SOMETIMES I get so nervous about stuff, that I try and find any excuse not to do something that I know I really should be doing.
That I know will be good for me. That I know will take me to new exciting places.
In the end, I ignore the excuses – push them off a imaginatory cliff – and I get on with it.
Why? Because the alternative of not doing something is far worse.
I don’t want to miss an opportunity. I don’t want to be an old lady looking back on a safe life, that is full of regrets and ‘what if’s?’
And ultimately I want to have a story that is worth telling.
Make no bones about it. It is terrifying putting yourself out there. I know that. I get it.
The nerves. The sick feeling you get in the very depth of your stomach. The blushing cheeks. The sweaty palms. The fear.
The thoughts that people will judge you.
The thought that perhaps people won’t like you. “Who on earth does she think she is?”
The thought that you might fail.
FAIL! I mean, just the thought of that! Jeez!
Taking all of this into consideration, when you think of it, putting yourself out there isn’t very appealing at all, is it? On the surface that is.
So why should we?
Why should we leave our comfortable, snug as a bug, soft as cashmere, safety blanket?
We’re doing ok, right? Life will just sort of happen for us, right? Our dreams will magically come true of their accord, right?
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Some years ago, I used to find myself feeling really envious of other people and their success. And I would hate myself for it.
I did the whole ‘woe is me’ thing. And I would feel really sorry for myself.
I’d spend my days dreaming of a better, more exciting life. A life that would keep me on the edge of my seat. But yet it didn’t quite happen.
Life was good but not brilliant and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why amazing stuff happened to ‘her’ or ‘him’ but not me.
And then one day, I decided to jump to reach those stars. Much higher than I had before.
I stepped out of my comfort zone into unfamiliar territory. And the more I did it, the more I started to believe.
“I can bloody do this!” I would say to myself.
I also stopped caring about what other people thought (so much). And the less I cared, the braver I became.
If you really want to live a life that is worth living, you have to put yourself out there.
This is what life demands and expects from you.
You can try and hide your light and lurk in the shadows all you like, but life will look for you and if need be, grab you by the scruff of your neck and force you out, until you start to realise your potential.
Life will never let you rest so easy, because it wants more for you.
And, it will keep on trying, for a while at least, until eventually giving up and leaving you in your safe little hide out.
Don’t let that happen.
You can have the most magnificent dreams, but they will never come true, unless you get your bottom into gear and put in some serious graft.
You can imagine doing all kinds of wonderful, brilliant things with your time here on this planet, but if you don’t put yourself out there, you life will never be what you want it to be!
That is the truth.
Putting yourself out there is one of the most difficult things any of us can do.
That’s why your hear famous talented actors talk about stage fright even though they have decades of experience under their belt.
That’s why so many bloggers and writers find it so hard to publish something that their soul is screaming for them to share.
That’s why so many people walk around with their heads down when they are out and about, too afraid to catch a stranger’s eyes.
People are terrified of being seen. Of being heard. Of being themselves.
And it doesn’t matter how old you get or how much experience you gain – nerves, fear, shyness, low body confidence – these things, they affect us all.
So yes, people judge. (We all shouldn’t but we do.) And sure people will have an opinion about you. And yes – I hate to break it to you – but you will fail occasionally.
But I ask you this…so what?
Will the world end? Will life not go on? Will you never go out in public again?
Nope. Didn’t think so.
If I’d let my fear and nerves talk myself out of all the stuff I’ve done over the past few years, I’ll tell you what would have happened to me.
I’d be in an unfulfilling job, working long hours, away from Elsie and feeling miserable.
I’d be looking at the clock all day, wishing for it to be home time.
I’d be living for the weekends, but doing very little with my spare time.
I’d be meeting the same people, having the same conversations.
I’d be safe and predictable but dying a little inside, every day. And I sure as hell, would not be writing this to you now.
Do not deny yourself the happiness of a fulfilling, creative life. Do not let your fear or other people’s judgement get in your way.
Putting yourself out there is never, ever as bad as the alternative.
This is your precious story, no one else’s.
But I’m afraid it is you, only you, that can change your script.
This post is linked to #SundayStars