Who do you want to be?
I bet, like me, you’re struggling to answer this question regularly.
The who, the why, the what and the where.
The big questions in life that lead to great breakthroughs or crushing imposter syndrome.
How can you find yourself in such a crowded space though?
Both online and offline?
Breaking Through The Noise
Not only is it hard to create original content but also being yourself has become even more difficult in just the last five to ten years as we're bombarded on social media.
I remember going to school just as smartphones were coming out (early 2000s). Most people didn't have one or even good access to the internet yet. We actually had to hang out in groups and talk all day.
In these settings you could find yourself through subcultures, being a goth, into football, etc. Finding a tribe, growing alongside them and eventually blossoming out as you discovered your path and who you were.
But, as I look around me now, one of the biggest problems I see with my peers and kids growing up today is a longing to find who they are when everything feels so noisy and broken. It’s like trying to hear someone talk down the end of a crackling telephone line.
The message just isn’t coming through and there’s no one to guide you.
To get past this I am constantly trying to dig deeper just to find out who I am. Experimenting with one thing for a week then shifting, constantly on the move.
I was spiralling the other night on this issue, feeding my inner demons when I got a tweet from my good friend Tom Ross. Responding to my tweet about the new form of content I was making and sharing.
And just like that, my worries were under control. Tom had given me permission to be me. I didn’t ask for it, but clearly I needed it.
You'll Never Be Someone Else
Whilst you can pretend to be someone else, follow trends and chase those peaks, you won’t be able to keep up forever. There will come a time when things just fall apart.
I tried out some “normal” educational carousels last week and although they had amazing engagement, they didn’t sit right with me. I had to switch them up.
Trying my best to make them more me.
Consistency Helps Authenticity
Only with consistency, experimentation and honesty can we all flourish in a noisy world. Consistently practising and publishing, experimenting to improve and being as authentic as possible.
The world’s best authors wrote millions of words before their first book was published. Designers made hundreds of bad logos before their first good one.
Something I have to remind myself of daily.
It’s better to build up steadily over time than jump at the chance to make a quick buck by selling your principles and flushing your authenticity down the toilet.
Even if that means you suck for a long time or people who love your work now really don’t like your new stuff. Regardless of all that you just have to be you.
To continue pushing yourself and never giving up.
“Do you. You’ll win long term.”