Every time I want to hit the publish button for one of my blog posts thousands of thoughts flash through my head at the same time. Will people like what I wrote? Will they hate it? Will they talk bad about me? Will they think I’ve gone crazy?
What about that one particular guy? Will he read it and then never ever answer my calls, my mails or even ignore me the next time we bump into each other? I get scared and want to delete it. But I can’t. I have to keep pushing…
That’s the moment when I usually sit back for a while, relax and tell myself that most of the things might happen or they might not. But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter anyways, because I remind myself that I don’t have anything to lose. I can only win.
Whatever I do, I can only win.
If I do nothing at all, no one will ever hear about that one awesome idea I had, that one cool product I built or that cool service I just launched. If I don’t get my shit straight and get my stuff out there I will die old and lonely reflecting about all the cool things I could have done.
And I know that this will drive me crazy. Nevertheless, I have to constantly fight that small beast in the back of my head that makes me hesitate and question the things I do over and over again.
It's a nasty little creature. A creature that wants to slow me down all the time. A creature that holds me back from doing and creating things.
I’d like to call that nasty creature reputation.
It comes out when you least expect it and it crawls up your skin, up your neck and gets into your head and starts to screw up your thinking. It makes you blind. It somehow makes you stop thinking clearly and it forces you to focus on this one single thing only:
But what about my reputation?
And the moment it gets into your head all these thoughts keep popping up again. And that’s the moment you start to get stuck. You start to get stuck in your doubts and your tremendous fear of losing your reputation. You’re stuck, just like that expert is stuck.
The worst thing that can happen to you is to believe that you even have a reputation to begin with. That people do really care about what you say, feel or do. But the truth is people generally don’t care about you at all. I know it's hard to accept it, but that's the sad truth.
And the only way to get unstuck and get out of this vicious circle of believing that you have a reputation is to remind and tell yourself this one thing over and over again:
Screw this. Screw my reputation. Believing that I have a reputation will only hold me back from doing great things, from creating cool things.
That's at least what helps me every time I'm scared to hit the publish button (just like right now)...