Insecure as Ever

via Taffy Brodesser-Akner:

I am as insecure as ever, desperate for approval as I hit refresh and wait for likes and retweets and enthusiastic responses from strangers and acquaintances. No wonder: Whenever I get an electronic nod of approval, it feels as if a mortifying experience from my childhood has been dulled, if not deleted.

An older post but still relevant for many of us.

congratsYou see, despite how well put together and how well curated we’ve become especially now after a number of good years of practice, we’re all still very human behind the many, many screens.

And so our challenges are still very much unchanged. The feeling of social anxiety, or depression, or fear that can seem to grip us out of nowhere, even if we are farther along in life and even more “successful” (by the world’s many standards) than we have been in the past.

I’ve encountered this, yet again, with a recent update to my LinkedIn profile and I’ve been bombarded with a ton of congratulatory in-app messages that say the exact same thing:

Congrats on the new role! Hope you’re doing well.

It’s not that all of these people don’t mean it (I’m sure they do) and I’m thankful for all the pings, really, I am.

But it makes me incredible anxious about all of the attention and if I don’t check myself my emotions can quickly spiral out of control.

notifyFor instance, I begin to wonder if people are silently judging my career decisions or whether the update is something that offends them (like that should really matter…?!?).

I begin to wonder if I’ve stepped on anyone’s virtual toes or whether I’m accidentally closing doors because of the update and I suddenly sense a feeling of dread and regret about actually keeping that toggle “on” when I should have turned it “off” when I hit the update button.

noAll these are completely irrational, I’ll admit, but I can feel them deeply and sharply. And I don’t think I’m alone in these feelings either.

Like many of you, I never want to feel as if someone has the opportunity to think poorly about me in regards to my professional decisions.

Like many of you, I want to minimize the chances of accidentally offending someone that I want a relationship with or someone whom I respect but who may not necessarily agree with my decision.

Like many of you, these are the moments that I am reminded that although most things are permissible, not everything is truly beneficial.

And… perhaps, like many of you, I’m just as insecure as I’ve ever been, but at least we can all agree that, in base simplistic terms, we’re all in the same boat and can be insecure together.