identity and labeling myself

If I label myself a superhero, do I have to save the world?

I hesitate labeling myself. I hesitate calling myself an entrepreneur, business person, writer, videographer, website designer, grill master, etc.

I don’t want to seem pretentious, knowing other people are out there with the same label who are better than me. There are expectations that come with labels, and I fear being labeled a poser. I fear being judged by others as a wannabe. If I don’t have those labels, I can be the one readily judging. I can breathe easier. It’s comfortable. It’s safe, and I still do decent work.

The thing is, I don’t want to settle with “decent work.” I want to be producing my sharpest, best work. I need to learn that it’s okay to label myself entrepreneur, or writer, if that is what I aspire to be. I can be bad at it. Of course I won’t be the best at first, but I need to fight for it. Labeling myself can give me a vision of who I want to be and how to get there.

I am an entrepreneur. Even typing that up took effort. I guess it takes practice. I’m not a good one now, but that’s okay. Coming to grips with that is freeing, but the real work starts now. I have a vision of the kind of entrepreneur I want to be. I will strive towards that and refine myself as I go. I’ll aim high, and do my best.

So, if you feel like your label should be superhero, do you have to save the world? Well, not right away. But you can start by helping one person at a time.

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Ira Glass, the host of the “This American Life” podcast from NPR, talks about creative work in the video below. His thoughts on taste and doing lots of work is encouraging and inspiring.