By: Rachael Mare, Guest Blogger September 7, 2015
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time feeling like I’ve failed. Not in one specific area. More like I’ve failed my life.
I knew I wanted to be a writer at the age of 12. I scribbled away by myself for ages, never thinking about what being a writer meant in terms of connecting with other people. Every time I shared something, it went badly, so I stopped.
I’m at a crossroads now. I lost my job as an editor in May, and I have to figure out what to do next. My dream is to write. But writing is communication—saying something to someone else—and I never figured out the someone else.
Now I’m realizing that to get that thing I want, to follow my dream, I have to get out there. As I face my fear, I’ve learned a few lessons about how to stop hiding:
Focus on what you have to offer.
Stop the negative self-talk. It’s not helping.
Consider instead: What makes you unique? What do you know that other people don’t? What do you specialize in? What do people notice about you over and over that’s different from everybody else?
Ask your friends. What are you good at that they wish they knew more about? How do they see you helping them live better lives? What other things do they need that you could help with?
Talk to everyone.
Don't carry around negative assumptions. You never know where opportunity will come from.
Too often I tend to think of spending time with people as a waste of time. If my Inner Critic had its way, I’d be working 14-hour days nonstop—alone. While you do have to get the work done, connecting with other people is an important aspect of success, even at pursuits we think of as solitary.
Make it your way.
Let your personality show! Somewhere along the way (in school? from my mom?) I learned that I ought to be more beige—to shut off any sign of originality or quirkiness and be rigid and rote. Follow the rules. Be more “professional.”
But the truth is, nobody responds to beige. They respond to purple and black and fuchsia and teal and chartreuse. I hired people for a couple of different positions at my last job, and when you’re bombarded by hundreds of resumes, you find yourself looking for what distinguishes candidates—what sets them apart as a person.
Writing is the same. There’s a ton of generic content out there. Why do people stick with particular bloggers over others? Because they see something in them they can relate to. Because they feel connected to them. Because they are human beings in a sea of Internet-info overload.
Risking your disapproval is better than the life of nothing that comes with hiding.
And the only way I can be that blogger is if I let the real me show. The real me is not even a little bit beige. The real me is young and goofy and uses Cheezburger talk and funny accents and dances spontaneously. She is also quiet and organized and kind of intense. She has ideas about everything, and she is passionate and stubborn.
You might not like the real me, but risking your disapproval—even your white-hot hatred—is better than the life of nothing that comes with hiding.
So, hi. Here I am, the real me. Not hiding. Join me?
How do you let your personality shine in the things you do? Tell us below!
Rachael Ann Mare is a writer who helps creators stay motivated. At her blog, SpunkyMisfitGirl.com, you can download her free e-book for tips and tricks on living a more inspired life.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.