Everyone is afraid to hear “You’re not as good as you think you are…

It’s a fact of life. We all want recognition for something. We have the drive to achieve something, but this fear of hearing that you aren’t good at what you do…well…it’s a bitch.

And when you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough, that’s the same thing as the fear of someone else saying it. But worse.

Do you want to be a professional?

How you face this fear is what separates an amateur from a professional.

The amateur will freeze in the face of this fear and self-doubt. They will have plans that never get executed. They will attack people who are achieving the success they want. They will try to bring a confident person down a peg by saying the confident person has an ego. Ego vs. Confidence is a post all by itself.

I’ve been there. I was afraid to make “art” my full-time job for years. But I made a change. I decided not to be an amateur anymore, the amateur will procrastinate and make excuses.

But you know what they won’t do?

They won’t get better.

And it’s a shame. Because that means they are stealing. They’re stealing attention with their talk of big plans. They’re stealing quality from their future customers and clients. They’re stealing the impact that they could have on society by never facing their fears and applying themselves to something worthwhile.

The real shame is that some amateurs have a better quality product or service…but they don’t deliver value.

How is it that somebody can produce something better than a professional, but never deliver? They won’t ship. Perfectionists are great examples of amateurs who can’t put something into the world if it isn’t perfect. Nothing is ever perfect.

That’s a hard pill to swallow for someone who strives to be better every day. How can you balance that desire for “better” if you want to be a professional, though?

The professional does something different.

When you face your fears and anxieties and start looking for ways to deliver value with your product or service, when you can say “I’m good enough, and I’m going to get better,” when you learn that it’s alright to stand out, even when someone else (like another amateur) doesn’t think you’re good enough… That’s when you move from the realm of the amateur to the realm of professional.

Professionals will ship an imperfect product and keep making it better. Because “done” is infinitely better than perfect.

And, most of all, professionals share their knowledge. They aren’t afraid to teach. Professionals push themselves and other people forward.

You learn to increase your sphere of comfort by stepping outside of it. Once you become comfortable in the areas that other people are uncomfortable, you’ll start making better interactions and delivering more value. You’ll start getting feedback on your imperfect product or service so you can make it better.

You’ll stop caring about what the amateurs say, to the point where you don’t even acknowledge that you’re immune to their hate. They will know when you don’t acknowledge them at all.

So…are you ready to be a professional? Make yourself uncomfortable today, then do it again tomorrow.

How has an amateur mindset held you back in the past? If you’re ready to be professional and make yourself uncomfortable, let me know in the comments.

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