Overcoming insecurity is a superpower

Chris Esh

When I started my web design company, I was very insecure about everything. I felt like I was this imposter in an industry where I didn’t belong. I thought it would just be a matter of days or weeks or months until somebody called me out and said, “Are you a real web developer or is this a sham?”

Thankfully I’m not worried about that happening anymore… but it’s taken a long time to build up the confidence to actually feel like I belong in this space.

The Veil of Normalcy

When you’re feeling insecure, you feel like the only way to get by is to hide behind a veil of normalcy. At least I did. So instead of embracing my uniqueness, I acted like I was just like everybody else. I built a website that was similar to what I saw everybody else doing. I wrote on my blog about boring things like SEO practices and stuff that was completely safe, writing nothing about my personal life. I didn’t dare say anything that could offend anybody. But it was such a boring way to live because I just felt like I needed to be somebody else.

Frustrations With Clients

I used to be so terrified and frustrated when I would turn in a website and a client would come back with 30 things they wanted to change. I took it so personally. I thought my work was perfect and that my clients didn’t know what they were talking about. I tried to bite my tongue and make the changes anyway. But there were times where I probably did get a little bitter with a client because I felt like I was being attacked for teeny tiny changes that made little difference.

Thankfully I got over that phase. Now I love most aspects of my work because I know that I bring my best, but I also want my clients to leave their imprint on it. They might choose a font that I don’t think is a great fit. But if it feels more on brand to a client, or if it feels like what they want their users and their target audience to see and know about them, then that’s great, that’s fine. That has nothing to do with me at the end of the day. And having the ability to create that separation between the work I do and the feedback I get in return is a superpower. After all, I’m a professional and I don’t always need a pat on the back. I just have to get the job done.

Getting that confidence and security has just been a game-changer. When you’re new to a profession, in a job, a different industry, it can be hard to transition. But it’s usually a matter of time before you start to feel like you belong. That means showing up and doing the work. Even if you feel like you’re not amazing at it, you still get it done. And eventually after 10 projects in a row where you haven’t fallen flat on your face, you start to gain confidence. You can chill out and realize that you’re here because you’re meant to be here.

Once you release the insecurity, you kind of become superman in a tiny little way.


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