There’s something interesting that happens when one of your projects gains momentum. You start receiving praise from bigger names. More people begin paying attention. Events are planned in your honour and people turn up to hear you speak.
You’re overjoyed because you’ve been working so hard and believe so deeply in your cause. But at the same time, you begin to worry.
Back when no one was paying attention, you could screw up. You could show weakness and vulnerability. But now people are relying on you, now you’ve got something to lose.
The work gets harder
You know you shouldn’t focus on what your audience is expecting and how to keep everybody happy, but you can’t help it.
You’re supposed to stay positive and be inspiring. You couldn’t possibly write about your shitty day or how hard it sometimes is to shut out that inner-bully or how scary it can be to be thrust into the spotlight. You can’t show signs of weakness or people might lose respect and stop perceiving you as an “authority”… right?
Sometimes you muster up the willpower to create something safe and generic that people will even enjoy. There’s a formula and you know what works. But it hurts a little, every time you do that. It hurts when your heart isn’t in your work because your heart is sad and you’re afraid to just say that.
That’s when your project begins to die
The moment you start shielding your heart – the thing that attracted people to you in the first place – is the moment your work begins to suffer.
So here’s some honesty for you
Life is stressful right now. I just moved to a new city and haven’t yet found a place to live. I feel like I have no routine, which makes it difficult to work. I miss my family. I miss my alone time.
WDS was incredible! Absolutely life-altering. But it was also overwhelming. While most people were amazing, I did meet one or two bigger bloggers I look up to who were a little cold. Perhaps they were just distracted, but it still stung. At times it even overshadowed the outpouring of support I received from the dozens of you who thanked me for my work, which in turn made me feel guilty.
My confidence wavered at times and I had to fight to keep it solid. Old issues reemerged, like worrying about sounding stupid or being wrong.
I was talking with my roommate (to be) James. He reminded me that sure, mindset is important. But what’s more important is behaviour.
No matter how awkward I felt, I didn’t let my inner state ruin my weekend. I went with the flow and still got tremendous value out of the experience. I now have a much clearer picture of my direction and a whole lot of new, amazing connections.
I’m also grateful. Grateful that I got to spend time with so many wonderful multipotentialites and unconventional thinkers. Grateful for having such wonderful friends in my life. But most of all, I’m grateful for your trust in me.
I never want to be thought of as a guru
I never want to treat my puttypeep with anything less than the utmost respect. I never want to censor myself or be dishonest in the name of appearing perfect- the way a strong leader “should“.
Puttylike is not an autocracy. It’s a conversation. I learn as much from you as you learn from me. That’s exactly how it should be.
So thank you. Thanks for being a proud multipotentialite, for reading my work, participating in the comments, sending me heartwarming emails and coming to the meetups. Most of all, thanks for inspiring me and for accepting me exactly as I am, flaws and all.