Quite embarrassing to admit but it actually took me about three years to finally put my writing out in public (really). When I first came abroad to Europe, all these ideas would pop in my head for a website all about my adventures. I would get this rush of excitement in my heart, which was a good sign I suppose. Unfortunately though, that feeling would then be immediately followed by a million negative thoughts.
What will people think? Am I going to look stupid? Will everyone laugh at me? What if no one likes it? What if it's a complete fail? Will my cats stop loving me?
Ok, just kidding about the last one.. maybe.
Time went on and I never actually put any of those ideas to use. Luckily though, I finally got the courage to just go for it. And thank goodness I did. From learning a crazy amount about websites and design to getting personal messages from people I've never even met - only incredible things I never imagined have come out of it.
So, for everyone who's ever held back from going for something, here are four tricks to get over those nasty fearful thoughts:
1. Stop looking for for the perfect time.
Your mind will continuously come up with a million reasons why the moment you're in now just isn't right. 'I don't have enough money.' 'I'm too young/old.' 'I don't have the experience.' 'I'm not ready yet.' Blah blah blah.
What complete nonsense. The truth is that there will absolutely never ever be a perfect time. It simply doesn't exist. The only moment you have is the one you're in right now. Everything else is the past or the future, which cannot be changed or is unknown.
I can still say that to this day, I never had that 'time is right' feeling. What I've come to realize is that actually great things happen when you just start even when you don't feel ready. Once you do, everything else is figure-outable and will come into place.
2. Just do it.
This saying doesn't only apply to the famous Nike brand. Everyone who is successful now also started somewhere. The secret though is that they started.
The beginning of something new will always be uneasy and uncomfortable. You might completely suck (everyone does in the beginning) but the only way to get good at anything is to keep doing it over and over again. Great things take effort but in the end, it's all worth it. Rome wasn't built in a day after all but thank goodness they kept at it! ;)
Write out one of your ideas in detail, reach out to a professional who you look up to, or download a book to learn how to do that thing you've always wanted. Whatever it may be, take action in this moment.
3. Play the worse case scenario game.
Sometimes (well, most times), our minds can make us think of all the bad things that could happen when thinking to try something new. But really thinking and writing out what the worst case scenario can be helps to see things differently.
Normally, the worst case of anything is that you get laughed at, talked about for a bit, or maybe lose some money. And if that's really the worst case then is it even that bad to just try at least?
4. Learn to not put energy into caring about what others think.
I know this may be easier said than done but with effort, it can become second nature. Whenever you put your energy into others opinions, you directly hand over the control to them.
The truth is that in the end, people will judge you anyways. Some may laugh. Some may gossip. Some may say harsh things. That's their choice and there is absolutely nothing you will be able to do to stop it. Although it can be a nice thought to think of everyone supporting you and your decisions, it's not reality. We're simply not designed for everyone to like us and that's ok.
On the other hand, some will do the complete opposite. They will be happy for you. They will be supportive and genuinely find what you're doing interesting. You might even inspire a person or two along the way. And in my opinion, just that alone is worth going for it.
Have you ever had a fear hold you back from doing something you really want? What tricks do you use to overcome that feeling? Let me know in the comments below or send me a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!