Yesterday I wrote about my Poem a Day challenge and how I’m starting that again. Something I briefly touched on during that time is the importance of writing just to write, regardless of how awful it can possibly be. I had forgotten about that before I started working on that post. I’m glad I remembered it.
Part of this paralysis goes for blogging, as well – I have read so many articles that say that you have to write good posts 100% of the time or nobody will care about what you have to say, which is a ton of pressure for someone like me. I put a lot – too much – stock into what others think of me, and it’s really damaging at times because I sometimes sacrifice my own opinions and beliefs in favor of maintaining my reputation and not rocking the boat. I know I ask my husband and friends for help with making most of my decisions. This is frustrating for them because I’m 22, for crying out loud. My problem is that I’m afraid I’ll piss someone off if I don’t ask for help because I might do something they disapprove of, so it’s better to get clearance before I do something people might think is stupid.
The key phrase here is “people might think”. I am afraid of what people might think of me or my actions. I used to not be so afraid of this, but it has gotten worse over the years. I am afraid of messing up, so I don’t try to do things I don’t know how to automatically do. I fear the thoughts of others more than just about anything else on this Earth, and it’s taken me this long to figure it out. For someone who preaches the value of saying “screw the world, I’m gonna be me” a lot, I sure don’t take that to heart. I am afraid of people being angry or upset with me to the point where when somebody even remotely raises their voice at me, I start shutting down and it takes a great deal of effort to remain in the moment. It sometimes gets to the point where I just hide because I’m so afraid of annoying people. It’s not necessary, I know that. I know that those around me care even though I am annoying sometimes. I fear being seen as annoying almost as much as I fear disapproval or failure. These fears make me shut down more often than I care to admit.
Again, however, we can distill everything down to that one key phrase – what people might think – only let’s take it a step further. I often don’t realize that people don’t always react to things the way I fear or expect they will. Most of the time, my fears come from me blowing things way out of proportion. People are often so absorbed in their own lives and are in their own heads that they don’t even notice the thing I was afraid they would see. An example of this is wearing my favorite lipstick, a black matte. This lipstick makes me feel like myself more than any of my other lipsticks except for maybe my dark green colored one. It matches how I feel at the moment. Some people have asked if I’m becoming a goth, others have said that they can’t take me seriously. Others love it. I love it. That’s what matters. Most people surely look at me and say to themselves, “oh, that human is wearing black lipstick” and then move on with their day. It fits me and is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. The same thing goes for when I make a mistake in public and I start to dwell on it. I have to tell myself that these people don’t know me and I will likely never see them again. This helps me laugh the incident off and feel better.
In the end, it’s important to realize that people make mistakes and that nobody is perfect. Like writing low-quality things or things that don’t really fit your niche, it’s important to get that experience and practice you wouldn’t get otherwise. Spending time in your craft is so important, even if you suck at first. You are loved, remember that.
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