I had a new client in my office earlier in the week who said they were reluctant to post about their business on social media, write blog posts, or go and speak to groups.
Fear of being judged. Getting negative feedback. Saying something wrong and looking stupid.
While it might seem like everyone is putting themselves out there these days, it’s actually still quite common for people to feel reluctant about jumping in.
So, if this sounds like you, here are few bits of advice to help you take that step…
1. The fact that you have a self-filter is a positive thing
The philosopher Plato is quoted as saying, ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
Caring about the quality and value of your message will serve you well. Lord knows a bit of humility in the ‘selfie age’ is a refreshing thing. But…not everything you say has to be earth shattering and there comes a point when it’s time to just get on with it (see next tip).
2. You can’t expect to be perfect all the time
If you are waiting for everything to be completely perfect you’ll probably die in the process. If you have a valuable message, why deprive people of it just because the presentation is not immaculate?
3. The Dunning-Kruger Effect
Research conducted at Cornell University (by David Dunning and Justin Kruger) found that the higher someone’s level of skill related to a particular task, the lower they rated their own ability. Meanwhile, the same research showed that people who were incompetent at the same tasks, yep you guessed it, were quite happy to blow their own trumpet blissfully unaware of their lack of skill.
If you have reservations, feel reassured it’s a good sign. It science after all!
4. Some people just aren’t worth worrying about
You will need to accept that once you start making some noise not everyone will like it. The good news is that the haters are probably just that – negative people with little else to occupy them. Focus on the people who you can help and who value your advice.
Here is a great article that discusses some of the people you can feel free to ignore.
5. Test your ideas on someone else and give them time to soak
Let’s be honest, there are times when people do show a lack of judgement that comes back to bite them. So yes, if you are prone to a bit of ‘foot in mouth’ it is a good idea to have someone you trust to run your ideas past before you unleash them on the world. The good thing is, if they see value in what you have to say, you can be certain there will be others who feel the same.
Of course, by planning ahead what content you are going to put out, you might find you feel differently when the time comes to publish. What seemed like a good idea on the spur of the moment a week ago might not seem so now. I know there have been times when I have felt compelled to write a post with the wrong motivations but giving it some time has saved me a lot of hassle.
Over to you…
How do you feel about putting yourself ‘out there’?
Do you have any more tips that might be useful for someone feeling this way?
I’d love to hear from you.
Owner, Wise Words Communications