I am not a courageous person by nature- actually, quite the opposite. Talking about anything that I’m working on creatively makes me blush and I have a hard time being confident about it! Kind of a hard quality to have when you’re trying to put a blog out there, right?
I have been blogging off and on since I was 22, but I didn’t always have the courage to share it with my friends and family. I remember writing some really great content while I was navigating my way through college and I thought “why am I not sharing this with people?!” In the back of my mind, I knew why: rejection! I was so scared that people would think I was weird/stupid/self-absorbed by putting out a blog about my life experiences that I didn’t give anyone the opportunity to form any of their own opinions. Why would I? I had already decided what they would think.
Eventually, I just bit the bullet and posted what I was doing! To my surprise, people were really supportive and gave me great feedback. Did I become some world renowned blogger with a mass following? Nope. But I gained some self-confidence and felt like I was finally writing for someone other than myself.
The first chapter in our February book club, Big Magic, is all about finding courage for whatever your creative outlet may be. There is section that really struck me about how fear is BORING.
For the entirety of my young and skittish life, I had fixated upon my fear as if it were the most interesting thing about me, when actually it was the most mundane. In fact, my fear was probably the only 100 percent mundane thing about me. I had creativity within me that was original; I had a personality within me that was original; I had dreams and perspectives and aspirations within me that were original. But my fear was not original in the least. My fear wasn’t some kind of rare artisanal object; it was just a mass-produced item, available on the shelves of any generic box store. And that’s the thing I wanted to build my entire identity around? … No.”
Whoa. She’s absolutely right though! Fear is boring! If we never pursue our dreams, if we never allow ourselves the grace to be courageous… how will we ever know what we are capable of? A certain level of fear is to be expected, of course, and can actually be helpful. If you’re scared to do something, than that means you are pushing yourself outside of your normal limitations.
Conquering your fears and finding courage doesn’t have to be an elaborate conquest, either. You don’t have to quit your day job to pursue your passions (though if you’re super brave and aren’t a “pay my bills, have food and shelter” kinda person- go for it! ;)) I wish early 20-something year old me would have published that blog sooner because I had nothing to lose.
You might still face rejection. There might be someone reading this blog post at this very moment and rolling their eyes. But do you know what isn’t happening? I’m not being afraid. I’m taking a leap.
What are your thoughts on Big Magic so far?