feel like I can't achieve the same thing, I resort to this silly thinking.

What if I became a fashion blogger?  That's seems to be all the rage.  Could I pull it off?  Would that be my ticket to successs?!  I need funnier posts.  Or maybe more heartfelt.  Shorter.  Longer? 
On and on go the games in my mind.

Seriously no duh, Nicole.  Why do you feel this need to be a pathetic copy of someone else's success?! Why can't you embrace who you are.  Embrace the passions and gifts I gave you.  Allow me to use that to change the world around you.  This is God talking, in case you were wondering.

It's like this quote I stumbled upon on Pinterest:


Can I really believe that?!
Can I live that?

Because if I really did, it wouldn't matter if it took me one or seven or ten years to achieve success.  I would embrace the journey.  Embrace ME.  Embrace the very unique expression of life that God wants to pour through me.

So I guess I still don't have the answers.  I don't know how to take a decrease in followers in a way that's not personal.  I don't know how to gauge my success by the number of site hits each day.  I don't know how to accept that I may not be in the top percentile in every area.

I only know that I ache to be the best that I can be.  I ache to stop these pathetic games of comparison.  I ache to dream dreams bigger than myself and then to trust God with the outcome.  I ache to move past status quo, knowing that there is a whole exciting world waiting to be lived.  In a unique way that only I can.


In light of all this.  There may be some changes to this blog in the coming days.  Or maybe not.  I'm literally tired of trying to be what I think other people want me to be.  
I want to just be ME.
The end.

Literally thank you, though, to all of you who have shown so much love and support these last 11 months.  You have no idea how special you are to me.  Thank you for listening to my midnight ramblings.  You should get a gold star or something.  Thank you for bearing with me as I just do life.  I've really been amazing how much God has been changing me this year.  Showing me who I really am.  And who He wants to grow me into.



So here's to not quitting this blog.  Here's to many more months and years of friendship, honesty and dreams.

It's really such a beautiful life.
xo


PS.  Are you laughing over my plethora of inspirational quotes?!  I am.
Sometimes you just have to tell your soul truth though, ya know?!

19 comments:

  1. You are a beautiful writer. Please don't stop.

    Thank you for sharing this, too. I can relate in more ways than one. I, too, am a dreamer.

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  2. I can relate SO much to this. You have no idea! I have constant fights with myself over blogging (as well as other things).

    In the end I always have to remember that God gave me this life/voice for a reason. That when we're doing what He wants, there will always be success, though the success won't always be by our standards. Sometimes the success is just the growing and learning that comes from trying. But as long as we're doing what He wants, He will make us successful. Another thing I have to remind myself of is that God gave us our own timelines. When someone gets something (buys a house, becomes blog famous, etc) and they've put less time in than I have, I tend to get frustrated and want to quit because it doesn't make sense. Sometimes the journey God has for us is a little longer, and we can't compare our timeline to everyone else's, because we each have a unique one. Maybe that sounds silly, but it helps me to think about it that way :)

    Also, please don't quite blogging. You're one of my favorites and I'd be very, very sad to see you go! Also, thank you for writing with so much vulnerability and transparency!

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  3. I can totally relate to everything you say, which is why I have 10 projects going on right now...blogging, scrapbooking, digital scrapbooking, journaling, wedding planning, work...the list can go on and on. And why!? Because I want to be the super hero and I want to make everyone happy, I want to save the day & change the world. You know the dreamer you referred to? I'm her. Hence my latest blog post in fact - "The anxiety of a picture perfect wife". In fact, I'm a believer and I'm fearful of not fulfilling my purpose! You know the one referred to in Jeremiah 29:11? But I have to remember that I wasn't made to be perfect, none of us were. My saving grace & reassurance comes through this...He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6. If we're trusting and believing and trying God won't let us "fail". Everything has a purpose and YOU have a purpose. Oh and I love your blog, your transparency and your random post :)

    Sorry for my rambles but hopefully somewhere in them you can find a little encouragement.

    Happy Sunday :)

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  4. Nicole,

    I do the same thing in so many parts of my life. I love the quote by theodore roosevelt that says "comparison is a thief of joy". We just can't compare ourselves to others. I know I do all the time and it ends up making me feel completely defeated. When I choose blogs that I want to read, I always choose those that inspire me...to be a better person, wife, woman, cook, to become more fashionable, and kind. For me that is why I blog, to be inspired to become a better person. Blogging for me is seeing what other people can do and realizing that I have the capability to do it too (even if I don't have the same circumstances as others in the blogging world) I just wanted to let you know that your blog is such a huge inspiration for me! And just know that those of us who still are here really do love your blog and would hate to see you quit. Your posts are something I look forward to each and everyday.

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  5. oh wow. i love every sentence ... every word of this. i can absolutely relate. and i'm sure everyone else can too. this totally hit home. i have only been blogging for a few months, but i have already been threatened (by me) to quit numerous times. the 'why am i spending so much time on this?' question comes up daily. and then i remember ... it's fun. it's exciting to meet new people and share a little something (sometimes important, most times not) every day. i'm not a sydney (and that's for darn sure), but my friends and family have a chuckle every now and then. and if they're happy, i'm happy.

    LOVE your blog. keep doing what you love ...

