Screw The Shame, Hit Publish Anyway
Your insecurities and life experiences might hold a valuable life lesson for someone else.
When I first wrote something for Medium in 2017, my only aspiration was to share an expense tracking spreadsheet I made. It helped me get a grip on my own spending and I thought it could be useful to others who needed to sort out theirs as well. I shared some tips on meal prepping too, since I was heavily into that.
I didn’t give writing much further thought.
At that time, I wasn’t ready to share any of my thoughts with the world; too insecure to be judged or stand tall for a viewpoint of my own. I have now made a commitment to myself to get past that “fear” with writing as my preferred medium. On Medium.
Every day my list of bookmarked articles to read gets longer and longer. I realise this content is written by individuals who dare to show up and eventually hit publish to share a piece of wisdom and experiences with the potentially millions of users on the platform.
I used to be dead afraid of feedback. What if… [fill out any possible scenario that shouldn’t be taken into account here].
The more I write, the more I see that people don’t care all that much as I initially thought. There might be one or two friends who read what I write. Occasionally. They don’t judge and care less because they’re too busy living their own lives.
My focus doesn’t have to be theirs and vice versa.
What do I see here? Endless opportunity. To learn from others. To explore opinions, viewpoints, stories and insights.
I want to see what happens when I continue to go down this road. No matter what the outcome of the journey will be, I know I’ll be better for it.
Fail forward to greatness
I see the journey as forever-ongoing. Self-development never stops. At what point will you stop to think “I am now good enough and ready to decay”? Probably never.
There will always be something new to learn. From strangers you share brief moments with in the public sphere, that video you watched the other day that sparked a thought, and in stories that others dare to share.
What about feeling ashamed for how you write right now?
Choose to fail forward, word by word, article by article. It’s what I’m doing right now. I don’t see the point of sharing something with the world once it’s absolutely flawless and perfect. That’s not an attainable goal anyway.
Share your work now, receive and implement feedback, write, repeat.
Keep your eyes open to how we are cruising on this scenic route, together, yet separately, whether we’re speeding like a maniac and writing something daily, or taking the time for paced breaks to enjoy all the sights and stories that pop up behind each bend.
And shame regarding what you write about?
I was discussing this during a virtual co-working session the other day.
How you got here probably isn’t flawless and linear. You can hide behind your story, unwilling to accept past choices you made under different circumstances.
You can try to bury the past and reject the fact that those experiences play a role in who you turned out toady.
Or you can stand up tall and straight, and say:
“This is my story. I might as well own it.”
You have your story. Choose to own it. Now put it to good use.