I liked to call myself a “perfectionist” growing up…. as if it was a good thing. When in reality, I was just scared… scared of what?
Scared of not being perfect… of not doing something right… of messing up… of not being quite good enough… or even worrying what others may think.
I lump these all into one similar category and only looking back now can I see how much this fear hurt me.
Let me give you a few examples.
I played a lot of different sports growing up. I was never the “star of the show,” but I was a pretty damn good athlete. I could’ve became an even better athlete if I would’ve stuck with sports in high school, but I didn’t. I quit. I was afraid I wasn’t good enough to play. I was afraid of looking dumb. I didn’t have confidence in my talents or ability to get better so I just bailed. I’m sure I made a bunch of excuses when I was younger that I don’t even remember what they were… but I can be real with myself now and know the truth of the matter. It was fear.
Another example is this blog itself. I was so afraid to put myself and my words out there for so long. I didn’t know if people would like it or if I would look dumb talking about other topics than just lifting, which pretty much consumes my social media page. I just started recently blogging, but I have had nothing but an abundance of positive words and support for my blog. People actually have reached out to me and told me that I helped them! That means the world to me – that my words can actually touch or help someone. Not only do I absolutely enjoy writing, which I haven’t done since I was a child (at this length), but I can use it to help others and that is something special that I could’ve completely missed out on if I didn’t take the leap to just do it. Again, this was just fear holding me back.
Being afraid of not being perfect is one of the worst crippling fears because it can stop productivity and halt success or progress in your very own self/life.
Read that again – and really think about it!
I try to not regret things in life. I believe everything happens for a reason and learning from experiences helps us grow (if we are willing to change or do something about it). But I really wish I would’ve learned this lesson sooner. Unfortunately, it’s something I’m really just learning to overcome now in my 30’s. But at least I’m doing something about it, which is the important thing. Sadly, a lot of people don’t ever learn this. I don’t want that for anyone!
I used to believe that fears were something to be avoided, but now I look at them totally different.
Fears show me something within myself. Something that I can and will overcome.
If you stop and really think about it, it’s easy to find the root of your fears. Stop making excuses for these and start looking at your fears as not something to avoid, but something to face and overcome and you will find a new pride and strength in yourself.
I would’ve missed out on a lot of stuff if I didn’t face these fears head on including powerlifting, “coming out” about my sexuality, and even this blog.
I’m proud that I put myself out there and started competing in powerlifting. I’ve worked to get where I’m at today. I might not be the best, but I’m pretty damn good. I’m proud of my accomplishments with it and most importantly it makes me happy and I love doing it!
I’m proud that I am open about my sexuality now. I personally hate sexuality labels so you will rarely see me use “lesbian” or “bisexual” – but that’s just me. I love who I love, whether it would be a man or woman. Yes, I’m honestly more attracted to women in general. In the past though, I never really spoke openly about that ever. I probably would’ve denied it in fact. I was extremely scared about it. I could’ve kept things to myself but I may have missed out on even meeting my wife! How would she have known I was even interested in women if I didn’t really put myself out there? If I were still scared? I actually plan on writing a more in-depth blog about my “coming out” story. So look for that too!
Photo by: Katie Lynn Photography
I’m proud that I started my very own blog. Again, I could’ve just wrote and never even posted anything or had anyone read it but myself… but hearing just one person tell me that it helped them, just showed me how much it is worth it. Not everyone is going to like my content but the people that do and it touches means more than the people who don’t.
The face of the matter is – IT DOESN’T MATTER what anyone else thinks. If your intentions are good and you are being true to yourself, you should always do what makes you happy.
Stop missing out on opportunities because of your fears!
Do more. Worry less.