Real Talk: Censoring Yourself

A very smart woman asked me a question a few weeks ago.

A question I wish I had been smart enough to ask, let alone figure out the answer for, at her age.

I had an article published on this site (about mental illness). I enjoy writing for them and getting things published (especially after I got a comment that I helped someone 😭), but I worry that that kind of content/material is a turn off in the professional world. I guess I was just wondering if my name being attached to content related to mental illness is like… bad? Is it tainting my name professionally?

There are 2 schools of thought on this, from my POV.

Thought #1 Ok, maybe. Maybe someone reads that and thinks “oh that could be a problem here.” They’d have to really be digging into your background, which most people just don’t do. And no algorithm is even allowed to be like “red flag!” about that, if that makes sense.

Thought #2 – This is the real talk, mentor feeling on it. Do you want to work for someone who would think like that?

No, you don’t. I’ll answer that for you.

A company that wouldn’t read and see you as a warrior and a champion doesn’t deserve your talent. You should not put yourself in a place where a company doesn’t let you be your whole self.

I get paying the bills but I also hope you’ll always consider yourself and your joy, too. Because when you work like we do. When you care like we do? You can not survive or thrive in any part of your life if work torments you in any significant way.

Never censor yourself because you’re scared of how people will react. I did it for years. I came out when I was 16 and went back in the closet until I was 21.

Don’t you ever shut up or live your life because of some weird expectations you assume about the world. There is no normal, no expectations. You put those there. Don’t let you convince you that you’re failing.