I’ve witnessed a handful of conversations recently that left me with a funny thought. The first few were during my recent workshop. The details vary, but the jist was this:
Your idea is amazing! My idea has flaws.
The next were conversations with colleagues. The details vary, but the jist was this:
You’re so productive! I am not.
The last one, I don’t even remember the circumstances. But the jist was this:
You’re so successful! I am not.
Are you catching the pattern?
There’s this funny thing we do to ourselves. We downgrade our own potential, experience, and success. I don’t know why, but it’s as close to universal as anything I’ve seen in a long time. A gap between perception and reality – that’s nearly always stacked against us.
The funniest one was someone close to me. She was reading my book on creative commission work – the section on creating pricing tiers for your products. She was very complimentary: “Your writing is so good, I feel like I could almost do this!!”
Omg, she couldn’t be serious.
I literally wrote that section about HER. As in, I used her as an example. I told her about it at the time. She was doing it. In fact, she was doing it so well that I thought it might help others.
I don’t know why we do this to ourselves. I mean, negativity bias and all, but why? Why, when confronted with our own success, are we so quick to dismiss it? Why, when we have so much evidence to the contrary?
I don’t have all the answers, but I will say this, to whoever needs to hear it:
You are productive.
You are successful.
Your idea is amazing.
You are the person others look up to.
Even when you don’t see it, feel it, or know it.
So do the thing. Whatever you think you can’t. Whatever the little voice in your head is telling you you aren’t ready for.