Last week, I went to a blogging event and was delighted to bump into Franca, who blogs at A Moment with Franca. We sat together for most of the day to listen to the speakers.
There were several giveaways throughout the day, where we were to enter by tweeting a tip with a hashtag. On one occasion Franca said something like “I won’t win that…” I told her, “no, don’t say that! Positive mental attitude!”
A little while later, one of the speakers said something – I don’t even remember what – and I said “oh, I’m too lazy to do that!” Franca turned to me and said, “you know, you’ve said that about ten times today!”
I was shocked; it sounded exactly like the kind of thing I would probably have said several times – but in all honesty, I didn’t even remember saying it!
There are two things here.
Firstly: not so long ago, I wrote a post about how we should be careful of the words we use when we talk about ourselves. In that post, I included this Brian Tracy quote:
I try to live by this, and do my best to do that terribly un-English thing, positive self talk. I make the effort to tell myself, I feel great, I feel happy, I can do this, I can cope with this, things are good all the time.
It surprised me to realise that for all the things I say to myself in my head, sometimes – quite often, apparently – words come out of my mouth that are just as bad as anything I would be thinking!
Secondly: this assertion that I’m “too lazy” to make an effort with my blog is, I think, linked to some weird idea that I shouldn’t be making an effort with my blog. As if it’s a terribly geeky and embarrassing thing to do, and I don’t want anyone to think I take it too seriously, or work too conscientiously on it.
The fact is that I do take my blog seriously, and I do work bloody hard on certain aspects of it. I don’t sit up at night worrying about what to post, but I do spend a lot of time researching and preparing posts. I take a lot of photos. I work on my social media presence. I spend time fiddling with the design of the blog.
I don’t think it’s a conscious decision to act as if I don’t work hard, as if I want people to think I can just easily manage to maintain a blog and social media presence, without breaking a sweat or making the slightest effort. I think it’s more that I don’t want people to think I’m making a lot of effort and really care about something that is essentially an online diary. I started blogging before it was cool; in 2000 nobody really knew what a blog was, and when you explained it to them, they still didn’t get it, and tended to think it was a bit of a weird idea: “so you put details of your life online… with photos… for other people to see…” I think perhaps I like to pretend it’s not such a big deal because when I first started blogging, it was a really weird thing to be doing. I don’t like to be judged, so I sort of obscure just how much effort I put into it.
Plus there’s the whole English thing where we never openly admit how much work we’ve put into something, how much it means to us, how much we want it to successful. Women in particular are not supposed to want to be successful, and we’re not supposed to reveal how much time and effort has gone into things: that amazing dinner (“oh, it was easy, really), your hair and outfit for an event (“oh, this old thing?”), your blog.
But what if this is a self-fulfilling prophecy?
What if by saying “oh, I’m too lazy to do that” so often that I don’t even notice I’m saying it, I’m stopping myself from actually getting up off my bum and achieving things? If I can catch myself beforehand, and stop myself saying I’m “too lazy” all the time, can I improve my productivity and therefore my success? And not just in blogging, but in everything?
The fact is that I am often lazy – but by constantly saying that, I’m reinfocing my laziness, not stopping it in its tracks!
My plan is to try and catch myself, and say something else instead. Perhaps “yep, I can do that” or “I could try that” or even “yes, I do that and it really works.”
No more declarations of laziness! I’m not running a t shirt company here, after all (don’t pretend you don’t know the company I mean).