Scared and selfish

The reason I talk a lot about fear is because it’s like a cancer: a silent, effective, and devastating killer. Changing our relationship to fear and using it as a compass is empowering, but this only comes from leaning into the fear rather than away from it.

If you’re trying to put a new Thing into the world and your job is to sell people on this idea, fear can manifest in the form of the impostor syndrome. This preoccupation can make it hard to show up fully in the moment, and what’s not obvious is how much of a lie these feelings are.

The truth is that your art is a generous gift to the world. And the organizations you’re looking to influence employ at least one person whose job (and pleasure) it is to say yes to you.

This begs the following questions:

  • What makes your buyer’s life easier?
  • How does their boss measure success?
  • What joy might it bring them to work with you in bringing something into fruition?

When we fail to grapple our fear, we rob the world of our brilliance, and we rob ourselves of the reminder that we’re the kind of people who put brilliant things into the world. Shining brightly takes practice and time, and you’re probably closer than you think.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.