When I got the message from Linked In that I was invited to publish content, I quickly and eagerly clicked on the Get Started link, and then…
I hate to admit that the appearance of a blank page was quite a shock. What was I going to write about? Who would read it? Who would care? Why would anyone be interested in what I had to say? What made me think I could and should really do this?
So for the next several months, I kept coming back to the blank page, and kept having all of these negative thoughts. I allowed the fear of failure to absolutely paralyze me.
Then one day (today actually!) I came back to that blank page, and a few thoughts entered my head (maybe it was the quiet Friday afternoon in my home office).
Who cares about all of those negative things? What gives me the right to decide for others what they will read, what they will value and what they would be interested in? I don’t have that right. Its not up to me to make that judgment. My right, is to write! My obligation, to myself, is to think about the world, think about things, contemplate the reality of what is going on around and within me, and then, when you stop and think about it, offer a perspective that is really unique.
It’s MY perspective. It’s a perspective that has value, because of my skills, my experiences, and because of all of the collective qualities and characteristics that I bring to the table. Only I bring that collective to the table. Someone else would bring their collective, which includes their skills, experiences and qualities, which would make them unique, but not at all like me.
So I quit “thinking” (and internally whining) about all the reasons why I shouldn’t and what would happen if I did. And I just started typing, in this particular case, about this very topic.
My conclusion, even as I write these words, is that it is not as hard as I thought it would be (after all, I’ve written before, just not to such a potentially large audience), and also that it is much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Why? Because I am writing for the sheer joy of writing, and only to please myself. That fact, in and of itself removed all of the self-imposed pressure.
So, a few words of advice (yes, this is the self help part of today’s program) for those of you that are paralyzed and inhibiting yourself from doing something that deep down inside you really WANT to do.
1) Stop over-thinking it. Boil it down to the simplest of ideas and concepts, and just start. Cold water does not get any warmer as you stand in it knee deep. Dive in.
2) Don’t prejudge how it will be received and then have that paralyze you as well. It will be received however it will be received.Do your best and let it happen. You miss 100% of the shots you DON’T take.
3) Please yourself. Be happy with the output, the outcome, with the result. Produce it to the highest standard you can conceive of, for yourself. You are the best judge of you.
4) If it turns out it isn’t as well received as you may have desired, so be it. Learn from it, and remember that as with any other thing you have mastered in life, you get better as you go along. Early mistakes, can actually make you MUCH better down the line. Practice may not make you perfect, but it improves you a whole bunch.
That’s it. It’s as simple as that.
The Daunting Task of My First Linked In Publish is over! Thanks for reading. Tell me what you think? Was it obvious all along? Was this at all helpful?