Are you holding yourself back from doing something you’d love to do?
Most of us do it, to varying degrees, I suspect.
Fear. Possibly the most useless emotion.
Unless you’re being chased by a wild animal, or a handful of other exceptional cases, what a stupid waste of energy it is.
Fear of being wrong. Or of seeming to be wrong.
Fear of being ridiculed. Or of being different from the ‘norm’.
Want to sing but think you can’t? Do it. Sing. Loudly.
Want to start running but worried you’re overweight and unfit and people will laugh? Do it. You’ll get fit and lose weight.
Want to start a business but worried you’ll fail? Just do it. Today. It may work out, it may not. But you’ll never know unless you start.
For me these sort of fears started when I went to school.
Before then I was happy. I was care-free. I did what I wanted. I sang. I danced. I played. I read. I came up with fun ideas.
Peer pressure soon kicks that out of you, sometimes physically. At least, it did me.
It took years to get past that. But I did. At least up to a point. I’m sure I can go further. And I plan to carry on trying until the day I die.
I’ve got an idea for a podcast I’d like to do. What’s holding me back? Fear that it won’t work. Fear that my voice is terrible. Fear I won’t be able to keep to a regular routine. Fear that no one will listen.
Will I do it? I don’t know yet. It’s one of the things I’m still working towards.
But on the whole I do what I want, and have done for many years. And I’m getting better at it all the time.
Now I worry less about what others think of me.
What’s the point? As long as I’m not hurting other people, what does it matter to anyone what I think or do?
The best way to please someone you love and who loves you is surely to be yourself?
And for everyone else… Well, I hope people like me. It’d be nice, obviously. No sane person wants to be hated. But does it really matter?
And no matter who you are, or what you do, you’ll always have people who dislike you. Even the most popular people have people who hate them. So what hope do the rest of us have? No one can, or should, please everyone.
So why pander to the lowest common denominator? I’d rather have 2000 twitter followers who think I’m ok for who I am than 200,000 by pretending to be someone else.
And if people don’t like you for who you are, well, they can go try any of the other 7 billion or so people on the planet. And so can you.