You’re Awesome. And, I Have 3 Questions For You.

Nubby Twiglet | You Are Awesome

First off, you’re awesome. Yes, you.

Never change who you are for anyone. Conformity kills uniqueness, the very thing that makes you stand out.

Next, I have a few questions for you below. As many of you know, my big goal this year was to create helpful products to inspire you to build a career you love. Erika Lyremark, a whip-smart business coach who I adore has joined forces with me to produce a new course and as we dig into the content outline, we want your input in an effort to make it as helpful as possible.

Please answer the below questions in the comments — it’s important for me to know what you’re struggling with most when it comes to sharing who you are. I want to know what holds you back and makes you second guess yourself. Life is too short to dull who you are and we are on a mission to fix that!

1. Where do you have a hard time expressing yourself and your ideas? Online? In person? On a certain platform?

2. In your day-to-day, where do you find yourself toning down your magic in an effort to get by and blend in?

3. What kinds of things are you curious about when it comes to expressing your creativity? What techniques do you want to know about?

Thanks so much for your time and I’ll have more to share on the course as it shapes up!

Awesome Print: Fresh by Sian.

19 Responses to You’re Awesome. And, I Have 3 Questions For You.

  1. Anna K Oates says:

    1.) I find that I don’t have a ton of problems when it comes to expressing myself in person or online.. other than Facebook. For some reason the mix of people I have on facebook and the fact that people come at you in large groups scares me off sharing as much as I would elsewhere.

    2.) I find that I tone it down most when I’m talking to people who are older than me. Intimidation maybe, and the fact that my skill sets is really more relevant to the younger generation.

    3.) I feel like I need to work on how to present my skills as a package deal. I tend to separate them when in reality they all play off each other.

  2. Cole says:

    1. I am incredibly shy in person. When people I know read my blog they’re shocked by how open I am in writing, but closed off in person. I’m very open with my close friends and family, but to my co-workers, classmates and acquaintances I am very quiet and reserved.

    2. I used to be bold and daring in my fashion choices. As I got older I stopped dressing the way I wanted and started dressing really plain. I want to be able to dress how I want to and not feel awkward about it.

    3. Not sure.

  3. Kate says:

    1. I have no problems talking usually, but I’ve really struggled to talk about myself, my experience and my business. This has been a theme on my website, social media, brochures everything really. I find it very easy to promote other people… Myself? Not so much.

    2. I tone it down and play down my achievements around other people my own age – particularly men I’m interested in. I’ve had too many insecure boyfriends in the past and while I’m trying to break that habit, it’s hard when you hurt other people’s feelings by just being smart/talented/yourself (and yes, I know that sounds totally FIGJAM).

    3. I’ve gotten so caught up in the daily grind of getting client work done, I’d like some tips on actually developing my creativity.

  4. Niki says:

    1. I have a difficult time expressing myself online. There’s always the notion that it has to be perfect or at least “publish-ready”. I tend to overthink what I have to say, edit it down till the personality is gone. It’s not that it’s super difficult but it does take more time for me to be comfortable to hit ‘send’ or ‘publish’.

    2. Hmm. I never really thought about this. I think not so much in the day-to-day but I realize that if I attend events at night, especially where there are people doing their own thing (starting businesses, launching startups, etc) I feel like I don’t belong. Being an employee seems to be the worst thing one could be right now. At that point I want to blend in the wallpaper so no one would ask, “So, what do you do?”

    3. I’d like to be able to write again. I know it’s a matter of building the habit. I used to be able to express myself without fear of rejection or not being good enough. After years and years of writing for my clients, I’ve lost my voice. I need to find it again and believe that what I have to say matters.

  5. Megan says:

    1. Definitely online! I have wanted to create a blog for over a year, but for some reasons can’t really execute the idea, and actually make it happen. Social media is also fairly hard for me, see below:

    2. Social Media. I don’t like sharing myself on social media in fear of being turned down, or judged. But I know it’s so important for business, so i’m really struggling with actually putting myself out there to people I know. I also find it more difficult to pitch or share with friends/family. I find it easier to promote to strangers, but not people I know.

    3. How to express my creativity in a shareable way. Letting clients peak into my process, or understand how I work through things and make decisions on their projects.

  6. Melissa says:

    1. Once upon a time, I had a LiveJournal and made friends and really felt a sense of community there. That feeling has come and gone with the influx of social media like Facebook and Twitter. I’ve always wanted to started a blog (and have made a couple attempts), but I lack confidence in my ability to write longer, cohesive posts and am always second guessing myself. I have trouble with that in person as well, though. And in my portfolio. Ugh.

    2. I don’t go to events as much as I used to (I’m a Burner, if that says anything), and my wardrobe has become a little more drab since I’ve gained a bit of weight. I’m sure the two are related. I also find that I don’t share my ideas as freely as I would like.

    3. I would like to learn how to find and express my style, fashion-wise. I would also like to be able to sell myself better. And I’m always up for learning new art/design techniques (hand lettering, Photoshop, etc)!

  7. Sophie says:

    What an awesome concept for a course. Looking forward to seeing the final result!

    1-Definitely in real life. As much as I try not to I’m an over-thinker and I tend to worry way too much about how I come across in person. Am I too boring, am I too silly, does anyone even like me and my ideas? etc.

    2-In situations with people who I feel like won’t really ‘get’ me. Usually people who are older/more advanced in their careers. I also feel like I don’t wear the bold lipsticks I know and love often enough because I don’t want to draw attention to myself sometimes.

