The biggest surprise of all was how much I learnt about myself in two days.  Over the last two years I’ve had to really re-connect with my family as I went from a full time working mum in England, to a full time stay at home mum in Australia.  It’s been amazing to really get to know my kids and to discover what their little personalities are all about.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not been an easy ride – some days I think they’ve almost driven me to drink, but on the whole it’s been so worth it for me as ‘mummy’.  However, in the process I’ve somehow lost myself a little and have found myself sitting at a crossroad with almost no clue on the direction I’m heading.  I mentioned this briefly the other day when I wrote how I became Mrs D plus 3.

I didn’t realise how lost I had become until I was forced to actually think about.  My ticket to Problogger was booked at the very last minute, and with moving house just a couple of days before I left for the Gold Coast, I didn’t really have much time to prepare.  So I found myself sat on an airport transfer bus on my way to this huge conference where there would be over 400 bloggers in once place with absolutely no idea what I wanted to get from it or why I was even going? So I pulled out my notebook (a cute kiki.K. that I bought especially) and wrote in bold letters:

‘WHAT AM I DOING HERE?’

I then scribble down the following list of questions that I was hoping to find the answers for.

* Am I a real blogger?
* Where do I fit into the blogging world
* Who is Mrs D
* Where do I see myself in the next 2-5 years – could this be a career or just a hobby?
* And a couple of other boring techie things like SEO, Migration to WordPress, Social Media etc that I though I ought to know in A LOT more detail, if I was going to have any chance at being a serious blogger.

So that was the extent of my preparation – done on a 45 minute bus journey (where I spent a lot of time looking out the window).  So to say I felt nervous and under prepared was a bit of an understatement!!  I also thought my questions were very ambiguous and I wasn’t really convinced that I’d find the answers (expect for the techie ones maybe – if the lectures didn’t go over my head).

Right from the opening talk by Darren Rowse of Problogger all those mediocre expectation were blown out the water, and those nervous butterflies that had taken residence in my tummy suddenly felt like fireworks of pure excitement.  I felt as if he was addressing me personally, which was amazing as it made me realise that all my fears and anxieties were exactly the same as everyone else’s!  Maybe I am a real blogger after all??

I could write SO much about what I leant but to keep this post to a reasonable length (I don’t want to be putting anyone to sleep), I’m just going to share a few small moments that resonated hugely with me.

CHANGE by Tsh founder of Simple Mom
I’ve already had such a huge change in my life recently that I wanted take the reins back and hopefully figure out who I am now.

Sitting on that bus made me acutely aware of how I needed to move with the changes around me and listening to Tsh made me realise that it’s actually ok to change.  Change in both personality and life can be a good thing.  She told us that in order to change our direction in life we needed to go right back to basics and figure out what we are most passionate about it.   I needed to figure out what my strengths are and what MY personality traits are.  She even suggested taking an online personality test – which I still might do.

I realised that I am Mrs D and that I need to make my online and offline personalities match in order to be honest and real.

STRENGTHS + PERSONALITY + PASSION = DIRECTION
 
I scribbled down my strengths and passions, and suddenly what I used to think was unrealistic was actually turning into direction.  It was like she had given me a tool to answer my own question rather than answering them for me.  It’s such a great feeling to suddenly see the light at the end of the tunnel.
THE COMPARISON TRAP by Darren Rowse of Pro blogger
This was a great lesson to learn.  It’s something that I’ve always known but have not been very good at following.  My biggest weakness has been comparing my style of writing to those that I admire.  I so often don’t hit that ‘publish’ button because I’m so sure that there is someone else out there that has written what I have but better!  Problogger has taught me that there is only one Mrs D and that collaboration is far better than competition.  There is enough room in my niche (and yours) for everyone and no one else has your voice.  Why do we compare our whole selves to just a snippet of someone else? Seems pretty silly when you think right??
The comparison trap is also something that I can relate to and work on in almost all aspects of my life.  The simple act of being ‘aware of it’ has already made me feel so much better about who I am.
FIGHT BACK WITH AWESOME by Trey Ratcliffe of Stuck in Customs
You know the age old trick of making yourself feel better when you’ve been dumped your girlfriend/boyfriend is to bump into them looking hotter than you ever have before?  Well Trey’s theory on how to deal with criticism is pretty much the same, and I have to say I loved it!!  It’s such a great way to stay positive.  If someone doesn’t like what you do or tries to change you or bring you down, the best way to beat it, is to just be better at what you already do!!  Fight back with awesome!!
Sometimes it’s easier said than done but I’m going to really try and stop worrying what other people think of me.  If people want to be a part of my world then they will filter in by their choice and if they don’t then that’s ok too – we can’t please everyone!!
One other thing that I really didn’t expect was to make such wonderful friends.  I truly met some awesome and fantastic people there and regardless of what they blog about and where they live in, I can honestly say that I have added to my circle of friends.  How cool is that!!!
So as you can see I am pumped so full of inspiration and excitement I literally have rainbows exploding from my brain!!
Have you thought about where you are heading recently?  I dare you to try it!
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38 comments on “Problogger Training 2013. Looking inwards and finding my passion”

  1. I love the messages you presented here that you got from attending PB. I will take them all on board. I can certainly relate the ‘change’ one and yep I have lapsed into the ‘comparison trap’ on occasion. I particularly like the one about strengthening your strengths rather than mastering your weaknesses! Ahhhh – lightbulb moment! Thank you for sharing! BTW – all those questions you wrote down on the bus trip are the questions I would have written too! Min xo

    • Thanks Min, it’s a shame you weren’t there as I would LOVED to have met you. I think we have lots in common. Good luck with going into your second year on the blog – I think you’ll be fabulous!! xxx

  2. I wished I had of went to problogger, but given I didn’t between the tweeting and the blog posts I too am inspired and learning a lot. thanks for that.
    This is the first time I’ve stopped by your blog. I loved your post, off to take a look around and I’ll be adding you to my blog reader. Good luck working out what or who it is you want to be.

