I think one of the biggest fears of putting myself out there is rejection or negativity. This is only natural. To some degree, we all want to be liked and validated. Some people are better at shrugging off the negative comments. While others, like myself, take them personally.
For years, I let my anxiety hold me back from sharing publicly some of the things I wanted to talk about. What will people think? What if it’s not good enough? What if I’m not good enough? The truth is, I will never be enough if I continue seeking validation from others.
Furthermore, I have the power to change my reality and my actions. If it turns out that I could have done something differently, well, then I have the chance to improve and be better next time.
When I read and watched YouTube videos about starting a blog, the number one advice was to niche down. I’m just not ready for that. And it is okay. This blog allows me to share my thoughts and experiences with my friends, family, and even strangers who are interested in reading.
That is partly why I believe it is building my confidence. Despite being academically driven, I never considered myself that great of a writer. People always saw me as the numbers person, good at math, and destined to work in a math profession.
Yet, if I look back through notes and journal entries from when I was a teenager, I always enjoyed writing to express myself. I didn’t necessarily enjoy writing to appease others through an assignment or required task.
Now, I pick and choose how to manage my time and write posts of interest. The likes and comments allow me to see what content the audience is connecting with the most. But overall, the comments are overwhelmingly positive.
My adult students told me for years to start a YouTube channel. I was scared. Making videos intimidated me. I finally took the plunge this past year and did it. At first, I always tried to make sure my make-up looked good and everything was perfect. Then I realized that perfection is not the goal. Reality is. And reality is that we look different and have good days and bad days.
Tik Tok also brings out the opportunity to be silly and share with others. The app gives you a chance to showcase bits of your personality and separate yourself from work if you so choose. I am still working up the courage to post dancing videos. But, if you know me, you know I love to dance. So, I better start having some fun and being my silly self!
Now, I still have a long way to go to be the type of confident that I wish to be. But, I’m well on my way, helped by inner reflection and being brave enough to put myself out there, flaws and all. Yes, there will be mean people, but most people are supportive and encouraging! So build that community.
Whatever it is that you have been waiting for to get started, why wait? Don’t wait for the perfect body, partner, or job to start sharing your message with others or living your dreams!