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I recently stumbled upon a thought-provoking post by a young, bold, ambitious, and unapologetic influencer with a massive following who shared her experiences of facing criticism from “real” professionals. She highlighted the paradox between individuals constantly seeking knowledge and earning credentials yet failing to take decisive action, monetize their expertise and earn actual money. Her message -“While you doubt yourself and criticize me, I make millions, and you don’t” was arrogant yet to the point.

In a society where ways to make yourself visible and reach your potential clients are abundant, and expertise can be self-proclaimed, it’s easy to lose sight of true professionalism and expertise. And it’s not the client’s job to understand who is a real professional and who is not. It is our job and responsibility as professionals to make sure that people, who can benefit from our knowledge and expertise, can find their way to us. And yes, that means being strategic about your personal brand and being visible to the right audience. Your audience.

Self-doubt is a natural human emotion experienced by the most accomplished professionals. But what if instead of viewing self-doubt as a limitation, we reframed it as an opportunity for self-reflection and growth? By acknowledging and embracing self-doubt, we can use it as a catalyst for action, learning, improvement, and achieving tangible results.

Rather than allowing self-doubt to paralyze us, let’s use it as motivation to remove masks hiding our authenticity, tame our inner dragons, step outside our comfort zones, and get out there for the people who need us. Taking action, trying new things, and embracing the possibility of failure and failing numerous times are crucial steps toward that.

This influencer’s unapologetic attitude stems from her unwavering belief in herself, her mission, and her ability to disregard others’ opinions. It reminded me of the importance of staying true to ourselves and focusing on our why, our goals, strengths, and capabilities.

Breaking free from external validation can help unleash our full potential.

But so can a simple change in our mindset:

What if we made it less about ourselves and our insecurities and more about the impact that only we can make on somebody’s lives?