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Field Notes

Field Notes #028: Conquer Your Cringe

conquer your cringe

 A few weeks ago, I saw a tweet that landed for me. 

The first time I pressed “publish” on a personal blog post in college, I felt cringe. Who knows where the roots come from – potentially imposter syndrome, fear of failure, or worse yet, fear of success. 

But I’ve felt it many more times in my career, often preventing me from doing things that would have a high probability of achieving success in my goals. 

For example, I always cringed at the thought of creating a course. I saw people like Tai Lopez doing it, so I thought, “That’s cheesy, and I don’t want to perceive myself as cheesy” 

But then I built a course, and I’m proud of it. It has made us money and helped a bunch of people get better at content strategy. 

Same thing has held me back when publishing on Twitter or LinkedIn, especially when using “cringe” formats like Twitter threads and clickbait LinkedIn hooks. Do you have any idea how self-conscious we felt publishing our first podcast episode? 

But what’s my goal? I want to grow Omniscient Digital through sharing trustworthy & great content. If doing cringe things helps me achieve that goal, then it probably helps to swallow my pride. 

I think a lot of us, if we’re being honest, would admit that our egos have prevented us from doing lame, earnest, corny, cheesy, and cringe things that would actually have helped us on our path to our goals. 

Whether that’s publishing more content, writing something outside your comfort zone, doing video content, or branching out into new channels, one must embrace and conquer the cringe. Your desire for accomplishing your objectives has to supersede your personal ick factor – so long as the ick factor is merely ego protection, and not actually an objective to your ethics and principles. People who get past this “want the ball” enough to get past their nervousness and push through anyway. 

So no, I’m not going to produce “get rich quick” courses like Tai Lopez. But you might see more cringey LinkedIn content, videos, and other experiments from me and the team 🙂

1. We Published 100 Podcast Episodes; Here’s What We Learned – that first cringey podcast episode turned into 100 more. This is a great recap post of our lessons. 

2. Stutz (Netflix documentary) – Jonah Hill made a documentary about his therapist, and a common theme through this is imperfection and bravery in the face of it. 

3. On Imposter Syndrome and the Speed of the world – Benyamin Elias’ treatise on imposter syndrome.

Alex Birkett

Alex is a co-founder of Omniscient Digital. He loves experimentation, building things, and adventurous sports (scuba diving, skiing, and jiu jitsu primarily). He lives in Austin, Texas with his dog Biscuit.