Who doesn’t love a cat vid?
Ever the ultimate procrastination tool, many of us spend hours watching mildly amusing videos of animals behaving eccentrically.
And in the past hour I’ve seen a collection of cats, besting the world’s most fearsome predators in combat.
Bears, cobras, lions, tigers, alligators – all were sent packing with their tails between their legs by a furball with a penchant for knocking things off shelves.
In terms of size and power, a cat has nothing in comparison to its opponent.
But the cat is afraid of absolutely nothing. Or at least it appears so. If the cat is afraid – it seems that something else, even more amazing has happened.
The cat has beaten fear.
And it’s a lesson I’ve been trying to appropriate for myself.
It’s something that all creatives will be familiar with. It’s now known as ‘imposter syndrome’ but without the fancy title – it just means you feel as though you’re not very good at your role and any moment, someone will point at you, cry out that you don’t belong and you’ll have to switch careers. Something involving a shovel and massive lumps of animal effluence would suit.
I’ll sit at my laptop and begin a task and my mind will cast itself back to all the failures and embarrassment I’ve suffered.
Remember that time you completely got a word wrong and didn’t notice it after proofing?
Remember that blog that had to be entirely rewritten as you had missed the brief entirely?
Remember when you asked out Ann Ogden in Primary School and she flatly refused to even answer you?
Your mind is a horrible bastard when it wants to be.
Because it overlooks the many triumphs you’ve had.
I’ve been writing for years and worked with all manner of scale in terms of clients.
I’ve constructed entire tones of voice for businesses.
If I was as bad as my mind makes me think I am, then I wouldn’t get the work.
And I certainly wouldn’t get approval for the content I hand over in a draft.
Only recently, I created a powerful tone of voice and reconstructed 20 website pages for an international firm.
I put together a press release for a US charity that will raise millions for those who need it most.
And remembering this and what I’ve done before helps reinforce my belief and get my fingers tapping on the keyboard again.
This happens nearly every day.
The fear is good in a way. I use it to avoid resting on my laurels. I use it as a catalyst to get better, to seek improvement in my content, to research harder.
So, listen to your inner cat.
You shouldn’t be worried.
Go ahead and miaow loudly. You’re bloody brilliant at what you do.