I keep thinking about this tweet that I stumbled upon today by Lino DiSalvo, head of animation of Disney’s Frozen.
I had a similar experience when I was younger. I was working as a staff writer on a tech magazine and was pitching to write my first Doctor Who audio drama with my friend Mark Wright. It was lunchtime and we were eating at our desks, excitedly working on the pitch document. Our editor at the time looked over at us, snorted with derision and said: “You’re kidding yourself. You know it won’t happen, don’t you?”
It stung and those words have stayed with me ever since, over two decades later. In my darkest moments they would feed directly into my imposter syndrome, even when things were happening. They’d add to the cacophony of doubts in my head, morphing into other discouragements. You know they’ll hate this, don’t you? You know, you won’t be able to pull this off, don’t you? You know you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, don’t you? Don’t you? Don’t you?
Lino is right. It is the hurtful things you remember, but I absolutely believe in making your own lane. Those words, uttered so casually and cruelly actually spurred me on. Yes, in my darker moments they added to my doubts, but at other times… most times… they drove me on. I wanted to prove him wrong, even if he never knew about it.
You know it won’t happen, don’t you? No, actually, I don’t know that. And it definitely won’t happen if I give up, will it?
So, yes, I absolutely agree with the #MAKEYOUROWNLANE hashtag. People will try to discourage you, and those words will hurt, but they can also fuel you to carve out a new direction for your future.
What can you do to make your own lane today?