Hey you! Yes you. You’re awesome!

My favourite and very quotable writer, Aaron Sorkin, once said “I feel like the better version of myself is on paper…  I’d rather have people know me on paper.”  I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty harsh.  Yet, I can unequivocally relate to it.  I contorted myself all weekend over this blog post.  Why?  Because I want to write the perfect post and I don’t know how to do that yet.  My self-doubt and self-criticism were putting in some overtime this weekend.

As Mr. Sorkin would say, my inner demons were shouting down my better angels.

Now, I am no great authority on social media.  After all, I have never posted a single thing on Instagram, I only reluctantly joined Twitter because my mother told me to (true story) – and I rarely post on Facebook, save for the times that I find it extraordinarily necessary to.  Like getting married, or something.  

So I will not be critiquing the latest and greatest application to hit the scene.  

Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to remind us that we are pretty cool people.  I fear that there are far too many people in the world who persistently doubt their abilities, and therefore keep themselves from from showcasing their talent and accomplishments.  If you find yourself in the same situation from time to time, telling yourself that you are doomed to fail before even having tried…  this post is for you.

For as long as I can remember, I have been putting unreasonable and purely self-generated pressure on myself for no particular reason except for the fact that I carry a belief that anything I am or do that is less than perfect is not worthy of people’s time.  The funny thing is, I think I am a pretty awesome writer, a super talented maker with an eye for beauty and I am pretty sure that I can do almost anything that I set my mind to.  Yet, I have this incessant need to tell myself that I can do better than I already am. 

So what’s a girl with a budding business to do?  I have the feeling that if I do not display the most perfect version of myself and my business to the world, someone is going to call me out for making a fool out of myself and then – pause for dramatic effect – my business will crumble and I will have to retire under my sofa, with the dust bunnies, a bottle of Baby Duck – and my shame. This before I have even posted my first product for sale. #thestruggleisreal

Source: Giphy.com

My wise husband is quick to remind me that we are all our own worst critics.  He says, “what if Van Gogh had been too critical of his sunflowers?”  What if he had burned the canvas thinking that no one else would appreciate them because they, in his eyes, were not perfect?

Kimberly Ann Jimenez, a successful digital marketing strategist and YouTube personality, offers two ways to curb your limiting thoughts: first, write them down and then flip the narrative around; and second, surround yourself with people who empower you to feel the best about yourself and what you do.

I want to echo that last one.  Surround yourself with people who empower you and remind you every day of how much you have to offer this world.  And remember to be kind to yourself.  Rome was not built in a day. I would also argue that it was likely not perfect either.

My husband pointed out to me last night that I do not need to be an expert in social media to write a perfect blog post.  Rather, it is the meaningful dialogue that sparks from it that makes it great. 

So tell me – what empowers you to make your better angels shout down your inner demons? 

Hey you! Yes you. You’re awesome! https://bit.ly/2DiMoLp

Hey you! Yes you. You’re awesome! https://bit.ly/2DiMoLp

11 thoughts on “Hey you! Yes you. You’re awesome!

  1. Pingback: Hey you! Yes you. You’re awesome! – Algonquin College Social Media Certificate Program

  2. Well done CCVERBRUGH! My personal criteria for movie watching:

    – David Fincher always works
    – Avoid Cameron Diaz and Liam Hemsworth like the plague (there are others)
    – Amy Adams and Sean Penn are Jedi knights of acting (there are others too)
    – Aaron Sorkin is the DaVinci of script writing

    I love Aaron Sorkin! From his Newsroom intro to The Social Network (directed by Fincher) to his most recent Molly’s Game. I make a point of watching his works more than once … because of subtlety and entertainment value.

    In the spirit of your blog … I think you’ll like this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk

    Thank you for this!

    • Watching that video made me smile until my cheeks hurt. It hits the nail right on the head in terms of demonstrating just how damaging self-criticism can be in the long run. It is a great reminder that we must be kinder to ourselves. Every day.

      If script-writing soulmates are a thing, Aaron Sorkin is definitely mine. He has a way of making you want to get up right away, go out, and do something ~*awesome*~.

      Fun fact: he and The West Wing are the entire reasons that I became a public servant. When I did become a public servant, one episode of The West Wing a day made me want to go back into work the next to do an even better job.

      I’m glad to have found another fan. Thanks for your uplifting comment. 🙂

  3. « I fear that there are far too many people in the world who persistently doubt their abilities »…unfortunately or fortunately I am in that crowd.

