It should be easy to start a website. Even easier to start a blog. Just install WordPress and publish. Right?
But no. Not for me. Not for most designer folk. Most will say the hardest thing is creating your own brand and designing something for yourself. It’s because we overthink everything. It has to be perfect.
For me, it has to be perfect in my mind before I can start taking action. Every idea needs to fit together neatly like a puzzle while at the same time all the stars in the universe must be in proper alignment. This paralyzing perfectionism kept me from building and launching my website for 3 years.
Learning was my other enemy. The technology industry evolves quickly, and anyone working in it knows constant learning is a requirement to keep your head above water. The belief that held me back was that there would come a day where I would look up and say, “Ah, now I have got it all. I can now build the perfect website for myself.”
I knew that I had to overcome in these two areas if I was ever going to see progress on my site. What I didn’t know, was that I would have to make progress on myself in the process.
Perfectionism was the first thing I had to tackle. I spent a great deal of time thinking about why I felt it had to be perfect. At first I thought it was for you, the reader. I wanted to impress you with my design and writing skills.
Hmm. “I wanted.”
There it is. The real culprit was me. I was making choices out of fear and selfishness. I wanted to be liked and feared rejection. I wanted to be validated by the people that visited but feared I would be called out as an impostor. I needed to discard some lies and reframe my thinking.
I made two conscious choices that set me on the right course.
First, I decided to be okay with myself. I started to pay attention to the times when I felt the need for external validation, and instead I would tell myself that I am good enough. Because I am. That is the truth. I am good enough and no one else can change that. And guess what? So are you.
Second, I turned my focus away from what I could get out of my website toward what I could give. The internet really is amazing. It is easy to take for granted how it connects all of us together. It allows a culture of sharing ideas and helping one another succeed. As I considered this, I came to the conclusion that it would be selfish of me NOT to start this blog. If I share the things I learn and experiences I have and it only impacts one person in a positive way, that would be enough. Who knows? Maybe it could reach multitudes of people. But if I horde it all to myself it only helps me.
The internet, the worldwide conversation of sharing, collaboration, and ideas is on. I’m making the choice to contribute to that conversation and add value wherever I can. To share what I learn and how I succeed, but also be transparent in my shortcomings and failures.
You should too. It’s kind, and generous, and it really is easy to start. When you share, ask yourself, “What can I give?” Let go of perfectionism that comes from the need to be validated. Begin to operate out of a generous heart.