It’s OK…give yourself a break

When I was a kid, one of my first tasks of the new year was to sit down and write thank you letters for Christmas gifts.

My mother stood behind me until I ground them out, which meant that by mid-month (at the very, very latest) they were all in the mail.


I’m a lot older now, but I still have a few to write each January (I’m old school, you see)…but now my mother isn’t there to stand behind me to make sure I get them done.

Which means…sometimes…I put them off. And off. And off.

And when it turns February, I get this awful feeling in my stomach.

“Why haven’t you written the thank you letters yet?” my inner voice scolds. “Now it’s February. Christmas is long forgotten. What will your aunt be thinking?”

And then what happens is that the thank you letters become this albatross around my neck.

“You didn’t write them. You’re bad”.

And for some reason that makes me want to write them even less.

And so it gets worse and worse. Then March comes along. Then April.

And then by then…well, it’s way too late to write a thank you letter for a Christmas gift, isn’t it? Better not do it at all.

Funny how the mind works, isn’t it?

How beating yourself up for not doing something actually makes you less likely to do it.

I was talking with Tom Hoobyar, one of my mentors, the other day about what happens when you fail to do something you pledged to do. What he said was profound (to paraphrase): It doesn’t matter that you didn’t do it this time. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just do it now.

And when you think like that…suddenly it becomes easier to get on the horse again. You’re not blaming yourself for being a bad person.

It’s OK you didn’t do something.

Just do it now instead.

It’s the same with newsletters.

I know I bang on and on about the importance of keeping in touch regularly.

But..heck…we all miss a month or two. Even me. And I’m supposed to be the newsletter guy!

So don’t feel bad about it because, like the thank you letters, if you’re too harsh on yourself, you’ll never send another newsletter again. And that would be bad for your business.

Do this instead.

Send your next newsletter out today. Get back on the horse.

It’s OK.