“The fear that people will think I’m a fraud.” Listening to the voice of Seth Godin soothe and inspire me as I travel down 91 South I am struck by the realization of what holds me back, long before he says the words aloud. Write down the problem that is stopping you from creating your art he says. Instantly I said aloud “the fear that people will think I’m a fraud.” As he continues describing people’s problems being the practical obstacles in life; not being able to secure funding, not being able to find a space, etc. an undeniable feeling of stupidity washed over me. I was alone, listening to an audible book in my car driving to a meeting and I felt completely stupid for something I said aloud that I believed to be wrong. He continued, unaware of my internal pain as he spoke through my car speakers, “The fear that people will think you’re a fraud.” Wait a minute, let’s rewind, I didn’t get it wrong, that is what he was talking about, that is what’s holding me back?
The reality of it all begins to set in. I am so afraid of people thinking I’m a fraud that I was embarrassed in front of no one AND I had the right answer after all, yet still I suffered from the fear of going out on a limb and saying the wrong thing. Memories began rushing in; the time in 8th grade when I won the poetry competition for a poem in which the lemming class shunned the people on the street in which my peers mocked me saying I’d won by guilting the judges. The time after college when I was feeling quite proud of my skills as a strategist and in interviewing a distant great uncle he asked me what made me think I knew enough to create the ideas I create. The millions of times that I spoke and no one said I was smart.
Write, he ordered. Write every day. Start a blog and post your writing every day. It will be bad and it will get better. The truth is if I’m not creating, if I’m not writing than it’s true I am a fraud. How ironic that the very fear that holds me back becomes my reality as I refrain.
Day One – it will get better.