Sean Aquilina, Founder and CEO at MAKA Visuals, implores those who tend to be more reserved in sharing parts of themselves with others to stop holding themselves back, and step out of their comfort zone for more rewarding experiences.

On social media, he opened up on his struggles with imposter syndrome, especially when in the company of individuals “who are older, more experienced, and seemingly have much more to offer.”

Mr Aquilina admitted to prefer listening and learning, rather than speaking up, behaviour that could end up being a stumbling block to growth, despite its evident benefits.

While it is certainly advisable to listen and learn, there also comes a point when the next step of development requires taking action and moving beyond modest passivity.

Having been invited to give a keynote speech on a topic close to his heart by Vistage Malta, an executive coaching organisation, Mr Aquilina opted to present cheap’o’media, a project begun during the pandemic that seeks to bring the global filmmaking community together by creating relatable content for filmmakers.

“This keynote was well-received by my peers,” said Mr Aquilina, “and I was soon asked to present to the entire Maltese cohort.”

Describing the offer as a “‘piss my pants’ moment”, the content creator took the plunge, and found that he thoroughly enjoyed it: “Seeing the inspiration in people’s faces and the light in their eyes was incredibly motivating.”

The experience served to remind Mr Aquilina that “being a source of inspiration in others is something I cherish,” and he hopes that the personal anecdote and reflection resonate with others with feelings of imposter syndrome.

“The next time you feel more comfortable holding back, remember that your unique experiences can be valuable to others,” he said. “People are likely to enjoy your stories and might even find inspiration and learn from them.”

His contribution certainly went down well, with Mr Aquilina being voted as the group’s most valuable participant for 2023.

“Such a great way to bring the year to an end,” he concluded, while thanking Vistage Malta for the opportunity.


Vincent Marmara / DOI - Alan Saliba

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