A few days ago I started thinking about fear. I'm not sure where the thoughts came from, but I decided to share them on my Instagram. The post read:
"Let’s talk about fear. I started thinking a little bit about fear today and here is what I came up with: Fear is a funny thing. I feel like fear is really nothing more than an expectation, the expectation of a negative outcome. 💭Wanting to ask the cute boy at the coffee shop for his number, but too scared the answer will be no? 💭Been working extra hard and are helping crush some goals at work and thinking about talking to your boss about a raise, but too scared the answer will be no? 💭Wanting to start a blog, but too scared no one will read it? These three things have something in common, the expectation of a negative outcome and being FEARFUL that the effort or time or commitment will not result in success. But you know what? If you don’t chat up the cute boy at the coffee shop you won’t get his number. If you don’t ask your boss you won’t get the raise. If you don’t start the blog there will be nothing to read anyway. So, by not taking the plunge you are coming up with the negative outcome anyway. So jump in! Take the plunge! Does that mean that you can always expect the successful out come then? Nope, but you do have a higher chance compared to if you let fear stop you."
About 2 days after writing out these thoughts I read a passage in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert that went along well with the thoughts I had jotted down. Gilbert wrote,
"I think perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear. I think perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it's just terrified. Because underneath that shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more than a deep existential angst that says, again and again, 'I am not good enough and I will never be good enough.'"
I think that anybody in any creative field needs to read Gilbert's book, it has been a game changer for me and I haven't even finished it yet. Writing all of this now, I kind of think that this book may have sparked some of my own thoughts about fear above.
I think that both, my own words and Gilbert's, are great reminders to myself to just go for anything. Nothing will ever be perfect, someone will always be able to find a flaw in what you do, what you say or what you produce but that doesn't mean you shouldn't still move forward and put yourself out there. I watched a video before (I think it was in the documentary Madefor More if I remember correctly) in which Rachel Hollis says,
"Other people's opinions of you are none of your business."
Let's say that again for those people like me who are maybe struggling with sharing their art, or using their voice, or for those people like me who are trying to focus a little more on doing all the things that are good for my soul and listen a little less to other peoples opinions: OTHER PEOPLE'S OPINIONS OF YOU ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
As with most things, ignoring others opinions of you is easier said than done. Also, as with most things, it takes just making small daily steps in the right direction to make a positive change.
So here I am. Putting in the effort to create, be it in words or photos, and sharing it. Putting out everything regardless of what others may think because continuously creating and sharing is the only way to progress and grow.
I hope that anyone reading this can do the same. I hope that anyone reading this can take steps to start to share themselves without the fear of others.