Yep, going to come out of the gate and hit you with a little tough love on this one
– you’ve got to stop caring what other people think of who you are, what you want out of life. and how you spend your time.
Now, you’re probably saying something along the lines of, “Whoooa, whoa. Whoa. Kate, I don’t care and I haven’t said those things to you. So, what gives?”
I’m going to make a blanket statement here and say that if you’re anything like me, or like others I talk to daily, you may have thoughts one of the following thoughts…
“I’ll diet after the holidays.”
“I need new gym clothes before I go to the gym. I don’t want to wear my old, oversized t-shirts.”
“I’m not happy in my job but it’s too much effort to find something else.”
“I want to write but I don’t know where to start.”
“I’m not happy doing X but I’ll probably get better if I ride it out.”
These past few weeks, I kept telling myself, “You’ll blog… later” and “You’ll start that cool Live Inspired Facebook Live series… after the craziness of work dies down.” I kept telling myself that I’d do X when Y was over. I kept pushing things off, and not only Live Inspired related but eating better, moving more, going to bed earlier, etc.
I’m a master of excuses.
And yet, as I’ve been telling myself these things, I’ve been sitting around not doing anything important at all. I have everything in front of me to eat better, move more, write my blog, pull together a plan of action, and more but yet, I’ve been a slob kebob. Or, even more worse, I’ve been dreaming and making plans in my head on how I’ll move forward to finally put my dreams into action and yet, when it comes to making it happen, I say, “Maybe later.”
Why is this?
If I’m being honest, I think it’s because doing all of these things that I so desperately want to do is exciting but it’s also venturing into some unknown land – and I don’t know what the hell is over the mountain in front of me. I haven’t opened this door/gone down this path (choose whichever cliche you like there – I liked both so I left both) so I’m a little afraid of the unknown.
I’m afraid that if I throw myself Live Inspired, I’m going to be vulnerable. I’m going to try a Facebook Live series which puts me front and center. I’m going to map out a blogging plan for the next 6 months so I’m setting myself up for success. I’m bringing my vision and my passion for Live Inspired to life not only for myself but I’m putting it out in the public.
And that’s scary.
When you put something out for public consumption that you’ve created, nurtured, and obsessed over for years – you run the risk of people pointing at you and saying, “Ha! Did you see her try to do that? Hilarious, right?”
I never would’ve thought that my procrastination boiled down to the fear of being laughed at or judged. Which makes me think, is this the reason that many people don’t follow their passion? They don’t go to the gym? They don’t quit their job and open up a bakery?
Here’s (another) big blanket statement but I truly believe that as humans, we’re naturally afraid of failure – knock down, everyone is pointing and laughing at you, gigantic, flat out failure.
This fear of embarrassment and humiliation has been engrained in us for years. YEARS.
Think back to old cartoons or movies you’d watch growing up – chances are you can recall one or a few scenes that went a little something like this: The main character is trying so hard to be cool when they get pants/a slushee dropped on their head/hit in the head with a ball/etc. and they think their life is over.
Everything is now terrible. The character’s reputation or ‘coolness’ is now ruined and they’re mortified to face their peers. Of course, they pick themselves back up in the end but in those moments, those flat out embarrassing moments, the viewer feels sympathy because nobody likes to feel like the laughing stock.
We’ve all felt it (which is why we can relate when a person gets pummeled with a pie) and it’s an awful feeling so as we grow up, we tend to protect ourselves. If we’re not careful, we run the risk of blending into the crowd and doing what’s expected of us. We don’t get outside of our comfort zones and follow our crazy ass dreams because we don’t want to feel that humiliation – we don’t want to be the one everyone is pointing and laughing at.
But here’s the thing – when was the last time you attempted something that didn’t turn out how you expected and you found that you couldn’t recover for weeks or months? When have you pointed and laughed at someone else who was living out their dream and made their lives miserable for weeks or months?
When was the last time someone commented about your old 5K tshirt at the gym?
When was the last time someone told you that your last Facebook status was the worst thing they’ve ever read?
Chances are, it probably hasn’t happened.
We’re our own worst enemies and we’re so ready to tell ourselves that something won’t work (the diet will fail, no one will read our stories, we’ll go bankrupt if we try to start our own business) that we start to believe it.
But when we’re so wrapped up in telling ourselves we’re going to fail and everyone will laugh at us, we tend to forget that everyone else is wrapped up in their own heads.
By attempting something that excites us and/or gets us out of our comfort zone, we’re essentially telling our negative minds to stop talking because this time we’re letting our heart and passion lead the way. And don’t kid yourself – that’s a big step to take.
If we’re afraid of failing or looking dumb, that means we’re taking a leap of faith into the unknown. We’re embarking on some journey where we don’t know what the outcome might be. If we did, we wouldn’t be afraid or spend our time wondering if everyone else accepts our crazy ideas.
You know what that means?
That means that you absolutely, positively have to do the things that frighten you. That fear is your mind trying to protect you from ‘looking stupid’ when in actuality, doing something that excites you but is out of your norm, is exactly what you need to be doing.
You need to follow your passion. You need to take a leap if your heart is telling you to just jump already. If you’re reading this and you know exactly what that little voice is telling you to pursue, you’ve already begun on your journey. You can make excuses and tell that voice to shut it for a little bit but believe me, you can’t quiet that voice inside of you for long – eventually that whisper will turn into an ‘outdoor voice’ and then into full on screaming.
If you’re afraid of looking dumb, that’s normal. If you’re afraid of being humiliated, that’s normal. If you’re afraid of doing something your heart keeps nagging at you to do, that’s normal.
You know what’s not normal? Continually shoving your passion down inside of you just because you’re afraid of what others will think. Stop making excuses for why you can’t do the thing you really want to do for yourself. Stop pretending like you don’t have the tools or the ability to get the tools you need to thrive. If you don’t have the tools now, get them. If you need to figure out a plan to get all the way over that mountain, figure it out. If you want to start dieting and going to the gym, put on your shoes and go make it happen.
Time will never be just right but excuses are aplenty. Stop being afraid. Stop blending into the crowd, doing what everyone else is doing, and just living a mediocre life when you’re meant for more. Listen to that voice and your pull and do more, do better, and be happier.