Last week I had the good fortune to spend a few minutes on the phone with a talented young dancer who has also launched a successful business on the side. When we got on the phone together, one of the first things she said was, “So, I know I need to do this, but I’m really afraid to put myself out there!”
I was suddenly taken back to 2009 when I sat at my computer alone in my apartment trying to think of something to write for my very first blog post. It was terrifying! I felt like as soon as I published it, the whole world would “find me out” and I’d be revealed as some naive little girl who didn’t know anything.
Today I want to share some tips with you about moving through the fear of putting yourself out there, because I really understand how scary it can be.
Tip #1: You Are Unique
Yeah, yeah, I know, everybody ALWAYS says this: “Your unique point of view is special and no one sees the world like it!” If you’re like me, you’re probably pretty tired of hearing that same old story… but I came to understand it differently recently.
I was in an acting class where every actor was given the same bit of text on a piece of paper. They were given a few minutes to study the lines, and then they were asked to come back and act it out. Easy, right? And considering that it was the same text, everyone would probably do it the same way.
Nope. Every single actor who came through had a completely different understanding and interpretation of the very same words. Each one of them saw the content through different lenses. The same goes for your writing and expertise: even though another person may be in the same field, the way you work with your clients is much, much different just because you’re you.
Tip #2: Suzanne Evans Says…
If you haven’t heard of her, Suzanne Evans is a very successful business coach for women. At this point, she’s written books and sold millions of dollars worth of coaching strategy. Seems like she’s one fearless cookie.
I read an article she wrote where she said something like (and I’m paraphrasing), “Everyone feels fear. I feel it. You feel it. Your clients feel it. All the people emailing you feel it. Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Being afraid to do something isn’t an excuse for not doing it: everyone feels afraid to do things and put themselves out there! But if you’re really set on creating a business that affords you the lifestyle you want, you have to be brave enough to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Tip #3: No One Cares
It’s a great irony of life: we get so caught up in our own appearance, success and happiness, thinking that others might regard us poorly if we don’t achieve a certain level of notoriety.
Guess what? No one cares. You’re the only person in the world who really, truly cares enough to dwell on whether what you’re writing is stupid or trite or “good enough.” Everyone else is too busy worrying about whether or not they look stupid or trite or “good enough,” so in essence, you have nothing to lose!