I wrote a post in January where I shared the inherent challenge in blogging about what it’s like to be shy or have social anxiety.
Basically, the thing you’re blogging about is also the thing that makes you feel like you should hold back from blogging at all. Here’s that post:
Today I wanted to share some ideas on how to shift your mindset away from self-doubt, self-consciousness, and imposter syndrome, so that you can calm some of that creative anxiety.
I hope you enjoy!
Related post: I’m Having Social Anxiety About My Social Anxiety Blog
#1. Trust that your REAL is better than your “perfect.”
Don’t wait to share your thoughts until that fantasy moment when you finally achieve perfection…
… because that moment will never come.
Even if you get to the place you currently think of as “perfect,” your inner perfectionist will just try to move the bar higher and tell you that you’re still not good enough to relax and feel confident.
Your inner perfectionist is wrong: you are already good enough! Share your voice.
#2. Realize that other people don’t see you the way you see yourself.
I’ve had so many people tell me how shocked they were to find out I have severe social anxiety.
They always thought I was confident and had my shit together. (HA!)
No matter how “honest” we think we are being with ourselves, there’s a very good chance we’re magnifying our own shortcomings and minimizing our strengths.
No one is tracking your ups and downs as closely as you are.
(Have you kept track of every time I’ve made a typo on this blog or shared a thought that wasn’t earth-shatteringly insightful? Almost certainly not.)
Related reading: Ashley from Mental Health @ Home recently did a post called Do Your Blog Posts Say What You Think They Do? on the potential disconnect between what we put out there and how others interpret it. Definitely worth a read!
#3. Keep in mind that you may help people without ever finding out about it.
How often do you read a blog post without leaving a comment, even if you enjoyed the content?
That’s okay! There’s no obligation to engage with a blogger, Instagrammer, YouTuber, or any other kind of content creator. (Although it is usually appreciated!)
So if you’re ever feeling like you aren’t having an impact, just consider that for every person who does like or comment, there could be 10 more who also enjoy your post but (for whatever harmless reason) don’t interact with you.
You won’t always get to know the impact of what you put out there, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t creating value for others.
#4. Accept that you will feel self-doubt.
Fear can co-exist with creativity and expression.
It takes courage to put yourself out there as an imperfect person. It takes strength to show vulnerability. It’s easier to conceal our soft spots, including from ourselves.
If you can learn to accept that you will feel self-doubt and stop trying to fight it, you can redirect that energy toward creating and sharing content even while feeling unsure.
#5. Think of it as joining the conversation.
Not every post has to be epic.
You don’t have to save the world with every piece of content.
Try to create some mental space between your content and yourself. That way, you can think of creating content as contributing your thoughts to the ongoing conversation rather than baring your very soul and deepest self to the world.
Which sounds TERRIFYING even in the hypothetical.
#6. Take your own advice.
Think of what you might tell your best friend if they confided in you and said, “My ideas are garbage. I can’t do this.”
Now tell those things to yourself, because the shy writer inside you needs a best friend, and that best friend is you.
Those are my 6 tips for putting your thoughts into the world even if you struggle with self-doubt! I hope you found them relatable.
These ideas are not (sadly) magic pills that I can just take and then go create content fearlessly. I have to work through shyness and self-doubt every day.
Some days I’m not in the right head space to even want to feel more confident (the self-sabotage struggle is real).
But they do help me: I’ve managed to put out 47 blog posts and 140+ Instagram posts since rebooting my blog and account in November 2019 (aaaaah!!!).
So, from one self-conscious creator to another: YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!
You don’t have to be perfect to bring value to others.
Besides. Has holding yourself back made you doubt yourself LESS? I say we might as well put ourselves out there.
What are some ways you deal with imposter syndrome and that niggling inner voice of self-doubt?
P.S. This post was partly inspired by something I shared on Instagram last Tuesday: