I can’t tell you how many writers I work with who believe they have “nothing new” to say. I can’t tell you how many clients I work with who feel they have “nothing special” to offer potential employers, potential mates, or even the current people and responsibilities in their lives.
I might actually have had a stray thought or two myself about having “nothing big” to offer the world now and again.
Where in the world did this Goofy-like, scrape a toe in the dirt, “Awwrrr, shucks” self-deprecation come from? Some of us were belittled or ignored or even abused as children. But even among those who were supported and told they were awesome and could do anything (I was one of these), we still somehow manage to hide our lights under some pretty big bushels. So big, in fact, that even we can’t find them. Where did our sense of specialness go?
Some of it is societal, cultural. While the ambitious and iconoclastic individual may be celebrated in the media (but only after he/she is successful), it doesn’t play out that way for most of us in our peer groups. We start, horrifically young, trying not to stand out, trying, above all else, to fit in. No surprise, perhaps, that by the time we’ve been hatched from high school, we are little flocks of sheep, ducks, geese—pick your barnyard animal who doesn’t want to stand out in case he or she is the one that attracts the farmer’s attention and gets the axe.