The Sunday Hug: Doing the things that scare you

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The Sunday HugToday’s hug is for the parts of you that know you have something to share with the world, but really struggle to do it.

Maybe you’re scared of promoting yourself.

Maybe you’re scared of asking for the money.

Maybe you’re scared of doing the thing itself – starting the blog, starting the painting, starting the song. Picking up the guitar, the brush, the pen.

That blank page, that blank canvas – it stares at you. It’s waiting. And you’re just not quite ready to do anything about it yet.

It’s okay. Seriously.

As humans, we get scared. To create something is to show ourselves for who we really are. It feels audacious to show that to others. It feels audacious to ask others to buy it.

It’s our tiny, tender little thing, and we just don’t want the big, mean, scary world to stomp all over it.

Seems like a completely sane response to me. And a completely sane reason.

We are taught to stay small.

Sure, our Rock Stars and Big Shot Artists and Movie Stars and Famous Writers and other Celebrities can go out there and strut their stuff. They can show off what they do.

But this is my issue with our culture of celebrity – we act like they have superhuman powers that have allowed them to create the careers that they’ve got. That somehow they’re special. We see people creating beautiful works of art or accomplishing amazing feats or even just getting filthy rich and we say to ourselves, “Well that’s okay for them, because they’re super talented or whatever-other-bullshit-we-think-of.”

We think it isn’t okay for us. That we couldn’t possibly do what they’re doing.

But guess what?

Once upon a time, that person you look up to and admire, was you.

They were sitting at the computer, at the easel, at the typewriter, scared, unsure and feeling vulnerable. They were the ones looking at their heroes and saying, “Well I couldn’t possibly ever be like Them.”

They were being told by the people around them that they were crazy to try, crazy to dream, crazy to hope.

Maybe that’s why we seem to be hardwired to worship celebrities – we want to have their guts. We all dream of doing what they did, but they actually did it.

We only ever focus on the glamour though – what’s been achieved. Not the fear and the uncertainty that came before hand. Not the terror of bucking the status quo. We never talk about that.

But everyone gets scared.

We are all human after all. And we all fear different things – I might be scared of rejection and drowning, while you fear heights and public speaking.

But at the end of the day, the fear feels the same in all of us.

Just know this:

The world needs your thing. You have a gift, because the world needs it. There may have been hundreds of thousands of painters and writers and speakers, but you’re the first you. You’re the first one to say it in your way. And while I don’t want to tell you that you’re a special little snowflake (because then I’d have to shoot myself to salvage my dignity) in a way it’s true.

And you are the one who’s here, right now, with that gift that the world needs. And maybe right now, only one person needs your thing. But maybe in a few years, a hundred people will need your thing. And maybe soon, a few thousand will need your thing.

But however many people you end up helping, I can guarantee that there is at least one person in the world who, right this second, really needs your thing to help them. To get them through. To inspire them.

It’s that whole idea of the ripple in the pond – who knows how your ripple may affect others? Your small pebble in the pond now may become a tidal wave of change on the other side of the world later.

I know it seems far-fetched, too good to be true, but just like I can’t prove it’s true, you can’t prove that it’s not. And isn’t it better to take the chance that it’s true?

So what am I getting at with all of this?

I’m not trying to bully you into being brave. God no. You have total permission to be as scared as you need to be. We are all allowed our fear.

I’m just trying to give you some food for thought. Maybe even some ammo against your fears. I’m just gently pointing out that although it is scary as hell, you can do it and someone in the world needs you to do it.

And you don’t have to do it perfectly. And maybe you do it in tiny, little tortoise steps. But as my mother’s childhood tortoise, Coco, proved – you can still run away from home even with tiny, little tortoise steps.

Comments!

Since this is the Sunday Hug, obviously any judgmental, mean, or “shoulding” comments are distinctly not allowed. Because even if we have a tendency to be mean to ourselves the other 6 days of the week, today we are going to spend 5 minutes being nice to ourselves.

Aside from that, comment away! Did you need to hear this today? Do you have a thing you’re scared to do? Do you have a thing you’re scared to share? Maybe you could whisper it in the comments.

And as always – hugs for all! 🙂

(Do you need help remembering your dreams? Do you want to remind someone else of their dreams? Art is a really great way to do that. Pick up some art for yourself or your loved ones this holiday season.)