It’s a special day in this neck of the woods. It’s graduation day for my husband. After two-and-a-half years of carrying a heavy course load at school while working a 6 p.m. – 6 a.m. factory shift, he’s finally earned his diploma in electromechanical technology.
But it almost didn’t happen.
A few weeks back he was feeling overwhelmed. Lack of sleep, an endless torrent of homework, and chronic health issues had left him depleted and depressed.
With just five weeks to go til the finish line, he’d hit a wall.
“I can’t do this anymore,” he told me. “I’m dropping out.”
Flash forward five weeks, and my husband has earned his diploma.
Yesterday was the last day of classes, a special occasion celebrated with family, feasting, and soaking up the joy that comes with a hard-won victory.
And now it’s graduation day. More celebrating. More cake
Victory is, indeed, a very sweet thing. And to think he nearly didn’t taste it . . . .
I’m sharing his story because whether we’re working towards a degree, training for a marathon, or pursuing our blogging goals, we all hit a wall sooner or later. But just because we hit that wall doesn’t mean it has to stop us.
The same 3-step process that carried my husband from despair to a degree will work just as well for any of us when we’re sure we can’t write one more post, tweet one more promo, or deal with one more technical set-back.
Here’s how it works:
Talk it out. My husband’s situation turned around in the moment he told me he planned to quit. Up til then, he’d held his self-doubts inside, where they multiplied like a fast-growing cancer. When he opened up about his feelings, I reminded him of all the progress he’d made and how close he was to his goal. Suddenly he saw things from another perspective, and things felt doable again. It’s the same thing with blogging. When we feel unable to go on we need to share those feelings with an encouraging blogging friend who will point out how far we’ve come and remind us of the bright possibilities just around the bend.
Ditch perfection. One of the things that landed my husband in trouble in the first place was an attachment to perfect grades, which eventually ended up paralyzing him to the point of inaction. When he recommitted to finishing school, he knew he had to stop chasing perfection, and simply do his best with the time he had available for schoolwork. That’s how it works for blogging too. If we’re going to continue on towards our goals, we can’t become so obsessed with getting everything right that we avoid submitting guest posts, trying our hand at shooting videos, or releasing our own products. As the saying goes, “perfection is the enemy of done.”
Persevere. Life didn’t become a rosy stroll in the park when my husband decided to push through to graduation. If anything, things got more challenging. He was assigned even more hours at work, a bout of sickness put him on his back, and an instructor added a last minute project to an already staggering course load. Rather than look at the mountain of challenges, however, my husband persevered by completing one paper, one lab assignment, and one exam at a time. Persevering by completing one task at a time has the same result in blogging too. By simply continuing onward, one step at a time, we too will eventually graduate to the next level of our blogging endeavors.
Your turn: What keeps you going when you feel like you’ve hit a wall?
Image Credit: Carbon NYC