Push past the fear

When I first started daily blogging in 2009, every post I queued came with a little bit of fear.

What if people don’t like this?

What if I feel stupid about what I wrote?

What if someone criticizes me?

It feels ridiculous to admit those things out loud, especially more than 3500 daily posts later. But that’s one of the differences between doing something for the first time and the 3500th time. The unfamiliar becomes routine. A few other things I’ve learned about fear along the way:

1. Actually acknowledging what you’re afraid of takes the fear away.

2. People aren’t paying as much attention to you as you might think. I’m lucky to have as many regular readers as I do, but most of those readers have plenty to occupy their lives without sending me emails. Forge ahead and do your work.

3. When I do get occasional criticism, it never does any lasting damage. It’s easy to say, “Thanks for reading—I guess it’s not for you” and then move on to writing the next post.

The next time you resist doing something because you’re afraid, something that actually isn’t putting you in any real potential harm, consider those three things. What specifically are you afraid of (be honest—and write it down so you have to see it in front of you)? Is everyone as focused on you as you think they are in this moment? Would it be so terrible if what you’re afraid of actually happened?

Whether it’s raising your hand in class, running for a club office, or applying to a dream college, putting it to the test of three can help you push past those fears.