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  6. Please don't quit - I just found your blog about a month ago and I truly love it! you are a fantastic writer. When I found your blog, I spent a couple hours reading through tons of your old posts. You may have recently lost some followers but don't sweat it! Followers will come and go as your build your blog, but if writing's what you love, you need to just do it. I have been feeling similar feelings about my blog recently. Is it really that important? Do people actually care about what I'm writing about? Is this all just a silly waste of time? Do it if you love it. Take a break if you need one to recuperate and figure out what you want. You may lose followers if you do, but you will come back stronger and you may even better your blog because of it.

    Thanks for being so open! And know that you have a loyal follower right here who loves it every time a new Neesby Lookbook post pops up in my Google reader! :)

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  7. I have been feeling the EXACT same way! I can kinda understand your frustration! One of the amazing things about your blog is you random posts that always have the tendency to get me thinking. Keep on keeping on girl! It will get better :) Your a huge inspiration to me! Thank you for not giving up =) I'll be praying for you!

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  8. What a beautiful post. I absorbed every word. You are a beautiful writer and I appreciate your honesty.

    xo,
    Shannon
    http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com

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  9. Seriously Nicole, please don't shut down this blog - I would be so so so sad if you just disappeared, I wouldn't know where to ever find you again!

    And I used to struggle with these silly comparison feelings too, but I stopped. I did exactly what you are talking about and decided that my blog is for me, and I don't care if I lose half my followers over night, I'm not going to stop writing about my life how I want to remember it. So far changing to this perspective has helped me a lot. Plus, you're blog is extremely popular - I've been blogging for almost a year and a half now and only have half the followers you do - so you are growing quickly, because people love and you're a beautiful person!

    Always remember that :)

    xxx
    Jenna

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  10. Speaking of quotations, I've always liked, "I'd rather be a first-rate version of myself than a second-rate version of someone else." (Judy Garland) And I think it was Henri Nouwen who said that what is most personal is most universal--in other words, the answer is almost NEVER "yes" when we ask ourselves, "Am I the only one...?" So keep on keepin' on. I love reading your thoughts and dreams.

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  11. I just looked back at your purpose. It was tri-fold: write for God, allow a creative outlet, and write for you -- to be transparent. So if that is what your purpose is, then you need not worry about numbers and popularity. It is an easy game to fall into, but honestly, why should we even care? So what if a few people have dropped you, more chose to stay than go away. I love that quote that wellcrafted shared above. And the Bill Cosby quote you shared. Be yourself and let yourself grow and stumble at your own rate, not someone else's.

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  12. Reading your random, fun, and completely honest posts are seriously a highlight of my day - you're an excellent writer that shouldn't quit! I'm glad that you were able to find strength to keep going. Lean on your followers for support!

    My boyfriend has this quote on his computer, and every time I read it, I'm amazed by how honest and true the words are (and since your post had fun with inspirational quotes, I thought I'd share!)

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://infochachkie.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Ira-Glass-Quote.jpg&imgrefurl=http://infochachkie.com/consuming/&h=453&w=604&sz=83&tbnid=5noWkfnpPSg1KM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=120&zoom=1&docid=6yQBAvEELDA2EM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=woCUT739JZOi8ASa-OGgBA&ved=0CFEQ9QEwBQ&dur=605

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  13. I LOVE your blog Nichole! It seriously is a highlight of my day! Keep em comin girl!

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  14. I have been feeling the exact same way!!

    But I love your blog!! Don't stop! :)

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  15. For the record, Mrs. Neesby, whenever I read your blog it makes me want to go grab Hubsband and smother him with {I think you're the most awesomest man in the whole wide world} kisses. I wouldn't change anything about your blog - the posts are a great length, the topics are wonderful, and I love your happy-go-lucky, yet honest writing style. I visit yours more than any other blog.

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  16. I think we writer folk are very hard on ourselves. Keep writing. And let your light shine in every area of your life. You are a woman of God. You don't need fame or money or the big time to impact this world in positive ways. (And I will try to take my own advice as well. ;))
    EJ, www.thesearemyreasons.com

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  17. I can totally relate to how hard it is to find yourself in the blogging world and to feel like you should measure up to what everyone else is doing. honestly though, I am surprised to hear this from YOU. You always seem to have it together and I think your blog offers something totally unique. When I want cute outfits I go to daybook, when I want sarcasm and jokes I got to Living in Yellow, but when I want honestly and vulneravility and inspiration I come to your blog. So just keep doing what you're doing- no other blogger does what you do in your blog!

    XOXO
    Bonnie

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  18. Nicole,
    You are such a beautiful soul...and this blog of yours? What a beautiful place. Don't ever change. And people that leave? It's like people that you meet in life. Some stay, some go. But the ones that stay love you for who you are, for what you do, not how often. Even if you only choose to blog once a year, I'll still be here. You'll pop up on my Google reader and I'll say, "Awesome. She's back. I want to hear what she has to say." If you do it for the right reasons, the rest will happen. Always does. xo

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  19. I think virtually everyone, at least all the real people out there, appreciate honesty. and when it is as well-written as this - score! =) I do NOT understand people unfollowing - especially just because you weren't posting - makes no sense.

    but I would say it was probably one of those blessings in disguise that God is so known to give us - I am sure you have come out on the other side of that crappy two weeks without your laptop with some awesome new things growing in your heart, whether you know it yet or not. God is just too cool like that =)

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