“Putting Yourself Out There”: Leaving the Doubt and Fear Behind

“Inside every woman, is a crazy girl. And we all know what I’m talking about. That part of you that is entangled with insecurities, fears, and absolute insanity! The art of femininity lies in the molding, pounding, and defeating of that crazy girl on a daily basis! Look at any woman, and you’re looking at a woman fighting a daily battle, wielding her weapons in war, every day!  If we could only pound that crazy, insecure girl out of ourselves, it would make such the difference!” C. JoyBell C.

I have a confession… I’m terrified of what you’ll think of what you’re reading! This has been my “crazy girl” curse my entire teenage and adult life.  I have compared myself to others, and have cared so much of what I assumed others have thought of me. As a naturally reserved and private person, the thought of “putting myself out there”, starting something new, sharing my creative side or pursuing my passion, scares the *bleep* out of me!

I’ve started blogs two other times in the past (the first time was 2011!), but I didn’t have the courage to share them.  I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid of how people I know in my life offline would respond. I was afraid of what coworkers would think. I was afraid that people would think “what does she have to offer. I was afraid of being judged for self-indulgence or self-promotion.

I’ve wanted to start a business for years… but I was afraid that there were already too many people doing it! Afraid that I would never be as good as “them”, pictures as pretty as “theirs”, etc.

I’m sure I’m not alone in those feelings … sharing who you, opening up to a new opportunity, or pursuing something new means being vulnerable and being vulnerable is scary AF!

So why put myself out there now?

A couple of years ago I was forwarded the Ted Talk by author Brené Brown who talks about the power of embracing vulnerability to lead to wholehearted living. I immediately bought her book – “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.” I felt so compelled to change my life… like .. Immediately! But then LIFE happened. Two years later I’ve ended up back on the “change my life” train.

Brené talks about the willingness to be courageous when there is no guarantee. She talks about stepping into our power to play big rather than playing small because we’re afraid of failure or success. She’s an amazing storey teller. Honestly,  If you haven’t watched her Ted Talk on YouTube or Netflix Original I recommend you do it NOW!

In the end, success (in whatever it is you want) comes down to one thing… starting! Taking a leap of faith to pursue whatever it is that you feel compelled to do.

The top four lessons I’m finally learning when it comes to putting myself out there are these:

Stop comparing 

“Comparison is the thief of joy” is true 100 %of the time! When we spend so much time comparing ourselves to others we spend less time working on what makes us uniquely us. We lose our ability to be creative and self-expressive. We lose part of our own authenticity.

Know that you’re not alone

Know that “Everyone is fighting their own battle”. It’s so easy to look at other people’s lives and think that they are better, happier, more successful… more whatever… but what we don’t see is whatever they’re fighting on the inside. So many people showcase the good side and leave out the messy, raw details of life. It’s the messy, raw details that make us human and allow us to connect to one another

Develop Resilience

There is a chance that nobody will relate to or read what you have to write. There is a chance you’ll get rejected. There is a chance that whatever risk or leap you take may fail, but there’s also a chance you will succeed. For every setback, what will make you stronger is each time you adjust your strategy and come back. There is so much strength to be gained in the falling and rising, in the losing and winning.

Waiting for perfection might mean you’re waiting forever

I’m finally starting to realize that it’s all messy, life is messy, and it’s unfinished and raw, and it’s okay to not have it figured out. It’s okay to screw up, to have to put the pieces back together and try again. I’ve been striving to be perfect my whole life, but there is no such thing as perfect. The longer you hold yourself to that unrealistic standard, the longer you hold yourself back from being your true, authentic self.

We get only one life, why watch it from the sidelines, wishing you had the courage to dream more, live more, do more. Sometimes it’s the things we want most that are the scariest because it means we risk failure;  so instead, we resist for so long.  But it’s the things that force us out of our comfort zone,  take us in the life direction we want, and help us be who we truly want to be that are worth the risk! Feeling safe and comfortable is great, but it’s only on the outer limits of your comfort zone that things start to move.

So here I am, embracing vulnerability. I’m choosing to blog and share my voice, to start a business without a guarantee; to ignore the negative self-talk and do things for my own creative outlet and self-expression.  I’m doing this despite the fact that it scares me and I encourage you to do something that scares you too! If you want something… if you’re putting something off, take a chance!!!

What is it that you want to do? What is holding you back?

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