500 Days of Blogging: A Reflection on What I’ve Learned

500 days of blogging
500 days of blogging
Photo from: Unsplash

This past Monday when I had uploaded the post titled Random Acts Of Kindness To Police Officers, I noticed a little trophy symbol on my website. 

The trophy was for an upload streak – an upload streak of 500 consecutive days. 

It feels like just yesterday that I made the decision to start blogging on a daily basis. Now, here we are 500 days later, still going strong…

I have always been a person of comfort. From weighing out every decision, my fear of being judged by others, to my resistance of wanting to feel any amount of discomfort. It wasn’t until I got so fed up with the current state of my life that I finally made the decision to say yes to doing whatever was required of me to live a better one. Today, I am pleased to say that the life I had always dreamed of living, well, I am now living it. 

Why Start A Blog?

One of my biggest fears in life has always been the fear of being judged. I knew that if I wanted to overcome that fear of being judged, then I was going to have to embrace the fact that I was going to be judged. 

The best way to overcome this fear: to put it all on out there for everyone to see. I was going to share every aspect of my life with others. That way, if I was going to be judged, at least I would be judged for the real me instead of trying to be the person that others wanted me to be. 

I mean, how was I going to live a meaningful life if I wasn’t willing to be the person that I am? True meaning is about sharing every area of your life and loving yourself for all of the good, the bad, and the in-between. 

The second thing that I had to ask myself, is what if people didn’t read my blog? Would I be okay putting my life on blast if it wasn’t going to benefit anyone? Was I willing to get more personal than I ever have before if others didn’t deem my writing as important? 

While these may be valid points to consider, the truth is, my writing is important. Even if it wasn’t important to others, it would be important to me. 

For years I had been holding onto my truth to try and blind it from others, but all it did was cause me to drive myself to the near brink of insanity. Who cares if others didn’t think my writing was important, it was important for me to finally release all of the thoughts and emotions that I had bottled up for years. 

500 days of blogging

There Is No Such Thing As Perfection

It took me twenty-five years to realize this, but there is no such thing as perfection. While I tried desperately to be perfect my entire life, I finally realized that I don’t need to be perfect. 

With writing and with life in general, I would always tell myself to wait for the right time. What I was failing to realize, though, is that there’s no such thing as the right time, just like there’s no such thing as perfection. There are always going to be obstacles and challenges that will stand in my way. But the longer that I allow these obstacles and challenges to hold me back, the more of my life I simply wasting away.

It doesn’t matter what has happened in my past, the illnesses that I have had to overcome, or the failures that I have endured. All that matters is that I use today as a new opportunity to create the life that I want for myself from this point forward. 

The Start of A Daily Blog

At first, my goal was to challenge myself by writing daily for a year. Every single day for 365 days straight, I was going to try to think outside of the box and push myself out of my comfort zone. 

And it worked. I successfully completed that challenge. By the end of it, I felt empowered. I felt as if there was nothing that I wasn’t capable of achieving. Here I was, carving out hours of my day to pursue a goal of mine, and while it was not, and still is not easy, I had successfully completed it.

After realizing how much I enjoyed writing, I was finally able to let go and just write. I wasn’t worried about being judged by others, whether or not people read my blog, or any of the mistakes that I would make along the way. My only focus was on releasing my thoughts and just being me. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t afraid to hide the true me. 

Seeing Growth In Life

500 Days of Blogging

The best part about blogging for me is the growth that I started to see. As I dove deeper and deeper into my thoughts, my life started to change in many incredible ways. No longer did I see myself as insecure or weak, but rather, I saw myself as powerful and fearless.

As I have reached the halfway point of my next challenge (which is blogging for 1,000 days straight) here are some of the most valuable lessons that I have learned from the first 500 days of blogging. 

  1. Always Set A Goal That Feels Exciting

While writing in and of itself didn’t always feel exciting, the thought of turning my life around and finding out what it meant to live a happy and meaningful life did.

I became committed to my goal of writing daily for 365 days straight because I knew that if I could achieve something that I wasn’t necessarily the best at (such as writing), then I would never be able to come up with another excuse for why it is that I couldn’t achieve something. 

It was the thought of being able to look back on where I started and seeing just how far I had come that excited me and kept me motivated on all of the days when I just wanted to quit. 

2. Giving Up Is Never The Answer

There are plenty of days where I felt like giving up. With my soon-to-be previous job, I would work at from 8am to 8pm on the last day of every month. I’m sure you can imagine how I felt when I came home from a twelve-hour day (thirteen if you include the commute). Using any ounce of the little energy that I had left to sit down and write was the last thing that I wanted to be doing. But I knew that if I didn’t write and if I instead just gave up on myself, then I would regret that decision for the rest of my life. 

Plus, what would I be teaching myself by simply giving up from being tired? That I didn’t have the strength to fight through when the going got tough? That I wasn’t capable of achieving anything worth obtaining? Or that I was too weak to achieve any of my goals? Well, had I given up, these are the exact beliefs that I would have been reinforcing in my mind. 

3. Challenge Yourself Daily

Every single day that I hit that publish button, I was overcoming a fear – a fear of sharing my thoughts with the world. But the more that I hit publish, the more this fear of mine slowly started to diminish. After a while, I began to get excited at the thought of challenging myself. There is so much out there that I am capable and deserving of, but I just never gave myself the chance because of the limiting beliefs that I had concluded within the walls of my own head. 

We are all capable of far more than we give ourselves credit for. Part of challenging ourselves, though, is to accept the fact that we are going to sometimes fail. But just because we fail once doesn’t mean we are failures for the rest of our lives. We only become a failure permanently if we quit challenging ourselves to be better and settle for being mediocre. 

4. Fear Is The Enemy of All Success

I used to fear the thought of failure. I wanted everything to think of me as perfect and I strived for years to please others. Even the slightest failure would leave me feeling insecure. 

It got to the point where I was so prioritized with the thought of being perfect that I allowed myself to live in a world that was controlled by my fears. I had lost friends, burned relationships because I feared others seeing my flaws. When somebody would get close, I became a master at pushing them away. 

With blogging, you are going to make mistakes. That’s just part of it. And thankfully I made many early on because it taught me that making mistakes wasn’t going to kill me. In fact, it was going to do the exact opposite. It was going to give me life!

If we allow ourselves to live in a world of fear, then we aren’t allowing ourselves to make mistakes. If we aren’t allowing ourselves to make mistakes, then we aren’t allowing ourselves to grow. And if we aren’t allowing ourselves to grow, then we are never going to achieve any level of success. If you want success, happiness, or to simply achieve any of your goals, then you need to get over the fears that are holding you back. If you aren’t willing to, then you are never going to know what you could have achieved.

500 Days of Blogging

Similar to everything that we do repeatedly, blogging has become not just a habit, but a part of my life. Not only do I do it because I want to inspire others to make the most out of the opportunities that they have in front of them, but also because I need to use it as the outlet that it has been for me. 

Blogging has been a great way to release my thoughts, to hold myself accountable to my words, and to challenge myself to be better each and every day. If people read my blog, then they read my blog. If they don’t, then they don’t. If they judge me, then they judge me. 

None of this really matters to me anymore, though. I mean sure, it’s nice to get recognition for my work, but I can honestly say that I don’t need the recognition of others to be happy anymore. I am proud of all that I have accomplished and proud of the fact that I have pursued a goal for more than 500 consecutive days. And to me, that’s what matters the most.

Michael Bonnell

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