    But two things have helped me all my life:

    • My passion for dance: As a child, I was extremely shy and did not have the standard body to do ballet, and given that I trained at conservatory in France, I definitely was aware of it. Yet, I loved ballet enough to keep dancing, knowing that I would never fulfill my dream of being part of the Paris Opéra. I just kept dancing and performing, and I knew I was dancing well. I just wasn’t born with the right appearance. That was my thought. That actually made me stronger, although only years later, once I moved as an adult to the U.S. where I discovered that excellent dance companies hired dancers that had their own personalities….I was asked to join 2 companies and I did. Then I measured to professional dancers and I realized I matched or even did better than they did. Since then, I have realized that I was born with the right body, just as everyone else. I just hadn’t met the right-minded people! I gained a lot of self-confidence. So finding your passion is a good way to overcome doubts as it will lead you to the right people and circles eventually.

    • My second way of overcoming doubts is to write. I journal and have a small blog. Each time I feel like it, I write. Writing makes me think deeper and forces me to look not just at my weaknesses, but at my strengths as I search for ways to overcome weaknesses. I also write for a living! As a journalist, I do get criticism about what I write from people who don’t know me. So I know it is not personal. But for a same story I could have congratulations from someone else. I just don’t let the negative criticism win and try to see what made the negative opinion justifiable. And I end up finding good in it many times, which I can use for my next story or approach.

    By the way, I love your headline!

    • How inspiring! It’s amazing how a change of crowd can alter a person’s perception of themselves or something they do. I am in awe of you and your perseverance. To stick to your passion despite being challenged in the pursuit of your dreams… early in life, no less… You must be so proud of your accomplishments!

      For myself, I knit and crochet as a means to keep myself grounded. It is incredibly soothing. Completing and gifting projects is particularly satisfying and rewarding because I feel like I am spreading my joy. In the past year, being creative has kept my mind from wandering in dark places.

      I will think of your words whenever I receive “constructive criticism” in the future. That they come as a suggestion for our approach going forward. Positive and powerful. I like that!

      Thanks for your inspiring comment. 🙂

  4. Hello ccerbrugh. A very good self reflective blog. Forget about perfectionism, it is overrated and creayes more barriers than product. I believe the way you broke up your paragrahs was effective. Itr kept me moving along nicely without getting distracted. They sometimes read as quick, short stories which was effective. A few headings would be good at breaking up your article at distinctive points, which would follow the nice way your broke up your blog.

    Good use of hot links, especially to the Youtube video of Kimberly Ann Jimenez. An incredibly good use of the gif picture. Well, that’s my opinion. It tied in nicely to what many readers are thinking. A couple of more pictures may have punched it up nicely. Your choice of picture was effective.

    As an enthusiastic reader of your blog, I may have wanted to know a bit of information about the authour. Much like they do at the top or coclusion of articles and blogs. Your name, background, etc., so I can brag to my friends about your blogs. Thank you.


  5. Oh, I apologize for my typographical errors, creates for “creayes”, and the capital A in Patrick, my finger consistenly slips there.


    • Dear Patrick,

      I always enjoy reading your comments as they offer encouragement and meaningful feedback.

      That gif picture has been a long time favourite of mine. I will let you in on a little secret… it was used A LOT by my colleagues and I in one of my previous capacities.

      I will endeavour to write a bit of a description of myself at the end of future publications for your bragging pleasure. 🙂

      Kindest regards,

  6. Hello ccerbrugh! I agree with you that perspective plays a huge part in how we judge our own work. The Van Gogh reference your husband gave you quite accurately describes this issue. Your writing is so natural and beautiful. I very much enjoyed reading your blog 🙂

    • A sincerely heartfelt thanks for your comment. I got “goosies” when I read it.

      Right?! What if Whitney Houston had become a micro-economics specialist because she thought that her voice wasn’t good enough to make it as a singer? I need to keep these references in mind going forward. These icons shaped the world, in a way. And can we really deprive the world of our contributions because of our self-doubt? That sounds braggy… but imagine a life without the Rolling Stones who may have thought, at the time, “no way we can make it with those Beatles killing it like they are!”

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t secretly bust a hip to “Beast of Burden”. 🙂

      Thanks for your cheerful comment! 🙂

  7. Hello,

    As a very anxious person I totally get where you are coming from! I have always put self reflection at the forefront of my personality and am committed to lifelong growth and criticism. My problem personally is learning how to not take the criticism ‘too personally’ if you will. Your use of media was great, I love the gif and untraditional use of hashtags in your blog post!

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