Mindset

What if you're not an expert?

In: Mindset

To become a great creator, you need to create.

But many creators get in their own way because they believe "they're not an expert."

I hear creators say it all the time. And it's not always explicit – it's usually an offhand remark about their current content strategy (or lack thereof).

"Well, I'm not an expert, so I don't know what to say..."

It stops people from creating.

And that's a huge problem.

So if you feel like YOU aren't an expert and that belief is preventing you from publishing, I have a few questions for you...

Is that actually true?

Are you really not an expert?

How do you know?

A lot of the creators who tell me they aren't an expert have so much experience that I can't believe what I'm hearing from them.

If you're not an expert...then who is?

It's imposter syndrome more than it is truth. If you can't articulate why you're not an expert, then you're probably being unfair to yourself. You're probably dealing with imposter syndrome.

Do you know who deals with imposter syndrome? People with self-awareness.

Do you know who makes the best teachers? People with self-awareness.

The very fact that you have imposter syndrome is a sign that you ARE the person that you believe you're not.

What would make it true?

Let's say you still don't believe you're an expert.

Fine.

What would need to be true in order for you to believe that you are?

If you're unable to articulate what would make you an expert, then how can you ever hope to achieve it?

Introspect. Interrogate your beliefs.

Once you are able to articulate what would need to be true for you to step into your power as an expert, then you have a new North Star.

Make it happen!

Do people want or need an expert?

Do you even need to be an expert? Is that what people want or need?

For creator-educators, we're helping our audiences on a journey of improvement, transformation, and self-actualization.

Our audience needs to put one foot in front of the other and take the next step...and that's where you can help.

We think we need to know how to help people go from A to Z – but that's not necessarily true. People need to go from A to B. And then from B to C. Hey, maybe you're able to help people go straight from B to D!

People need to feel confident in taking that next step – and that doesn't require an "expert." It requires someone with experience who can help them save some time, effort, or money.

Can you help someone save time, effort, or money? If so, you have a lot to offer.

How can you reframe it?

If these questions haven't convinced you that you're an appropriate person to help your audience, how can we reframe your contribution to get you creating again?

Instead of positioning yourself as a generous expert, try positioning yourself as a curious beginner.

You can be a student or an explorer – and instead of sharing "answers," you share your exploration.

As I shared above, one of the greatest ways to provide value is to save people time. If I'm a beginner trying to find an answer or get better at something, I'm going to try and find ways to shortcut my learning curve.

This is where you can add value as a non-expert – if you do the legwork of giving me a starting point that's not square one, you've provided a lot of value.

Research and exploration take a lot of time. You can be the guinea pig trying and learning things that save others who come after you a lot of time.

And before you know it, your journey of exploration is what will help you become the expert you want to become.

Conclusion

If you don't believe you can help others because you're not an expert, I challenge you to interrogate that belief.

  • Is that really true?
  • What would make that true?
  • Do people even need an expert?
  • How can you reframe your contribution?

You become an expert with experience. By getting hung up on your non-expert status, you prevent yourself from gaining experience and becoming one.

If you don't feel comfortable stepping forward as an expert, reframe the value you provide. Be a curious beginner who is learning and inviting others along for the ride.

We admire (and relate to) people who TRY just as much as we admire people who succeed. Show people what it means to walk this journey – and in the process, you'll help them accelerate their own.

Written by
Jay Clouse
I'm the lead Creator Scientist writing this newsletter. I also host Creative Elements, a narrative-interview podcast talking with today's top creators with more than one million downloads.
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