    • There’s aways next year Mandy and it would be so great to meet you if you come. I think I am hooked!! Thanks so much for stopping by and also for your great list of good reads over on your blog tonight. All I need now is some peace and quiet and a big glass of wine xxx

  3. Loved your post Mrs D (by the way, you totally ARE Mrs. D!) The overwhelming message I got from PB was “change” also and STOP COMPARING because I’m really guilty of that too! Was lovely to meet you, albeit briefly! Kx

  4. It sounds like the conference was amazing. I didn’t even know it was happening 🙁
    Thanks for sharing what you learned – I love the idea of fight back with awesome. So many areas of my life where I can apply that bit of wisdom

    • Thank you Wendy. Maybe next year you could come too – it would be so lovely to meet you! Fight back with awesome is Great. I loved it. Sending you a hug and hope you’re feeling ok tonight xxx

  5. Oh wow this is just so inspirational. I’ve been seeing Darren’s quote all over the Aussie blogosphere and it’s amazing what an impact he has made. Thanks for sharing the learnings you’ve brought back from PB for the benefit of us who didn’t get to go 🙂

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    • Oh thank you lovely. As my daughter keeps telling me ‘sharing is caring mummy’! I’m so glad you were able to take something away from this post and hopefully we might get to meet at the next conference xxx

  6. I love what you have shared here, but the real question is, where did you get those thongs in the first pic????
    Seriously, (no please tell me), thank you! I couldn’t get to the event, but I have learnt a lot from the blog posts like yours. I especially like when it is what I would take away 🙂

  7. I was already wishing I had been able to go to PB this year and now it sounds like it would have been even more valuable than I thought – personally as well as for my blog/business. Thanks for sharing some of your gains from the weekend, Mrs D.

    Comparing myself with an older version of myself is so obvious but not something I do properly – I think it is a great message from the PB event and from this post.

    And just FYI, if I was comparing myself to you based on this post, I would have to be articulate, honest, open, intelligent and generous to come close.

    • Wow Tash that is a massive compliment – THANK YOU so much. I really did learn so much more than I was expecting but I thin the challenge will now come by trying to put everything I’ve learnt into practice. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post xxx

  8. You are amazing, you have so much to give to everyone out there. This is what you are meant to do Robs. Love you lots SSC xx

  9. Thank you for sharing some of what you learned at Problogger. Sounds like it was really inspiring! I SO hope I can go next year! Meanwhile, I think the one about the comparison trap is really good. Blogging is about sharing your own personal voice. The best blogs (or the ones I like to read) are very authentic. Enjoy those rainbows!

  10. Hi Rob,
    Great post! Sounds like you had a GREAT time. What a wonderful couple of days to find your direction and who you are. Your blog is really inspiring and uplifting, I love reading everything you write.
    Mon xx

  11. Love it babe, thanks for sharing your experience at Pro Blogger!! WIsh I went. I’m a relatively new blogger (1 year young) and you ask me where am I heading?

    In a direction where I will offer EVEN more to all my sensational readers!!! I love it!!! Thanks for daring me!

    Much love and friendship,
    xxDani

  12. Hello, funny how things happen just at the right time. Glad you have some bloggy inspiration as it’s good to have bloggy pals close by… especially speedy swimming ones! Love your photos and I am off to hunt for the post you did about the app you recommend. You do have your own bloggy voice, you know, and that’s really important.

    • Oh thanks Seana. Are you swimming this year with CanToo?? I think I will and it’ll be great to catch up at training. Which App were you looking for?? I can send you the link if you let me know xx

  13. I must say I am lapping up all the PBevent posts. It sounds like such an enlightening and wonderful get together. You just created a little clarity with this post for me as well, so thanks.
    Carolyn

  14. As the ProBlogger event grew near I knew I wanted to go and now it has past I know that I would have benefited.
    Anyway I am experiencing it vicariously through you.
    I love the inspiration of “Strengths + Personality + Passion = Direction”

  15. There were some fantastic learnings from Problogger weren’t there? Trey really took me to another planet with his presentation. It was so lovely to finally meet you! And you are so, so gorgeous IRL! xxx

  16. Wasn’t it a real eye opener, almost like a life coaching session. I still feel as though I haven’t had time to sit down and go through everything, and with school holidays I probably won’t. But I am inspired by what you’ve got out of it – and those awesome photos with slogan, I’m so bad a tech stuff that I have no idea how to do that even, that is also what PB showed me – I need to get WAY more teach savvy. xx

  17. I still feel as though I haven’t had time to sit down and go through everything, and with school holidays I probably won’t. But I am inspired by what you’ve got out of it – and those awesome photos with slogan, I’m so bad a tech stuff that I have no idea how to do that even, that is also what PB showed me – I need to

  18. Wasn’t it a real eye opener, almost like a life coaching session. I still feel as though I haven’t had time to sit down and go through everything, and with school holidays I probably won’t. But I am inspired by what you’ve got out of it – and those awesome photos with slogan, I’m so bad a tech stuff that I have no idea how to do that even, that is also what PB showed me – I need to get WAY more teach savvy. xx

  19. funny how things happen just at the right time. Glad you have some bloggy inspiration as it’s good to have bloggy pals close by… especially speedy swimming ones! Love your photos and I am off to hunt for the post you did about the app you recommend. You do have your own bloggy voice, you know, and that’s really important.

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