I can’t be impossible; I exist!
I think what you meant to say is, ‘I give up; he’s improbable’.
– Dr. Sheldon Cooper
Big Bang Theory, The Gothowitz Deviation
It’s almost impossible to insult Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Annoy him, absolutely. Insult him? Not so much. His tolerance for verbal jabs is astounding. And for one reason: he’s absolutely self-assured.
As copywriters, we could all take a page out of Sheldon’s book. It may sound crazy (“I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested.”), but let’s look at this logically.
The client-copywriter mechanics of interaction are based on feedback, most of which are edits and observations for improvement. And, it’s one of the few professions that too many people wrongly believe they can do better, which means that sometimes their feedback is served with a condescending tone.
And without the proper self-confidence and objectivity, it can get to you. But learning how to channel a little bit of Sheldon’s self-assuredness can go a long way towards keeping our own sanity.
So, how can we channel our own inner Dr. Sheldon Cooper?
We pour ourselves into our work, often agonizing over every word and punctuation mark. And that can make the editing process painful.
Instead, we need to view our output and the resulting edits more like Sheldon views the results from an experiment. Keep what works, modify what doesn’t.
Stick to the Facts
Sheldon bases his observations on logical facts. As creative professionals, that’s not our strong suit. Instead, when the edits seem longer than the project itself, our first reaction may be to take it as proof that we were way off base, have no idea what we’re doing and should reconsider our entire career path.
If we want to maintain our self-esteem and sanity, we need to view each edit as its own individual fact and not concrete evidence that we suck.
Remember Your Successes
With his eidetic memory, Sheldon remembers every one of his successes. He doesn’t need anyone to tell him he’s brilliant – he knows.
While we probably can’t remember every single time we’ve done well, we would do well to remember that we’ve come this far for a reason. We need to hold ourselves accountable for recognizing our worth. It keeps our self-confidence intact and gives us a solid foundation for marketing our services.
Keep Striving for Better
Sheldon is a genius, but he doesn’t rest on his laurels. He’s regularly conducting experiments (fish nightlight anyone?) and looking to break new ground…regardless of naysayers.
So should we. That’s how we grow. And the more confident we are, the more gumption we have to take bolder strides for even greater personal and professional growth.
Let’s not go totally around the bend and morph into walking, talking Sheldon Coopers, but we can learn a lot from him. He knows who he is. He’s fully aware of his strengths and weaknesses. And he’s comfortable with himself. We should be too.