Modesty or fear? – 200 words project


Here is this week’s 200 words project:

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“If you’re not proud of it, don’t ship it. If you are, sign your work and own the results. We’ll know who to thank. If you work for a place where work goes unsigned (internally, in particular) it’s worth asking why.”

Seth Godin in Sign Your work

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I have an aversion to signing my work with my name. Why is that?

I used to think that signing my work is akin to boasting to the world that I did it. But is claiming my work same as boasting? And so I realized that was not it. That was the excuse I used, but that was not the reason.

The reason I don’t is fear – When I do sign my work, I am actually opening myself up to the criticism of the world, to mocking and laughter and I am not ok with that. Each critic, each condescending look, each “really? You think that is good?” or mocking laughter feels like a little death. And so, because I fear these negative feedback, I cover it up and call it modesty to soothe myself. (The adult version of infant thumb-sucking?).

But why do I fear negative feedback? Maybe it is because I am extremely possessive about the work I create, almost as if it is a reflection of me? It is maybe because I have not yet learned to let go of the creations. The creating act is personal, yes. The creation was mine yes, but once done, it is out in the world, it is its own. It does not belong to me.

And so I tell myself and start the process of opening up about what I do and what I make and what I dream.

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About the 200 Words Project

Once every week, on Monday morning, I will post my ‘200 Words Project’ post where I will ruminate on some idea which caught my interest in the current book I’m reading, or maybe (sometimes) from a blog post or podcast – in 200 words or more, never less!

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