Go for it!

Most days I have a quick look at WordPress.  I scan through Freshly Pressed to see if anything grabs my attention, then I check the recent blog posts in the writing category.  I choose one that attracts me.  Last weekend, I read this post: http://lifeofmee.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/i-am-scared-to-write/

Afterwards, I started thinking about why I choose to read one post and not another, what is it that draws me in.  With this post, it was the title.  I was intrigued.  It posed all sorts of questions.  Why was the writer scared?  What was happening to scare them?

I recognised so many of the feelings being expressed.  I always wanted to write but never thought I was good enough.  I’d write something, look at it critically, feel embarrassed, destroy it, and give up.  Or I’d sit and look at the blank page, pen poised, waiting, waiting, waiting…then sigh, close the notebook, put the pen down.

It wasn’t just writing.  There were so many things that I wanted to do but worried that I wouldn’t be able to, that I’d get it wrong, that people would laugh, think me stupid for even trying.  Unless things were going to be perfect, that success was guaranteed, I wouldn’t even start.  I felt I didn’t have a right to do what seemed to come so naturally to others, because I wasn’t good enough – I wasn’t entitled to do something, not even badly.  This went on for years, and years, and years.

That’s the problem.  The years go by.

And so the years went by and I wasn’t doing the things I wanted to do, for no other reason than I was scared of not being perfect.  Then suddenly it hit me that time was passing, I was getting older and that if I didn’t do these things soon, I might never do them.  And I got angry with myself.  Very angry, because I was the only one holding me back.

I started writing.  I started this blog, fighting against thoughts that I didn’t deserve to have a blog, that I wasn’t good enough.  Instead I kept reminding myself that I am just as entitled as the next person.  I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t write for others – I write for me.  If you choose to read it, that’s OK.  If you like it, that’s OK.  If you don’t like it, that’s OK.  You can agree or disagree because we’re all entitled to our own opinions.

This attitude spread to other areas of my life.  I began thinking about all the things I wanted to do but was held back by fear.  I made a list – 50@50.  I’ve started doing the things I’ve put off doing, and when those horrible little niggling thoughts of “Should I do this?  Will I make an idiot of myself?  What will other people think of me?” enter my head, I just keep reminding myself that I have a right to give it a go.  I make mistakes and I laugh at myself and others laugh with me not at me.  I’m honest with people.  I say “I’m new to this.  Can you help me?” and they do and I make new friends and I have more fun.

Last weekend, I went to a ceroc (modern jive) freestyle evening.  I went with two friends I’ve made since I took up ceroc last month.  At one point, I danced with a guy who said I was brave to come to a freestyle evening when I’d only just started dancing.  The new me hadn’t even considered I was being brave.  It was just something I wanted to do so I did it, and I didn’t care that most of the dancers looked like they had a display cabinet full of trophies.  I danced, I made mistakes, I got a few steps right, I laughed, I had FUN!

It’s no fun trying to be a perfectionist.  Let’s all celebrate imperfectionism.  Don’t be scared to live: GO FOR IT!

What are your fears stopping you doing?  Could you banish them and give it a go?

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3 Responses to Go for it!

  1. Thank you so much for tagging my post, I so know what you mean in your post. Just today I was in such a bad mood because I barely slept last night that I simply did not want to proceed further with my story, but I had to remind myself that writing everyday is a rule that I have to follow, to discipline myself and once I was done with today’s update I was quite surprised looking at the result… 😀 great post! LOVE YOUR SPIRIT!

  2. Great post. You definitely have the right attitude. I expect that there are lots of things we stop ourselves doing – I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I have a fear of going places that are far away that I have to drive to. I’ve been driving for 26 years and I still restrict myself to nearby places because of that. I might have to stop worrying that I won’t like the drive or that it may be a difficult trip, or I might break down, and just go for it!

  3. tfaswift says:

    Hi Marina, I know this is an older post, but I liked it so I thought I’d comment. I think it’s so great that you were able to change your approach to life like that, and just jump in and try stuff even if you’re not going to be perfect necessarily. I think we can all be way too hard on ourselves; often harder than we are on other people!

    I’m doing a course at the moment where I have to do something which makes me nervous: I have to role play as therapist while being supervised by an actual therapist who then gives me feedback. When I knew I would have to do that as part of my training, it scared the wits out of me. But I thought, you know what? Stuff it, I’m just going to jump in and give it my best shot. If I get loads of constructive criticism, it will only make me a better therapist in the future. So I just went and did it. Felt nervous, heart pounding, gave it my best and got really good feedback! I read somewhere that 90% of the stuff we worry about doesn’t ever come true, so when I find myself worrying about stuff now that hasn’t even happened, I remind myself of that!

    Great post! 🙂

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