Yuhang He's Blog

Some birds are not meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright.

Do You Take Yourself Seriously?


I read this article about two months ago and instantly I got shocked and ashamed about myself. The words and details kept haunting me ever since. Thus I decide to record it here. The article was originally written by Sarah Cooper, a former googler, writer&comedian. I express my sincere appreciation to her here.


When is the last time you had an opinion but didn’t share it with anyone because you didn’t think anyone would care? When is the last time you got really excited about an idea you had but then never pursued it because you decided it wasn’t good enough? When is the last time you started to make something but gave up before you finished because you didn’t think anyone would like it?

You’ll read a lot of articles that tell you to “just to it,” - don’t worry what others will think, keep going, keep persevering, don’t give up!

I didn’t take myself seriously for a long time. I still struggle with taking myself seriously. I couldn’t even put a finger on what it was I was doing to myself until about a year ago. But finally I realized there’s this thing some people have - this ability to get excited about something they’re doing and go for it with some sort of crazy abandon. This ability to remain focused and stand firm and get on top of mountain and shout out what they want for all to hear.

And I knew I had the ability to clim up a mountain and do the same thing, but I would always talk myself about it. And I finally realized it was because I just didn’t take myself seriously.

I even struggled writing this article …

Why am I writing this? This is stupid. This is repetitive. Hasn’t someone else said this before but better? Do I even know what I am trying to say? No one is going to read this. I should go work on something else. This is a waste of time.

Those were my thoughts almost every time I tried to create something new. I didn’t take my own opinions, my ideas or even what I wanted for my life seriously.

So what happens when you don’t take yourself seriously

You spend a lot of time dreaming but not actually doing. You come up with ideas but you stop yourself before even try.

Or you do try something but you give up quickly because you decide it’s not good enough, no one will like it, and it was a stupid idea anyway.

But the worst part happens ten years later when you look back on that thing you almost started and you realize there was something there. It wasn’t half as bad as what you thought at the time and you might have really accomplished something if you’d only stuck with it.

So what happends when you don’t take youself seriously?

You’ll eventualy see someone else who had the same idea you had, but she started it with the world, she did something with it.

“But it was exact same idea!” you say. Yes, it was - but that person took it seriously. That person took themselves seriously. That person said, “this is interesting to me, so it could be interesting to someone else,” and they did something with it.

So what happens when you don’t take yourself seriously?

you resent people who do. You look at people who promote themselves and their ideas and you think they’re egotistical or ridiculous. Or you look at people who you admire and you lament the fact you could never ever accomplish what they have.

So what happens when you don’t take yourself seriously?

You sabotage yourself. You rush through a half-hearted execution and don’t give yourself the time you need to learn something new, or do it the right way. And when it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted you decide it was a total waste of time. But you might have had a totally different outcome if you’d first accepted the fact that it might take time but that the time would be worth it because you believed in it.

So what happens when you don’t take yourself seriously?

You get depressed. You get angry at yourself. You get disappointed in yourself. You wonder why you haven’t done anything. You feel like you never will. You feel like it’s too late. But it’s not.

Every piece of every tiny little thing you’ve ever thought is filled with possibilities. You don’t know what. And that’s scary. You might not yet know how. And that’s hard. But when you take yourself seriously, you give yourself enough credit to know that you can figure it out. When you know in your heart that your ideas are important, you will give every idea you have a fighting chance.

You might mean speaking up at work. Or it might mean just finishing that one thing you’ve been thinking about forever. Or it might mean tweeting about it, making a video or blog post about it, or getting on a stage and sharing it with an audience.

When you take yourself seriously you will make others takes take you seriously. You will put your ideas out there. You won’t hide them. You will keep trying.

Take yourself seriously!

Don’t treat your ideas like they’re nothing, don’t treat yourself like you are nothing, because you and your ideas are important and meaningful and have the potential to become so much more then you realize.


Parting Words

Every time I read this article or recall some crystall sentences within it, I would resync and reset myself. Sit down to ask myself what I want in my life and make a clear plan to promote myself to be the one I want to be.