“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”
– Mark Twain
I like validation, most people do, but I find that without the validation of others I have trouble believing something about myself to be true. I was a good student. I know this because I got As and Bs, and the teachers liked me–validation from authority.
I have written a book, but I feel like a fraud calling myself an author because I don’t have validation from anyone in authority. My editor Kilian would like to object to this she is very validating and apparently an authority figure 🙂 She is awesome and is one of my biggest cheerleaders. My book will be published soon, but it’ll be self published, so of course it’s “not as good as a published book”. I don’t feel I can say that I’m an author, and I doubt that will change even when I am holding the book in my hands.
So how do we validate ourselves? Where do we draw the line to reach before we can say that we are good enough at something? Or do we always qualify it, with “but I’m self taught?” Or “self published?” Or “I’ve had no formal training?” Or whatever excuse we come up with.
If we can’t believe in ourselves, how do we expect anyone else to take us seriously? Do we really need some else to approve of us? There are published authors’ work that I don’t care for, and people who have written fan fiction that is so good I have read it multiple times.
What are you afraid to claim you are good at? If someone asked you what you do or who you are, what do you really want to say but are afraid too? If you worked past this insecurity how did you do it? Or did you just fake it until you were comfortable?
Taylor Mali on Speaking with conviction