It happens pretty much every time I start typing.
I have this voice in the back of my head telling me "I'm not enough." It says things like:
- "You're not an expert in this field, stop lying to yourself."
- "You're not going to succeed doing this, give up and go back to a safe job."
- "You're not even a good writer. Fold up the laptop and turn on Netflix."
Sometimes I cannot get this voice to shut up.
When I first started writing and creating content online this voice would keep me from sharing my work. Sometimes, I would write my content on my private GoogleDoc and never share it with the world.
I would rework and rework and rework. I can't tell you how many articles I have stored on my personal drive.
The articles still lay dormant.
Internal Fraud is something that plagues all creatives.
Maybe perhaps it only plagues the creatives that are worth their salt…
And that's you right?
You're one of those people that doubts themselves and often thinks this revolution you're looking to create might be near sighted.
There are two types of people in this world.
- There are the Dreamers
- There are Actualizers
The Dreamers stay in their head. They stay in their home. They stay with the romantic love that doesn't push them forward. They stay at that cubicle job they hate.
Hell, they stay mediocre.
The Actualizers get out of their head. They go and experience new places. They push themselves to find someone who pushes them to be better. They tell their boss to screw off and they forge their own success.
They become extraordinary.
Extraordinary is a funny word.
What exactly does it entail?
Well, it definitely starts with ordinary. It starts with "normal" it starts with average.
But it's extra-ordinary. It's ordinary but to a stratospheric level. It is being the same as all the people around you and taking a few steps in increase your value.
The extraordinary person still has the doubts, fears, and anxieties that the ordinary person next to them has.
They still feel that their writing sucks (damn you internal critic!), they still think that the market is cluttered with competition, they still think that there is an easier route to take (cubicle, commodity corporate job perhaps).
They choose to double down on themselves.
There were so many questions I started to ask myself when I tried to rationalize my writing.
- My audience isn’t big enough (well when will it be big enough?)
- They think I’m not credible (well who really is credible? You’ve done your research).
- They think their product or service isn’t “good” (let the market decide that, not you).
- There are so many people selling the same thing! (No two products are completely alike. You are a creative, you offer your own spin on things).
I had this dialogue with myself for quite some time.
I was going back and forth with myself trying to answer these doubting questions.
After some considerable amount of time had passed, I realized I needed to double down on myself.
What were my alternatives? I could take a miserable job again. I could complain. I could gossip. I could blame.
None of that would bring my joy and fulfillment.
I needed to go all in.
I recently heard a statistic that I have connecting to my life as a creative and investing in myself over all other things in life.
According to Worldwatch Institute, a plane uses up to 25%, sometimes more, of its fuel reserves on takeoff alone in order to achieve flight. Just to get up to the proper altitude and cruising speed a plane expenses a significant amount of its fuel.
I started to connect this to my life as a creative and a writer.
I saw within myself, how much energy was going to be needed in order to "take off" with my creative career.
I couldn't just expect the stars to align and for things to fall into place.
I needed to decide I was going to be a writer. I needed to decide I was going to make hundreds of thousands of dollars. I needed to decide I was going to inspire millions of people.
When I decided on this. When I chose myself overall. When I looked at fear in the eye and didn't blink, my Internal Fraud Complex began to diminish.
Now I chose to use the word "diminish" and not "disappear" on purpose.
Why do you brush your teeth?
To diminish the probability of plaque build up, gum disease, gingivitis, and cavities. There is no way on Earth you are going to get these things to disappear completely.
Furthermore, you have to work towards it. You cannot just brush or floss once (damn you flossing!) and expect your dental health to be in tact over the course of your life.
You need to work towards improving that aspect of your health day in and day out.
This is true as life as a creative as well.
You need to work towards your goals everyday. You will experience the doubts in your head telling you you're dumb, that you can't, that your work is bad etc.
The key is to confront this reality and truth and use it to your advantage.
The struggle will never end.
You will be faced with a blank canvas and an empty imagination at times. You will have the blinking cursor taunting you as you feel the paralysis at your fingertips.
The key is to remember you've double downed on yourself. You've spent all this energy lifting off into the stratosphere.
You have this one life and one chance to make your millions, supplant your influence and make your mark on the world.
What is the alternative?
To go back to the job you hate? To fall back into the arms of the mediocre lover? To operate in this body you don't feel comfortable in?
I say to hell with all of that.
Double down on yourself, wake up and actualize those dreams.
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