I recently had the opportunity to fly to a business retreat in Hawaii in First Class. I know it’s not for everyone—and that’s okay!—but it is totally an experience I love and I take it any chance I can.
(Pro Tip + Side Note: It’s not as unachievable as you think! I used miles for this flight. I’ve also done last minute upgrades that are a fraction of the original price. So if it’s something you want, don’t count yourself out. Okay… back to the story.)
I’m in line to board the plane when the people come to an abrupt halt in front of me and I can’t tell if it’s because they’re waiting for a later turn to board or if something is happening that I don’t know about. (If you haven’t been flying recently, it happens ALL. THE. TIME.)
Turns out they are in boarding group 2, so I move to step around them at the same time this guy does and we almost collide. The man looks at me and asks (with one raised eyebrow), “Are you in boarding group number 1?”
Both eyebrows raise but he waves me forward and we get on the plane.
And as I’m sitting there in First Class I realize, I’m the only girl here.
I’m the only one with pink hair (though I’m kind of used to that).
And I’m one of only two people who aren’t dressed in suits.
And I had this flash moment of, “Do I really belong here?”
Have you ever experienced that? The feeling of being a fraud?
I think it’s really, really easy to fall into, especially when we’re participating in experiences that seem to stretch us outside our comfort zone.
In the writing community it often looks like:
I don’t use the three-act structure, I feel like a fraud.
I don’t use the hero’s journey, I feel like a fraud.
I don’t talk to my characters the way other people talk to their characters, I feel like a fraud.
I don’t write my story in a certain order, I feel like a fraud.
I’m a Pantser, I’m a planner, I’m an in-betweener… I feel like a fraud.
I’m so “corporate”! I feel like a fraud.
I’m too “artsy,” I feel like a fraud.
You get the idea. We are constantly comparing ourselves (and how we write) to others (and how they write).
And when that happens, we end up feeling like somehow WE are the fraud. We are the piece that doesn’t belong. We are the mistake and everyone else is the “real writer.”
When the truth is that writing, like any artistic endeavor, is such a personalized experience that there is no ONE right way to reach the end goal. There is only trying different approaches until you find the way that works for you.
Writers don’t come in one shape or one form or one way of being.
Like fireflies. One of our own, Kim Jury, recently shared with me that there are over 2000 species of fireflies. OVER 2000!!!! And all of them get to be called firefly.
I bet there are 10 times that many species of writers. And ALL OF THEM—including you—get to be called writer.
Which takes me back to that seat in First Class, doubt closing in as I glanced from passenger to passenger. “Am I the fraud? Do I really belong here?”
The feeling was intense but, thankfully, only lasted a hot second because, in that moment, all my mindset training—the work I’ve been doing for YEARS—kicked in. It helped me identify lie from truth. And with a secretive smile and a slight shrug, I was able to brush away those thoughts with a stronger knowing:
Of course, I belong here.
I may not belong with these people… especially Mr. Judgement Eyebrows… but I belong in this experience that I want to have.
I belong because I want it and I choose it.
Whatever you dream of creating… whatever goal you desire to accomplish… whatever experience you yearn to have… claim it. Believe it.
And know that you belong in whatever experience you choose!
I believe in you, Firefly. I really, really do.
Loves & hugs,