I’ve noticed that as I continue writing, reading and learning some of my bad habits have fallen to the wayside without me concisely working to rid myself of them.
One of the bad habits is my previous constant use of caveats. It used to be I didn’t dare have an opinion without a safety blanket caveat in the next sentence. I think I was mostly scared of being misunderstood or being thought of as opinionated. But as I evolve I’ve started trusting my own arguments and opinions. More importantly, I’ve started trusting my own understanding of the subjects I read about. This makes me more comfortable with the risk of people not getting me. If they have opinions about my text, I feel more comfortable explaining my reasoning. If they misunderstand I am now more capable of seeing where this misunderstanding might originate and correct either myself or them.
Put yourself out there
You shouldn’t be scared of being wrong. And you should definitely not let this fear stop you from writing about what’s on your mind. More often than we imagine we’re not wrong. And when we are we shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed because being wrong and accepting that is a great way to move forward and learn. The only time being wrong is bad is when you refuse to correct yourself.
An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. You need to quickly own up to your mistakes and do what you can do remedy it in any way you can. This goes for work, in a marriage, as a parent. If you’re wrong, live with it, sit with it, accept it and do what you can to make amends. But do not stop yourself from speaking about what’s on your mind.
Keep reading, keep learning, keep writing
The key to being less afraid of others reactions to your writing is the same key as to being less wrong. Keep reading and keep learning. Don’t just find a source that agrees with you and be satisfied. Look at your knowledge from all angles. You’ll either get a deeper understanding or you’ll realize you’ve misunderstood something and can now correct it. And then you can start the whole process over!
And then there is the most important step. Keep writing. If you stop sharing your thoughts because you think someone will say you are wrong you’ll put limits on yourself that will dampen your light. You’re not supposed to be writing for someone else’s approval. I hope you’re writing because you have thoughts you want to share and you want feedback. But feedback is not the same as approval. Approval is a pat on the head that means nothing. Feedback is what will keep you on your toes.