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Overcoming Unhelpful Beliefs about your Thought-Leadership Writing

Updated: 4 days ago

By Rhea Wessel

In thought leadership, the main currency is ideas. 

Yet many people with brilliant ideas face a big obstacle when it comes time to get them on paper: They’re fighting a battle against their own unhelpful beliefs about writing.  

If you're a subject-matter expert on the path to becoming a thought leader, you've likely encountered this struggle.  

It's not just about sentence structure or style; it's the weight of past criticisms, the ghost of a harsh comment that lingers on.  

But here's what I have to say: Those ghosts? They don't get to write your future.

Let's talk about overcoming unhelpful beliefs and making your mark with confidence. 

Once you have dismantled your unhelpful beliefs about your writing, you’re one step closer to confidently claiming your space in the thought leadership arena. 

Unhelpful belief 1: "Maybe I'm Not Good at This" 

Remember that time your work was criticized? Maybe it was a teacher's offhand remark or a peer's dismissive comment. It stung, didn't it?  

And somewhere along the line, that moment planted a seed: "Maybe I'm not good at this."  

This belief, once rooted, becomes a constant whisper, especially now that the digital age demands we all be writers in some form. If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. But recognizing this belief for what it is—a ghost of the past, not a reflection of your potential—is the first step to moving past it. 

Unhelpful belief 2: "I'm Hopeless" 

"I'm hopeless." How many times has this thought crossed your mind? It's a belief that turns a single negative experience into a life sentence.  

Rest assured. Writing is a skill, not just a talent. It can be learned, honed, and mastered.  

Image with text written on it "Keyword"

If you've ever felt like giving up because you believe you're just "not a writer," it's time to challenge that narrative.  

Every expert started somewhere, and every thought leader has faced doubts. Your voice is needed; don't let the belief that you're a hopeless case silence it, even for a second. 

Unhelpful belief 3: "I’m Never Good Enough" 

Never good enough." In the pursuit of thought leadership, perfectionism can be a double-edged sword.  

On one hand, it drives us to produce quality work. On the other, it can paralyze us, creating a fear of sharing our ideas. Why should we do that, when there’s a risk our ideas will be deemed unworthy.  

This belief is particularly insidious because it masquerades as high standards.  

Yet, the reality is, thought leadership is about sparking conversations, not delivering the final word.  

Your work doesn't need to be perfect to be impactful; it just needs to unique, original of service – and made accessible through clear writing. 

Embracing Vulnerability: Going Public with Your Ideas and In Your Voice 

Putting your ideas out there does set you up for potential criticism. It's uncomfortable, scary even. But it's also brave. Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.  

Every thought leader you admire has faced this fear and decided their message was worth the risk. You are no different. 

Remember, your unique perspective is invaluable.

Your experiences, your insights, they matter. Overcoming unhelpful beliefs about your writing isn't just about becoming a better writer; it's about stepping into your power as a thought leader.

It's about moving from silence to dialogue, from doubt to confidence. 

So, let's write. 


Let's share.

Let's lead with our ideas, knowing that on the other side of those unhelpful beliefs are people ready to embrace what we have to say, people who need to hear what you have to say. 

The ghosts of writing past?  

They don't stand a chance when you set aside limiting beliefs. 

-Rhea Wessel is a writer and founder of The Institute for Thought Leadership. Her new book on using AI to boost your thought leadership is due out late 2024.

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