out in the world is better than in your head

this piece of advice has completely revolutionized how i approach the world. i wish i could remember exactly where it came from. that probably means it’s mashup of a few different ideas (curtis ogden’s general approach to blogging, harold jarche’s piece on his inspirations for working out loud, the platform revolution’s “good ideas are public domain” quote, etc.). 

anyways, the point is that almost everything is better out in the world than in your head. this applies to pretty much everything: raw ideas, partially developed thoughts and theories, drawings, et cetera.

i’ve noticed in my productivity coaching practice (i’m up to four clients as of today!) and also in my life that most people are just really resistant to publishing. there are many sources of fear. self-critique is the overarching, but that can present in a number of ways. sometimes its a fear of not being good enough for others (check out ira glass talking about the difference between your skills and your taste), sometimes it’s the fear that it won’t even be as good as you think it was in your head, sometimes it’s a fear of theft.

either way, the reasons to get it out anyways are three-fold.

  1. first of all, just putting something out into the world puts you way ahead of most people. again, because most people face the fear and never overcome it, just taking that first step is huge.
  2. second of all, even though the thing you put out likely won’t be perfect or what you wished it was, most people started out sucking at their thing before they got good at it. this is a recurring theme on the obsessed with design podcast and was heavily featured in this week’s episode with bob ewing.
  3. once you put something out there, the people who you look up to at your thing can give you concrete and constructive critique. and while self-teaching is always possible, the more guidance and constructive feedback you get, the faster your growth pathway will be.

so. get your shit out of your head and into the world.

the quotes:

Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.
—jake, adventure time