How to fight the impostor syndrome.
You know that you need to start building up your brand on LinkedIn. You’ve been writing some thoughts down but can’t find the courage to hit that ‘Publish’ button. You are thinking that people will come and judge you and criticize you harshly.
Well, you are not alone. We’ve all been there at some point. Everyone who is writing on LinkedIn had moments of self-doubt and struggling with impostor syndrome. Today, I want to share several mindsets that you can adopt to hesitate less and create more.
1. We are all writers.
We all write every day. Emails, text messages, your daily journal if you have one — writing is a tool of thought that is available to everyone and some choose to polish to perfection. It can be your therapist, your meditation, and a friend that is always ready to listen. But also, it can be your mightiest weapon of shaping your mind, sculpting your identity, and of course, manifesting your future.
Accept writing is a natural part of your identity. You don’t have to label yourself a writer to be one. Write for selfish reasons, among which, becoming a better thinker must be the first one.
Write to have a more organized mind, write to generate a flow of thoughts that is coherent and smooth, write for the sake of creative self-expression. And, a good idea would be to write for confidence.
Confidence is a habit. You do things that scare you — once, twice, multiple times, and at some point, they don’t scare you anymore. You are confident in your own ability to do something just because you had the experiential confirmation of said ability.
Open yourself to the process of creation knowing that this process is always messy, always full of mistakes, tests, and trials, and always leads to the redefinition of self-rewriting your core identity.
Writing is already a part of you, a very natural part. Feed it with your energy, amplify it, sharpen your skills, and one day you will be able to produce words that will move people, educate them, and inspire them to take action.
2. To be good at something you have to push past the phase when you suck at it.
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” ~ Richard Bach
The first essay I published in 2017 was atrocious. All these years I had a chance to come back and edit it but I never did. Why? It serves me a reminder. Not of my skills (writing is an art with no ceiling). But of my overall growth, a learning curve, a journey as a storyteller. It reminds me that for every path, there is a starting point. You have to make the first step to one day find your momentum. What makes you stop to catch your breath now, will one day be as seamless as breathing. And that in itself contains a valuable tip.
Write as you speak and with time you’ll get better at writing. Get better at writing and you will inevitably become a better speaker.
That is the way you can find your voice. Speak with it. Go to the emptiness within you to find a creative spark, let it kindle your mind, and your mind will find the way to put the movement of your spirit into thoughts.
Don’t quit. Perfectionism is imperfect. Give your creations a right to exist. “It ain’t pretty but it’s working.” If that is your approach, you will get to the level of aesthetics too. And what is aesthetics at the end of the day? There are no absolutes in art. Only perspectives.
Treat your writing as a path of mastery. There is no ceiling, and there will certainly be times when you will hit a plateau. But if you push through the chasm of this seeming stagnancy you will get to your breakthrough points. Consistency guarantees results.
3. Embrace the beauty of the present moment.
What I create, I create in this very moment. I am not static. I am not set in stone. I am constantly flowing. And so are my words.
What I say today makes sense for the “I” that I am today. The words that will be written by my hand several years from now might not be in alignment with what was said in 2021, and can even sound contradictory. But that is the whole point of growth — to become a new being, with a new level of consciousness, a higher level of understanding, and a deeper level of insight.
If someone comes back to me saying, “you know what? you were so dumb and so wrong.” I won’t feel offended. Maybe I am dumb. Maybe I am shortsighted and say things that make others think that “that kid is way over his head”. But isn’t that the whole purpose of writing? To be no longer dumb. To strengthen your intelligence. To expose yourself so that those who are wiser could have an opportunity to stop by and correct you.
Embrace the present moment. There is something utterly beautiful, deeply meditative, and infinitely captivating in seeing how words are flowing out of your fingertips. How sentences are self-assembling from the deceiving simplicity of 27 letters. Surrender to the present moment of creation and lose your SELF in the flow. Whatever comes next is irrelevant. The future doesn’t exist yet, and when someone comes to criticize they will be late — you won’t be there anymore.
4. Think service.
A writer never writes for himself. He writes for his readers. Those who say that they are doing it for their own consolation are only deceiving themselves.
Do you want to find the courage to put yourself out there? Commit to a mission that is bigger than you.
We concentrate a lot on what will happen if we say things. We think much less about the consequences of things that we chose not to. This world is full of problems because of 2 things — the overconfidence of stupid people, and the timidity of those who have something worthwhile to say.
Self-doubt is an indication of intelligence. The smarter you are, the higher is your capacity to envision scenarios in which things can go wrong. Use this capacity to your advantage. Imagine all the variations of the future in which your creative work makes a difference in someone’s life.
I too have thoughts like, “Who am I writing this for? Who cares? I want to say something of substance but maybe I am just contributing to the noise.” But then once in a while, I get a message from a stranger who is grateful for the fact that he found my writing. And it keeps me going. I know that if my work uplifted just one single soul when they needed it the most my writing served its purpose. I served my purpose.
You too will find your people — people for whom you will become a source of force, a pied-a-terre that they will use to turn the current of their lives and transform into something they have previously never dared to imagine. That will be your fuel. And that will become your fire. Never shy away from an opportunity to serve others. This is the most selfish thing you will do in your entire life.
5. Do it scared.
This is a hashtag that so many content creators use on LinkedIn. But it is more than a hashtag. It is a philosophy.
When it comes to dealing with fear there are only 2 options really — you either face it or you live in it. What choose you?
Life is too short to be small, shy, and insecure. Seek freedom from your mind that tells you that there are things that you can’t do. Your mind is a tool — you either learn how to use it or you abandon your duty as its master and let it use you.
Do it scared. Create. Post. And see what happens. The results just might surprise you.
And who knows? Maybe I shouldn’t post this essay too. There is a destructive impulse in me that wants me to press and hold that Backspace button until there is nothing but blank space. But I will hit Publish.
Because maybe, just maybe these words will find you and you will become that next great creator who leaves your mark on the web and inspire others.