I was amazed this week to hear from two of my clients that they were struck by a real fear when asked to publish their insights online.
I was amazed because these are two of the cleverest people I have ever met. Both are brilliant at their jobs and highly successful in their extremely competitive fields.
We all have a bit of a worry about exposing ourselves when we write content but this was a real fear - and one that was preventing them from doing something they really wanted to do and something that would be good for their careers.
This made me think about 'impostor syndrome'. Impostor syndrome is very simply the feeling that you're a fraud. That despite all the evidence to the contrary you are out of your depth and bluffing it. As the article referred to below says you are in great company - many of the most successful people in history felt just like you do
Here at Passle when we write our posts we are able to ask any one of our colleagues to check out what we've written before it goes live on our website (I will ask Claire to check this one). This really helps me as I always choose someone who I trust and like. I know they will give me helpful feedback and importantly I know they will tell me if what I've written is rubbish. This provides me with the confidence necessary to go ahead and create what I hope is useful content. So my advice is get someone you trust to check what you have written before publishing.
Also, have a read about the 'Dunning-Kruger effect' which essentially states that the truly incompetent rate their competence far higher than it actually is and vice versa. Or put more simply dumb folk over estimate what they know and have no fear in sharing it.
So if when creating content you are worried about exposing yourself as a fraud please bear in mind that this exact feeling might well be the thing that identifies you as someone who has something worth saying. So go for it! Otherwise it will just be dumb folk sharing their ideas and there is plenty of rubbish online already :)
Some of the most successful people in history have suffered from secret fear that they’re terrible at their jobs. “I am not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people,” John Steinbeck wrote in his diary in 1938. “I always feel like something of an impostor. I don’t know what I’m doing,” echoed actress Jodie Foster, speaking at a 2007 Women in Entertainment Power 100 event where she was the guest of honor. But is this anxiety-inducing insecurity actually an asset? It’s estimated that 70% of people have imposter syndrome—the feeling that they don’t deserve to be where they are in life.