July 22, 2010

Improving Myself by Checking Out Others


I’m participating in a program to improve my blog. The SITSGirls is a community for empowering and encouraging women bloggers to be who they are, who they want to be but mostly to just be themselves. It’s an amazing community and there is so much support. Women supporting women, that’s truly the secret.

Today’s activity is to look around the blogosphere and find blogs we look up to and determine what is it that makes us look up to them. We’re supposed to then try to glean little golden nuggets of awesomesauce and figure out how to incorporate them into our blog. All without being creepy and stalkerish. Or high schooly and petty.

And that got me thinking about personal growth and self improvement. I remember being a freshman in high school and looking up to the senior girls and trying to figure out how they do it. I wanted to be one of the cool kids as I went through high school and I figured that if I watched and learned I’d achieve some level of status. I could tell you that I was the ultimate cool kid at my school but I’m not a liar. And you probably wouldn’t believe me anyway. So why even kid myself.

I think we always find people to look up to. As little kids, we’re looking to an older sibling or family member. At a new job we’re watching how other people navigate the choppy waters of corporateness. As bloggers, we’re trying to figure out the protocol of how to talk to someone on twitter or how to get that cool thing on our blog that bigger blogger has on theirs. So we watch, peer in to that inner circle, and then go home and practice all the coolness we’ve seen.

So many life coaches and self-improvement experts may disagree, but I think looking outward into the community, whatever that specific community may be, for guidance as to norms and rules and how things work is normal. It’s not about copying someone else. We each have our own unique style and talents. We each have our own voice and would sound fake and come off as a big phony if we copied rather than emulated someone we looked up to.

We’re not kids who get annoyed when little sibling follows us around. But at the same time, we don’t want someone coming in and stealing our thunder. We dont’ want to look like we’re wrapped up on a soap opera and planning our next dramatic moment. Our blogs are how we comment. And there’s nothing wrong with trying to be better.

Blogging is about being yourself. But just like we look at magazines and learn about ourselves, reading other blogs and websites gives us personal insight too. There are sites that I love because they are bold and loud and the writing is unapologetic and sprinkled with profanity. I won’t do that with my blog. It wouldn’t be me. I guarantee you though, that I will glean some golden nugget that I will use to make my site better.

We can all look in the mirror, but often self-improvement comes from watching others and challenging ourselves to step out of our comfort zone.

How do you find inspiration for self-improvement? Where do you look to learn how to ‘kick it up a notch’? Who inspires you to put a little bit of BAM! into your life (or blog)?



Maureen July 22, 2010 at 5:06 am

I’m so behind, I haven’t even finish catching up with all the awesome task from day 2 😀
This is a very thought provoking post you got and very well written. I think the blogsphere is such an amazing place that we really can get ‘inspired’ by many different blogs and I’m not one who limited myself. When I see something truly is inspiring I’ll definitely come back to read for more. 😀

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang July 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

Sara, What a great post! I think you are so right. Sure, there is a line between copying other’s ideas, etc. But drawing inspiration and strength from others ~ that is what we are supposed to do, right?! That is the beauty of humanity.

I love the blogsphere. It got me through the move from TX to AZ and showed me a side of myself I never would have known.

Sunshine July 22, 2010 at 10:12 am

What a GREAT post! I was inspired to write even though I was a little skeptical but able to release built up stress and just let it all it became such a wonderful feeling. I love writing in my blog and I love reading what others have to say or their experiences. We learn from one another. Great Job….

Honey July 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Hi Sara,

I am so excited to finally get the book. I can’t wait to get started.

I needed the reminder to be myself and be unique and stop trying to be like everyone else.

I love your blog. Your articles are always thought provoking.


Hollee July 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Sara — I look up to you! You are such a faithful reader, and I wish I could be disciplined enough to read all of the blogs that deserve my attention. Right now, I just try to stick to a few, but I am going to start trying a few more, as you suggest. I was too busy with the book deadline, but now is the time!

Ramblings of a Woman July 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Hi Sara!
I love this post, you are an awesome writer with a lot of wisdom! I did read in another post you’ve only been blogging for 7 months, I have for 2 months and I still feel lost most days!
I have looked around and enjoy your content and the fact that you are saving for “someday” and that your tagline is Stop wishing, Start doing. I wrote a post recently that tied to this so well that I just had to link to your blog! Come visit and see! http://bernicewood.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/bucket-list-saving-for-someday-and-superwoman-not/

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