Soapbox: SEO community must temper responses when idea-sharing to avoid shaming
If our focus is to gaslight others in the cause of righteousness, then we're on a path to the dark side. There is a difference between truth and cruelty.
What we may not realize starting out in our search marketing career is that the path we choose can quickly become our identity – and with it, shape our mindset. We choose our worldview and its invisible hand leads us along our career path.
It may even affect our mental health because we’re constantly pushing to meet expectations others have imposed on us. Or, that we’ve accepted these expectations as our own even if it’s not actually what we want. This is when imposter syndrome can set in.
Feeling trapped in a job/role/company can become a stress for any digital marketer and is rarely written or spoken about publicly. We all want to be successful, or at the very least perceived as competent. The idea that technical SEO is makeup article from 2016 generated a lot of industry furor and might have cost us the ability to freely debate new ideas and welcome new voices about our work.
If imposter syndrome is too strong, we may not attempt to step outside our comfort zone at all. We stay silent.
The SEO community has to work harder to balance calling out misinformation and doing so in a way where people don’t feel unduly shamed for sharing new ideas.
But if our career identity is to shame or gaslight others for past behavior or beliefs in the cause of righteousness, then we’re on a path to the dark side. When people believe they are 100% right, often their truth is used as a weapon against those who disagree.
Our career identity matters because the stories we tell ourselves become our reality. Once on a path that may be considered “rogue,” would you even notice? Does a fish notice the water around them?
Shame is one of the biggest obstacles to innovation.
Here’s my final thought on this. There is enough documentation now and evidence published on SEM industry topics that whatever insecurities we share, it’s no longer a dark art. It’s as mainstream as an influencer’s selfie.
We are the geeks. We won. Everyone carries a computer in their pocket now. We’ve earned the right to be kinder to ourselves.
Soapbox is a special feature for marketers in our community to share their observations and opinions about our industry. You can submit your own here.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.