Likelihood is, if you clicked this link, you are totally with me when I say that the biggest thing getting in the way of your success is you.
That, or you saw "cockblock" and the click-bait worked.
Just in case you're not with me this is what I mean:
UrbanDictionary defines a "cockblock" as "one who prevents another from scoring sexually".
I'm not interested in your sexual prowess, so in this context I mean "one who prevents themselves from scoring success".
No one wants to be their own cockblock. But there are so many ways to get in the way of your own success: perfectionism, fear, procrastination, burn out, self-doubt.
I am guilty of every single one of these at one time or another.
But how do we learn to let ourselves be successful when so many of these are embedded in our psyche?
Here's a couple of small steps you can take to combat each block:
Cockblock #1 Perfectionism
Start small with this one.
The fact they're daily or weekly also helps to put a time limit on your work (goodbye endless reworks on Photoshop).
Then go a bit bigger. Share the odd practice sketch on Instagram Stories. You could even brave the grid with a page of your sketchbook.
And when you're more confident sharing your work, you can join me on IGTV with #sketchbooksaturdays and give us a tour of some old sketchbooks!
These little practical steps do wonders for changing your mindset. Once you begin to share and see that the world doesn't turn on you for one line out of place, you will start to break down the perfectionist filter and care more about connecting through your work.
And please always remember, your followers don't like perfect. They can't reach you through the veil of perfectionism because it's not real. People want to know you, support you and grow with you. If everything is perfect off the bat, you're denying them a stake in your journey.
Cockblock #2 Fear
Stealing this one from Leona Thrift-ola for a sec:
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Did you just eye roll? Like, yes, if it was that easy... I'm with you. But hear me out.
Fear is a base instinct. It is super helpful because it alerts us to danger. It was the best when we were cavewomen. because it helped us run from tigers, hide from predators and gave us a much needed adrenaline boost in life or death situations.
Thing is, technology has evolved quicker than we have. Our bodies still think we're running from tigers on the daily.
So when we feel nervous about an upcoming event we're speaking at, sharing something controversial online or doing something different to the status quo, that same fear rises up and sometimes prevents us from doing the emotionally scary, but otherwise totally safe thing.
Your body doesn't get that it's a different thing yet.
So, the next time your fear whispers "maybe not" in your ear, feel free to tell it to shut up because you're not in a room full of tigers, you're perfectly safe.
Cockblock #3 Procrastination
Remember when you really needed to revise for your GCSEs and instead you got a real craving to get back into The Sims?
Hello procrastination, old friend!
I am such a motivated and organised person, but even I can get caught in the web and binge-Netflix and addictive game apps from time to time.
There is so much advice out there on how to defeat procrastination, but these actionable tips are the most effective in my experience:
Take your work outside.
Walk to your local coffee shop. Lug your laptop the whole way, send approx £3 on coffee and sit down. You do not want to waste that money and effort for a measley 2 mins work A great reason to stay put and work for a few hours without the usual distractions around you.
Plant a forest.
There are two ways to do this: the Forest app or a migration forest in your bujo. I use both.
The Forest app is great for keeping you off your phone. You set a timer for how long you want to go screen free. If you leave the app before the time is up, your plant dies. But if you manage it, you get to plant a shrub as a reward. It's super cute because you can view your weekly forests, and if you're a plant lover like me, that's all the motivation you need!
A migration forest is a tool in your bujo where you set parameters to make sure you're being productive and not just moving things from list to list in an endless cycle of not doing things. Mine, for example, is that if I finish 10 tasks within 3 migrations, I can plant a tree. If I migrate a task more than 3 times, it doesn't count.
Make your deadline public.
It's easy to dismiss self-imposed deadlines, but not if you've shared it with your expectant followers. Just telling someone helps keep you accountable and therefore more focused.
Cockblock #4 Burn Out
Burn out is the worst. You've literally worked yourself so hard your brain turns to mush and the little fiery spark that keeps you going fizzes out. And I cannot stress this enough:
This is why we have to take breaks.
You will not last if you are going hell for leather 24/7. You'll also find it harder and harder to keep producing work of a high quality.
Think of it this way, if Beyonce needs a few years between albums to make a masterpiece, you need at least a weekend between your amazing creations.
Cockblock #5 Self-Doubt
Last but certainly not least - self-doubt. The biggest thing holding you back from your own success.
But would you believe me if I told you the majority of amazing, industry-leading women I interview for the podcast think they don't have much to offer?
Right?! Because to us, these women are absolutely killing it!
Everyone experiences that feeling of "I'm not good enough yet".
And it's the biggest load of BS I've ever hear.
Let me tell you right now, whatever stage your business is in and regardless how many followers you have, no one is going to hand your dream to you.
Life doesn't work like that. You could be the greatest artist of your generation, but unless you start singing your own praises, no one is going to hear you.
We've believed the myth of "being discovered" for far too long (which is basically the patriarchy making us wait instead of actively pursuing the dream).
So put yourself out there. Say yes to an amazing opportunity even if you don't feel ready yet. Say no if you're not getting the respect or pay that you need to keep working. Do the thing that scares you shitless, because it will make people stand up and notice you. And know that none of us feel ready for our next big step, but doing it is the only way to keep growing and to create the life you want for yourself.