One of the hardest things about putting oneself out there through creativity, or any pursuit that matters to you, is that we are our own biggest critics. Long before the world gives us lukewarm feedback, and sometimes praise, we would have questioned ourselves a million times before we put our thinking out there.

The more you release the work, the less the judgment matters, because – in my case – I realised that the critics are there for a reason. They’re doing their bit – sometimes maliciously – so I can sharpen the skill, get better, keep doing and focus less on the criticism. Incidentally, that helped me to work better with my inner critic, which I’ve come to understand more as an ally than a crippling voice.

It’s also why I’m learning to work more with people who are sometimes very harsh with their feedback but mean well, still learning.

Talking to Seth Godin about imposter syndrome reminded me of this. We all battle with creating that piece of art, the podcast, the first cake that sets you up in your confectionary side hustle, that video where you stumble, the poorly written first article, and the first public speaking gig. You’ll get there, it’s a journey and even the greats struggle.

Don’t let that fear deprive you and the world of your genius. We need it!

Some may criticise you, put you down, and make you feel as though it doesn’t matter. But it does! More than you can ever fathom, and it will make the world a better, more inspiring place.

Not only does it help you become less fearful of your own genius, but it also gives the rest of us permission to believe it’s possible. To know that our hidden talents, which sometimes only those closest to us know about, can also find a place to thrive in the world.

So the next time someone shares their spark of a dream with you, be thoughtful in your feedback, and ask questions that inspire them. Be the reason they fuel that spark and make it possible for them to paint it into something the world can celebrate.

You can check the conversation I had with Seth Godin, which sparked part of this thought on YouTube here:

Seth Godin on The Practice and Finding Your Smallest Viable Audience

Or check out The Lead Creative wherever you listen to podcasts.

That’s where I put myself out there and face some of my own fears.