I confess. It’s blog day and I’m struggling with what to write. Not that I haven’t anything to write – there’s lots happening. Even if there wasn’t, my brain is of the kind that’s always full of random stuff ready to spill out onto a blank Word document. It’s terrible! I’m the equivalent of a duck on water. Calm on the outside but brain paddling nonsense like crazy underneath. So the problem is not lack of material but the rubbish of doubt that comes with it: Is it interesting enough? Good enough? What will someone think of it? Of me? The last one is new. Not because I’m filled to the brim with f*ck you attitude (I wish!) but because it’s the first time I am really writing under my own name. Out there for friends and family to see. I’m generally an under the radar kind of person, now I imagine them rolling their eyes and thinking Where does she get the time to think up that load of bullshit. You guessed it. I’m one of those unfortunate creatures that can agonise. What if I piss someone off? What if someone doesn’t like what I’m doing?
I wondered if it is about having the courage to put yourself out there. As in feel the fear and do it anyway. This week I saw courage hidden in all manner of places. Someone started a new job, another tried a new hobby, yet another took the step to re-learn an old skill. My husband helped our youngest to practice piano – that takes more courage than you would imagine. And then there was the friend who got herself some pink hair. Pink like candy floss that you want to lick. Me? I tried a backline surf, or rather I should say a backline bail. But closest to my heart and my biggest pride this week was seeing my Dad pull himself together, put his feet into brand new Italian leather shoes, and ready himself to face his own monster wave in the coming weeks. We all did something that needed a bit of courage. I started to wonder. How much duck paddling are they all doing? With things way more important than blogging what do others do to let go of the doubt, the self-consciousness that comes with putting yourself out there?
Then when I wasn’t paying attention my duck paddling hooked some seaweed and my brain pulled it together in an Aha! moment.
Blogging is like surfing. In the water my FoFFoS (fear of feeling foolish or stupid) is not as great as my FoMO (fear of missing out). Learning to surf means I squash into a wetsuit and fall off a giant surfboard a million times. This means I almost certainly feel and look foolish (or piss off a proper surfer if I am in the wrong spot). But the upside of learning to catch a wave, the FoMO on the chance to learn is so much greater than feeling foolish. The Aha! moment with blogging is that I will possibly feel and look foolish more times than not, but more times than not it will be totally worth it to me. FoMO kicks FoFFoS ass.
So this post has Six Reminders on How to Get the Hell Over Myself. I’m using the surfing thing just ‘cause that’s what triggered it but you try it. It might just work on anything where your FoFFoS (or pissing someone off!) is high.
- Check out the worst that can happen. Is it that bad? Learning to surf means falling a thousand million times and looking like an idiot. Bad. But not that bad.
- Compare to the best that can happen. Would it be worth it? Hell yes, learning to ride that wave would be totally absolutely undoubtedly worth the foolishness.
- Stop the duck paddling nonsense. Telling myself that I can’t do it helps me nothing. Rather do the duck paddle that says I can. Fake it until I make it.
- Get real. I’m not that important for others to be watching all the time. Maybe they’ll see me fall ten times but mostly they worry about falling themselves.
- Be real. I’m human. I could do something stupid and someone could call me on it. Like I could actually mow down a small child in the surf. I can try not to but if I do, I could get the kid an ice cream, apologise to its mother and try not to do it again. (Pink friend did this so I know it works.) But if I haven’t hurt anyone and someone just doesn’t like what I’m doing (and be real, everyone can’t like it) then Sorry for you Dude, go watch someone else.
- Have a Laugh! I make fun of myself and my efforts. It reminds me not to take myself or the whole FoFFOS (or pissing someone off) so seriously. It works every time.
I know I said Six Reminders on How to Get the Hell Over Myself but maybe there is only One.
What’s the alternative?
Bleak when you think about it that way, isn’t it?
Have a good week my friends, I’ll probably have something foolish to write about next week too!
Ps. Leave a comment on the site please! It makes the blog look good …