The iceberg that haunts my SXSW Interactive conversations

The thing I have to remember about the conversations that I have at SXSW Interactive about what people are up to and their latest projects is this. I am only hearing the successful parts of their lives, the head of the swan that is above the waterline. Underneath that graceful and successful body, the ungainly legs are paddling furiously, getting caught up in weeds, and disturbing the mud at the bottom of the lake.

So when I think about what I’m doing, I have to remember I’m not comparing like with like. The failures and knock-backs that I receive, the moments where getting the words out of my head and onto the screen are like detention with Umbridge, the struggle to get a work-life balance… everyone I am talking to have these moments as well.

I have to remember when I tell people some of the things I have been up to in the last year, they only see the top of my iceberg, so they are comparing my success with their struggles. We’re all human, we’re all putting on the best show for everyone else, and we’re all paddling furiously under the water thinking we are going nowhere fast.

There’s no need for me to flinch or think that something is wrong. There isn’t, and I should be comparing like with like.

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