The personal website of Chris Coyier

How to beat the fear of putting yourself out there

Alex Hillman:

This mental chaos monkey of fear shows up in lots of ways:

• For some, it’s a feeling of subtle discomfort when talking about their work in social settings.

• For others, it’s a feeling of deep anxiety that they’ll be scolded for doing or saying something unoriginal.

• For others still, it’s a feeling of panic associated of pressing “publish” to put their creative work or opinions on a digital stage.

I do think fear stops some people about talking about their work publicly, whether that’s speaking, blogging, or even just participating in open source.

But to even get to that point of fear, you have to consider it at all. I would bet most people don’t even bother. Even knowing the benefits, it feels like too much effort for too little payoff. I’m not sure I blame them. Personally, I’ve had some success with it, but only after extreme effort over many years, and it hasn’t exactly led me to fortune.

While I very much want more people to blog and share their thoughts and feelings, I kinda get why they don’t. And then social media platforms come around making it easier, so more people do it, and they turn into these cesspools of hostility and danger, again driving away good people.