Moving through my fear

For over a year now I’ve had a burning desire to post videos on social media. I’ve always enjoyed being in front of an audience, so it’s no big surprise.

But what is surprising (at least to me) is that I wasn’t making it happen.

No matter how much I wanted to, I just couldn’t take any action.

I felt frustrated and stuck.

I was paralyzed with fear. Of putting myself out there.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Every time I got close to posting something I’d think: “don’t be ridiculous, who the heck is going to watch you?”

My mean little inner critic (who seems to enjoy keeping me “down”) would even go so far as to say:

“Who the hell do you think you are?”

Also known as:

“Don’t get too big for your britches!”

As though stepping into my full, authentic self, and shining my unique light out into the world was a really, really bad thing.

Yup. That’s the kind of crazy shit my generation was brought up to believe.

unsplash-logoAnika Huizinga

We were taught to be good girls and boys. How to shut up, and get back in line. How NOT to take up too much space.

Staying safe for many of us meant staying small.

And fitting in.

And sometimes even staying hidden.

As a shape-shifting people-pleaser for most of my life, I’d become a master of fitting in.

Of figuring out who I thought people needed me to be.

At least the old me had.

The new me? Well, she definitely had better boundaries. She knew who she was. And what she wanted.

So wtf was up then?

Why hadn’t the new, improved (older and wiser) me gotten her act together?

Why hadn’t she posted any videos yet?

At first I thought it was because I hadn’t tackled the HOW.

I mean let’s be honest here, I’m a very practical, logical kind of girl.

I like to know how to do things – and do them well – before I leap off any cliffs.

That just makes perfect sense in my world.

But even after participating in the inspiring three-week Ignite Video Challenge (twice!) last year — where I learned all sorts of tips and tricks and jacked up my confidence level — I still couldn’t muster up the courage to go public.

I just didn’t get it. What was going on?

unsplash-logoBen White

I finally had the know-how. And the experience.

I’d created and shared almost 40 videos within the challenge’s private Facebook community. And enjoyed – nooooo, loved – doing them!

So why couldn’t I move myself forward?

What was stopping me from following my inner ding (my feel-good barometer that I’d written about in another blog)?

After months of staying stuck, and feeling disappointed in myself, it finally hit me: there was an underlying fear holding me back.

A BIG one.

I was afraid of being judged.

Of being criticized by others. And looking like a fool.

The very thought of putting myself out there on video made me feel extremely vulnerable.

unsplash-logoPaolo Chiabrando

And exposed.

Like someone would finally learn my secret.

That I just wasn’t good enough.

Wasn’t talented, interesting, or knowledgeable enough.

And yes, sadly, even young enough.

No wonder I wasn’t getting anywhere.

My fear of not being good enough had totally derailed me.

Instead of being brave and believing in myself — believing I WAS good enough — I’d made a pact with my fear to stay small.

And safe on the sidelines.

Until this past weekend that is.

When a dear friend of mine (who’s also a pretty awesome life coach I might add) challenged me to start moving through my fear.

Once and for all.

To take a step – a do-able, achievable, baby step – towards my goal.

Towards the thing that she and I both knew I’d wanted for a long, long time.

To prove to myself that I was worth it.

That I could do it.

And I wouldn’t die of embarrassment. Like I sometimes felt I would in my most vulnerable moments.

My friend was right of course.

It was time to take action.

And face my fear head on.

I wasn’t going to shrink back. Stay hidden. Or play small any longer.

Instead I was going to let my inner light shine — brightly!

And no one, including (especially) me, was going to stop me.

So, here it is.

My first public video on YouTube. Posted earlier this week.

It’s 100% me.

Imperfect. Spontaneous. Real.

Just me. Doing me.

And I have to say. It feels good. Reeeaaally good.

To FINALLY be on the other side of that paralyzing, utterly useless fear.

The fear that kept me hidden for so long.

Too long.

But not anymore.

Taking this one small step has both energized and freed me.

As did all the encouraging words of support from those (my tribe) who watched it and cheered me on.

I can’t wait to post video #2 next week!

Sooooooo….what about you?

Is there something you’ve been longing to do or say? A dream you haven’t yet found the courage to follow?

If so, what’s one small action step you can take to get started? 

An easy one? That’ll help you build momentum?

And move you closer to what it is you want — and deserve — out of life?

Now go. Take that step.

Seriously.

Take it!

No matter what.

Because I promise you, it’s not nearly as difficult as you might think. And it’s far more empowering than you could ever imagine!

Trust me. I speak from experience.

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