Yesterday I wrote about receiving compliments and the dangers of false-humility. In a form of karmic retribution I then received several very nice compliments about an area of my work in which I easily find reasons to doubt myself. In that moment I didn’t respond with any of the false-modesty or apologies, but internally and throughout the day that’s exactly what I was doing. I was overwhelmed by a mix guilt and shame but also gratitude.

That overwhelming feeling is not a bad thing. It’s a sensation proportional to the importance of our work. If someone really feels the need to tell us how our work affected them, then it probably affected them a lot. And when they tell us about it it’s going to affect us a lot. That’s what it’s supposed to do.

We want to get better, and we should. We need to. But it’s also true that we can do our work right now and fully serve our audience with all the tools we currently have. Don’t wait until you’re good enough to really connect with your audience because then it’ll never happen.

The guilt and the shame is not going to help you. But the gratitude will. So if you can feel a little more gratitude than you did yesterday then you’ll be moved to do more work today and tomorrow you’ll be doing even more for the people who appreciate you.


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