Dying Daily #185: Say, Do and Be Nothing

Yesterday’s post turned out to be the most-viewed since I started this blog, yet I came within half a second of deleting it before I even published it because it was more personal than I like. Putting ourselves out there is always anxiety-inducing, but it seems to be necessary to do anything at all. 

I’ve written about this before in terms of being afraid of failure and the perfect as the enemy of the good. It seems to be a fixture in my life.

Putting yourself out there is always hard. Any time you do you are opening yourself up to ridicule and criticism. This stopped me from trying anything for a very long time.  

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

Elbert Hubbard

This quote is often attributed to Aristotle, but the evidence seems to point toward Hubbard. Not relevant to what we are talking about, but trying to save myself a few emails/comments.

Every new project I start brings the thoughts of failure and ridicule and general doom.

My brain tells me everyone is always on the verge of figuring out that I am an imposter who has no business doing anything, ever. I find a lot of people deal with this. Imposter syndrome, ideas about not being good enough or worthy of starting their own thing. Thoughts about people seeing through them or laughing at them for trying.

But that’s the thing right there – these are just thoughts. Little blips of electrical activity in our skulls. Or wandering spirits offering their opinion. Or the devil. Whatever. It doesn’t matter, just thoughts. No guarantee of any relationship to reality.

I have come to believe that if you aren’t a little uncomfortable, you aren’t doing the things you should be doing.
If you aren’t a little nervous about something, you need to be doing more.
A little bit of anxiety is good. It tells us we are pushing our comfort zone, which is the only way to grow.

Pick something new, something you want to do that scares you a little bit, and then go do it. Maybe it turns out to be a disaster, but that’s how we learn. Take the disastrous parts and throw them out, take what worked and start again. Repeat this process until you have something you love.

I guess I have to actually start working on a podcast now.

For real, thank you for taking the time to read this blog, however often you do. I really do appreciate it, and enjoy all the feedback and engagement it brings into my world. Please let me know what could better, what might be fun to talk about, or just tell me about your life. I like people’s stories. 

Take care.