This isn’t one of those ‘3 tips to drastically change your life’ posts. If you’re looking for ways to increase your own confidence or value yourself better, unfortunately there’s a good chance you’ve come to the wrong place. Maybe in the future, if I do find something that works for me and I think can work for others, I’ll hopefully share it with you.
You may have noticed the word hopefully in the opening statement and that’s what this post is about.
You may be thinking that it’s totally within my power to decide whether or not I share my thoughts, feelings, opinions and learnings to a wider audience? After all, I’ve been part of countless discussions on the subject of testing, I’ve given talks on the subject and written countless more documents that have been used to deliver software. Yet for some reason, when it comes to sharing to a wider audience I freeze.
The writing part I find relatively easy. I can be sat on a train and a thought or inspiration will come to mind, normally triggered by a friend or colleague. Out comes a writing app on the phone and before long there are paragraphs of text on the screen. Most of the time the writing part doesn’t even feel like a conscious effort. Many a time, people have sat next to me when I’ve been writing and they’ve commented on the ease at which word has transferred through finger to screen.
But soon after I’ve stopped writing and I’ve checked for errors and problems with flow, the doubt creeps in. Whilst I’ve been passionate enough at the time to write what I’m now reading, all of a sudden I start to question its value to someone else.
I’ve tried to analyse why this might be…
I do tend to write in the first person, which is definitely one of the issues. Coupled with my own self confidence hold ups, lots of ‘I’s can and does feel pretentious. There’s probably a post in this one issue alone, as I practice to become a better writer.
I also find that I tend to write more about opinions than usable snippets. Thoughts, feelings and analysis are the things I find fascinating. That each and every one of us has our own personal and unique perspective on everything about our world, fascinates me. However, I find that with that level of understanding and acceptance of the world comes another challenge. I know that I can never be correct and I worry that any advice I give, that isn’t used in the correct context, can cause more harm than good. I would absolutely hate to find out that something I’ve shared played a part in someone trying something that inadvertently sent them down a path towards guaranteed failure, because ultimately, I wasn’t able to articulate my thoughts clearly enough.
You’re now probably thinking what I am as I’m writing this – that my fear articulated above is taking things too far and that I do hundreds of actions a day which may inadvertently have a negative impact on someone else. For me the difference is obvious, and i rationalise them away as unconscious actions. Actions which I had not intended to have a secondary or tertiary impact. Compare that to a blog post which I’ve decided to share, a fully conscious decision and the weight of responsibility falls on to me like the weight of a house.
There is a third reason which I’ve contemplated, that I believe deep down that what I write is just rubbish and no one would take anything from any of it. It then becomes all too easy to get to the end of a post and just leave it in my drafts.
But, if you’re reading this then maybe I’ve taken the plunge and finally clicked the button that shares these ramblings with the rest of the world. If that’s the case and you’ve been feeling as insecure as I have, maybe you too can take the brave step and click publish.
I’d love to hear from you if you do!