Wednesday 15 February 2017

How To Be A Successful Blogger When You're Socially Anxious?

Hello there, my lovelies! Today's post is going to be a little different - I want to talk to you about something that I think is very important, but also difficult to open up about. In recent years, there has been a lot more open and honest talk about mental health, which I think is absolutely wonderful. We should not be afraid to talk about our mental issues; we shouldn't feel ashamed or like we're destined to fight our battles alone. Anxiety is something that affects many people - myself included - and it can be incredibly crippling. A lot of people online tell me that I always come across as open, friendly and bubbly. Honestly, if you were to meet me in person, you'd probably be surprised by how shy and awkward I can be! Even the most basic human interactions used to be a struggle for me, and to this day, I find it difficult to open up to others and make friends. Blogging is something that has definitely helped me with these struggles, which is what I'd like to talk to you about today.

I always wanted to start my own blog, but it took me years to actually find the courage to do it. In the past, I used to only observe the blogging world, wishing that I could be part of it. In my head, I'd imagine myself as a beauty blogger, and picture what it would be like to write product reviews, connect with people and brands online, etc. I have always been very passionate about makeup, perfumes and beauty in general, but I could never find a way to express that passion. This was partially because of the crippling anxiety and the fear that, if I was to put myself out there, it would only end up in embarrassing failure. The thought of starting a blog, reaching out to people and promoting my own work made me feel incredibly anxious and insecure. So many thoughts would run through my head - 'Will people like me?', 'What if my blog posts end up being embarrassingly bad?', 'What if I get lots of hate comments?'.

I actually made my first couple of 'draft' blogs private - I'd write about random things and hope that no one would ever find out about it. Eventually, and I'm not even sure what pushed this - I took the plunge and decided to start a public beauty blog. At the time, I didn't expect it to last for more than a couple of months. It was a challenging process on a personal level, and I took it all one small step at a time. I didn't know what to expect from blogging, and initially I was too anxious to even comment on other blogs, or reply to anyone on social media. I would be worried that people would call me out on being silly, awkward or weird - something I'd endure a lot in real life, especially in the past.

The truth is, blogging has helped my anxiety in more ways than I could ever have anticipated. One good thing about the virtual world is that when you write blog posts or interact with people online, it's far more of a 'controlled environment'. You are not put out on the spot (which is actually one of my biggest fears), and you have the time to think about everything you want to say. Slowly, I went from being too anxious to reply to a comment, to visiting other blogs, reaching out to fellow bloggers and connecting with people on social media. And I can honestly say that the blogosphere is the most friendly, supportive and welcoming community that I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. As a blogger, I have never been judged, rejected or called awkward. I have met some truly wonderful people, who I now have the honour of calling my friends. Blogging has helped me to build up more courage and confidence - and not just online, but in the real world, as well.

I guess that the main message behind this post is this - if you are thinking about starting a blog, but you're unsure and have your doubts - just go for it. Do not let your insecurities get the best of you, do not let anxiety hold you back and make you miss out on amazing opportunities. I know that it's always 'easier said than done', but I have been in that position, too. It's never too late to start a blog, and there is always room for new bloggers. Give it a shot, and take it slow - you never know what may come out of it. For me, blogging has been an amazing experience and I honestly think that everyone should have their own blog! What I thought would be a challenging environment, ended up being my sanctuary - cheesy as that may sound.

I hope that you don't mind this slightly long and different post. This is something that I wanted to talk about for a long time, but it's been difficult to find the right words!

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