Stop Filtering Yourself

This blog post is going to be an exercise in both honesty and my current beliefs about the world. I’m coming from a paradigm in which I believe the best way to write is to write as quickly as possible.

Is this always the case? Probably not. In highly technical car manuals, or other heavy machinery we don’t want the engineers writing safety booklets in 45 minutes.

I don’t write fiction either so I can’t comment on whether novels are best written quickly or slowly, but I can tell you one thing. When you write quickly you’re able to share a completely different vibe with your audience. Your tone is different when you’re not overly concerned on how every single word is going to sound.

I’m not correcting mistypes, spelling or other grammatical errors as I write this. If you read this before I gave it a proffread you may not have known if I was a native English spekare. Haha, just spelled speaker wrong. Proofread too.

What’s interesting though, is that in the process of eliminating censorship it almost appears as if you gain access to a more intelligent state of mind. I can’t remember where, but I do remember once reading that writing and editing use different sides of the brain.

If that’s the case then every time you stop to correct a spelling mistake or every time you nitpick the structuring of a sentence you’re losing your flow. Of course, you could argue that polish is what allows a piece to shine.

Perhaps, but if a piece lacks substance it isn’t going to shine regardless of your polish. Authenticity puts on a certain shine that proper grammar can’t.

Also realize that after you finish writing you can go back and proofread everything. Feel free to tidy up every spelling mistake, restructure every sentence, and debate every possible grammatical error, but do so only after producing the original piece.

That’s what’s going to allow you to produce something worth polishing. Getting the scuff marks off nice shoes is great, but people are going to laugh at you regardless of how well you polish your $4.99 half-torn-hobo sneakers from Goodwill.

Socializing And Filtering Yourself

In addition to filtering yourself when writing, self-filterization is a common phenomenon in socializing as well. Although I’m a much more competent writer than socializer, I can tell you from experience that the times I’ve been most socially successful have been when I’ve had no filter for the actions I was going to take or things I was going to say.

Filtering yourself to some degree may be an intelligent decision in a business setting, but when you’re at the beach with your friends there’s little need for self-filterization, and those who do censor themselves get punished. Why?

Because filtering yourself is the equivalent to pointing a flashing arrow at yourself saying, “I am low value.” Here’s why, when you’re trapped in your head thinking of what to say, others sense that you’ve put them on a pedestal.

If you were on their level you wouldn’t need to think of things to impress them. You could just be you. So what should you do? Just be you. Yeah, easier said than done. I know.

That’s why we have aids like meditation, building social momentum, and making little social missions for ourselves to acquire reference experiences for our brains.

When we provide them with proof rather than promises that it’s possible, and even beneficial to socialize successfully without having to be overly analytical, we reinforce positive habits of authenticity.

When people can see that you’re not censoring yourself it shows a lot of good things about you. You feel you belong. You’re comfortable with yourself. You’re not putting them on a pedestal.

When people can be around you for an extended period of time, and see that you’re just being you rather than trying to strategically manipulate the social situation; they’ll enjoy your company and inevitably grow more comfortable, and authentic with you in return.

That is, unless they have their own social hangups and believe that they’re not entitled to being around a free social being. If that’s the case, however, you probably don’t want to be hanging out with them anyway.

Realize that being a filterer inevitably leads to people believing that you have something to hide and a reason to filter yourself. Be completely authentic, and you’ll produce better results and feel more free in your social interactions.

Now go. Be free. Stop worrying about what others think, as the best way to get others to think positively of you is to congruently act in a manner that shows you don’t care about what they think.

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BAM! 900+ words in 21 minutes. We’re going to need to do some heavy editing here, but it’s proof of the preaching.

(Blog post ended up about 100 words shorter after 30 minutes of polishing.)

(Picture is from 7th grade in 2010.)

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