    3. Selling yourself in a way that doesn’t seem arrogant or conceited.

  8. Marie says:

    1. I think it’s less about online vs. in-person and more about learning how to authentically express yourself, quirks and all, in a way that doesn’t damage your professional reputation. For example, how much is too much on blogs or social media? And should you always be buttoned-up in business meetings?

    2. Again, I’d say professional scenarios are where it’s hardest to incorporate a sense of magic.

    3. So many things! Dealing with vulnerability; taking calculated risks; letting go of perfectionism; avoiding major pitfalls (but still learning from mistakes); gauging your own progress as a creative; and maybe more than anything, how to jog yourself out of creative slumps/how to return with a vengeance from unplanned breaks in your normal routine of creativity.

    Techniques: Anything to help get me to produce more creative output on a daily basis!

  9. 1. It is definitely harder to express who I am online. I have been taking copywriting classes to get better at conveying my humor and my “real” side.

    2. I constantly have to tone down my magic at work. I have a government 8-5 desk job (that is why I am taking courses to get an online business started). I have to dress “normal” and that is not me! I have to act “normal” and my little light dims every time I spend energy being somebody I am not.

    3. I want to learn everything there is to know about my own online business from pinpointing just one idea (I have too many) to launch day when I have to think about the legal side and possible problems. I am reading everything I can online, but I need that PUSH to get moving on this and not waste another 8 hour day confined in a little box behind a desk!

    • Shauna says:

      Ahhh, I feel ya on having to tone down your magic at work. I dealt with that for YEARS and it’s hard not ever feeling 100% comfortable in a place where you spend so much of your time. I really appreciate you chiming in because I know so many others are struggling with the same thing.

  10. 1. I find it harder writing down what I want to express, than thinking/talking them, especially since English isn’t my first language. Also I am a bit hesitant to show myself on the internet or sharing, when my friends could see it. (I have no problem in face to face conversations, so it’s the exact opposite to COLE XD)

    2. Funnily, it’s similar to COLE, my fashion choices and expressions were a lot more experimental a few years ago, but since I’ve been in a not so great company for a while, I started to dress down more. (I wish, I could regain my style a bit more, now that I moved on from that place). Also I am very shy to ‘pitch’ graphic design ideas against fellow coworkers, since I think, I will ‘lose’ and they won’t find my designs great. So to say, I want to get more confident in designing and trying new styles.

    3. Photography a little bit, like styling a picture or arranging shootings, and expressing myself or the design better with words. Like giving confident presentations and explaining why the work is this certain way.

    • Shauna says:

      Thanks for letting me know what you struggle with. And I would never know that English isn’t your first language — your communication online with me is always spot-on! :)

      • Thank you, that’s so nice of you to say *blush*
        I improved a lot in the last two years, because I didn’t want to be made ‘fun’ of my english anymore. So I started doing everything in english XD (reading, watching series, googleing, thinking and now talking)
        But it’s strange, as soon as I sit down to write a blog text I forget how to express things. :-/

  11. Scarlett says:

    Good questions:

    1.I have a hard time expressing myself in a consistent style. I want my Instagram feed to be all curated and cute with the same types of filters and look, but I get caught up in the moment – therefore I don’t think it always reflects where I want my brand to go.

    2. Toning down my opinions sometimes – I have had haters and it has thrown me off a bit. Therefore now I feel like I am editing myself a bit more. I have always tried to befriend everyone, and just recently I have I just realized that not all fans are ‘my people’.

    3. I would like to know about curating content so that it all works together – and not double posting to various platforms, but rather, posting every day to each platform different things so that it all works together. It is difficult to ‘theme’ things all the same everyday.

    • Shauna says:

      Scarlett, your response to #1 is such a good point. I know exactly what you mean and definitely hope the course has room to cover this. Thanks for such thoughtful, detailed responses!

  12. nikkiana says:

    1. I’ve been finding myself really struggling as of late to be open in online public spaces… Blogging has dropped off to very little, I rarely use Twitter anymore (I realize I could go private there, but that sort of defeats the purpose, I think). Anywhere where I feel like I don’t have control over who sees it. I also struggle a fair bit in person, but it depends on who I’m talking to and what about.

    2. I tone it down a lot at work, I find.

    3. Not sure.

  13. Christine says:

    First off – thank you for sharing and inspiring others to be their colorful selves!

    1) Admittedly, my self expression tends to be curbed by the audience I am communicating with and I find it hard to be consistent online and offline. Family I only let them see certain things about me, certain friends ect ect. Perhaps I put that “pressure” on myself to wax or wane in one direction or the other to fit in better in certain places. I want to authentically voice myself wherever I am no matter who I am speaking with, and not feel like I have to filter so much.

    2) Work is where I filter the most! I no longer wear my long boho skirts and colorful jewelry and have been a very Levi Straus hipster as of late. Not hating on the hipsters of the world, and I love my Levi’s but, to hide the colorful eclectic and fashionable side is uncomfortable. At time I feel I am loosing touch with that person. My personality curbs as well! My sprinkle of geek, wrapped in mermaid glitter has been traded for a bland corporate presence.

    3) I would love to be authentic, and learn how to present the multidimensional person I am without feeling like somehow all these aspects rolled into one are “wrong”, and don’t belong.

  14. Tracey says:

    I hope you don’t mind if I skip the first two questions…

    With respect to the third question: I am interested in learning how to carve out time to pursue passion projects in light of a full client/work schedule. Additionally, as I try new things and experiment in different areas of design – I struggle with sharing it with an online audience without seeming flighty or unfocused.

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