I wrote a post in October that almost never was. I wanted to reveal a weakness that could hurt my business. Why did I push the publish button? You cannot let your fear trap you into bad habits.
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Remember the twelve statements below when you feel the fear. Can you afford not be true to your own voice? How long can you hide from your fears?
1. Don’t follow the crowd
The best time to publish is when you have a dissenting opinion. It is scary to say something that goes against popular rhetoric but that doesn’t make it any less worthy to be said. We don’t need your lies, misinformation, and hate speech. That you can keep to yourself.
2. Tell it like it is
Stereotypes were meant to be broken. If you know something, don’t leave us in the dark. The only way out of ignorance is education.
3. Inhibition is your friend
The people who get in trouble for their words are those that forget to think first. Feeling fear is healthy — it means you are thinking about the consequences of your actions.
4. Lessons learned
I think it is always worthwhile to share your embarrassing secrets. That humiliation is what you learn the most from. You can help someone avoid the same fate by having a sense of humor about your foibles.
5. It is all out there somewhere
There is very little expectation of privacy. Separating the personal and professional is a thin line.
6. It is not as bad as you think
I have been daring myself to become more controversial. Every time I do, I find the fear of backlash entering my mind. Usually what happens is that no one takes notice. Perhaps that is worse than criticism, but it is easier on the ego.
7. Awkward is a state of mind
A very wise friend told me this once. Situations become awkward when you perceive them that way. Publish with confidence in your abilities.
8. Contributions are not just for academics
Professionals share insights into their industry. Chances are likely that you have something to say. Adding your thoughts is a way to collaborate with your peers.
9. Express yourself
Putting thoughts into writing is easier for some than speaking them. Your quietness doesn’t mean that you have nothing to offer. You have just as much a right to say something as any of your colleagues. Use your strengths to your advantage.
10. Show your heart
We are living in the era of social storytelling, which is messy and chaotic. Not all that different from relationships in real life. This makes businesses vulnerable. It is also an opportunity to share your values openly with customers. Don’t lose this chance because of fear.
They say in academia “publish or perish.” Keep publishing to rise above the noise. Take comments as feedback on your performance.
12. Do it anyway
Why push that button? Because you did it and now it is over. Sometimes we take risks to see what will happen next. That is reason enough.
Ben Folds makes this case better than I, plus Fraggles! “Do It Anyway” has become my writing anthem. I am putting thoughts to paper that I always felt better left unsaid. Not true. The freedom feels good.
What are your writing goals for 2013? What motivates you to continue pushing the publish button?
Featured image courtesy of Vectorportal licensed via Creative Commons.