Two and a half years ago I was just about ready to quit blogging.
First, because I thought there was nothing new to learn. I knew it all, I had reached the top of the mountain, and there was nowhere else to go from there.
Second, because I didn’t get much pleasure out of writing articles anymore. It was not challenging me anymore.
It was a rough time for me, considering that my income was a direct result of my ability to consistently produce new content.
I believe that creativity is directly tied to our ability to interpret work as play, and in order to do so, we must constantly work towards becoming better at our craft.
Since I thought I knew it all, there was no incentive to find ways of improving myself as a blogger.
Accidentally, I shared a couple of blogging tips with my readers. Until then, I had only ever wrote one article about blogging, way back in 2012, an while it was my most popular article ever, I had never thought of it as a topic worth writing about.
Talk about missed opportunities, right?
When I realized that my blogging tips were quite popular with my audience, I decided to launch The Art of Blogging.
It was supposed to be a side-hustle, nothing too wild, just so I could supplement my blogging income.
And the more I researched the topic, the more I understood that, in fact, I knew nothing.
Shoshin: You Know Nothing
When we learn a new skill, we embrace a beginner’s mindset. We’re willing to listen to those who know more than we do. We are curious. We seek to improve ourselves.
As we become better at that skill, we kind of let go of this mindset. That is a mistake.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I wasn’t willing to search for that information.
And, to be honest, it took me a while to even accept the fact that there were so many things I didn’t know about blogging. From the best way to write headlines to the importance of properly formatting your articles.
When we think we know something, we sometimes like to disagree with the information that tells us how little we know. After all, there’s quite a lot of mental discomfort in admitting you know nothing.
Well, the more I realized I knew nothing, the more I could improve myself.
And progress means happiness.
The Best Way to Learn Something Is to Try to Teach It
Odds are I would have given up on blogging altogether if it weren’t for my desire to share a couple blogging tips.
When you try to teach someone something, you are also comparing the information you already know with other sources.
Also, as I shared my ideas with others, their feedback taught me a great deal about strategies that I had never considered before.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but as I rediscovered the freedom and satisfaction of thinking like a novice, I realized that it was better to think that one knows nothing.
In order to develop a beginner’s mindset we must:
- be willing to admit that we know nothing
- let go of our desire to be right
- be curious to know more about the perspectives and ideas of those around us
If blogging feels like it’s not worth it anymore, I highly suggest you embrace a beginner’s mindset.
Being an expert or an authority in any field has its benefits. We are more self-confident, more emotionally resilient, and we take pride in adding value to others and helping them solve problems.
But at the same time, the moment you think there’s nothing new to learn, or there’s no way to improve, that’s when everyone else starts to surpass you.
We don’t reach the top of the mountain to stay there. We don’t even do it, so we can look down at others. We do it because that’s when we realize how many other mountains are left to conquer.