Why was I afraid to launch my new portfolio?

I was recently asked how long it took to create my new portfolio. The answer I gave was not the one I wanted to give. It took me, roughly, six months to launch my portfolio.

Launch…not create.

I spent 75% of that time putting it off, making needless changes, or ignoring it so I wouldn’t have to face the facts.

I was scared.

Every couple of days I thought about going live but I always decided against it. I left the “Under Construction” page up instead but the only construction was the walls of self-doubt and fear I continued to build higher and higher. Each day a new brick. Each week a new row.

A cartoon character laying bricks repeatedly

I love the work I do. I feel quite creative some days and the support from the tech community has been wonderful. Most of the time, I’m overwhelmed with kindness from people. Their kindness and support were not holding me back though. That was me.

For some reason, I had come up with what seemed like an ever-growing list of questions I was worrying about.

  • Will other creatives I know think this isn’t good enough? Maybe it’s not.
  • Will people wonder why “this” website took so long?
  • Is it too simple? It must be.
  • What if no one likes it? What if…what if…

These thoughts danced in my mind endlessly as I would decide to change all the fonts or colors one week and redesign the layout the next.

I always told myself I still had work to do and I was not wrong. However, the work that needed to be done was with me and not my website. I had to stop being scared.

It hit me early in June that I had been stuck in this cycle for 6 months now. That day, I came to a conclusion, I was over it. There was only one solution to my constant “I want’s”.

  • I want to work on other projects. =  Launch the site. 
  • I want to start writing on my blog. =  Launch the site. 
  • I want to find more freelance leads. =  Launch the site. 
  • I want to share my work, my story.  =  Launch. The. Site. 

So, I did it.

I turned off my “Under Construction” plugin which I had worn like a security blanket for all these months and quickly sent out a tweet announcing my new portfolio before I could change my mind.

And guess what? The world did not end and I felt an immediate feeling of relief. I had put so much pressure on this portfolio, this…combination of 1’s and 0’s that did not deserve the weight I gave them. No more.

Launched at last. The walls came down.

Brick walls breaking down

https://dribbble.com/shots/5949144-Break-down-walls

I’m not sure if others will relate to this or not but if so, I hope they might find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone in these feelings of doubt and stress when working on projects.

I don’t want to end this with a generic “You can do it too!” quote because all of our situations are different but instead, I’d like to leave you with a question that I would challenge you to write down and answer.

What is holding you back from launching your portfolio?

Is it you?

Until next time.

-Kyle Shook (@elyktrix)

Kyle Shook