Monday, February 17, 2014

On Being Fearless

On occasion, life advice comes from unexpected places. In this case, RuPaul. I recently saw this tweet, and it really got me thinking.
I don't think about it too often, but it's entirely true. I can think of so many times in my life that I've passed up an opportunity, or even just not done something that could have made me happy, all because of this fear of looking uncool or stupid in the eyes of others. It's that little nagging part of high school that never really leaves us. I was hesitant to even start blogging, for fear that people would make fun of what I had to say or think it was silly to put things out there for people to see.

But when you really think about RuPaul's words of wisdom, almost anything who has accomplished anything substantial probably had that fear themselves- it's only natural.  The difference between them and normal people, though, is that they got over their fear of looking stupid and did what they wanted to do anyway. They didn't let it hold them back. 

Any time you do anything worthwhile, you're putting yourself out there, which means risking being cut down. And there are some people out there, sadly, who live to do just that. But you can't think about those people when you go after what you want. So many successful people have stories of being made fun of in school, or rejected professionally. If those people had let the fear that goes along with that rejection stop them, we wouldn't have Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling was rejected by publishing houses 12 times). And what kind of world would that be?

Because when it comes down to it, people are going to judge you no matter what you do. And people tend to fear and mock what they don't know, so just take that judgment as a sign that you're veering off the traditional (ahem, boring) path. You might "look stupid" for a while starting out, but as long as you're proud of what you do, it doesn't matter. And hopefully one day you can look back on the people who made fun and laugh, because putting yourself out there for ridicule is what got you to your dreams. 

So do whatever it is you've been scared to do for fear of judgment. Start a blog, send in your manuscript, perform at an open mic night- whatever. Because the people who make jokes from behind their computer screens will still be doing exactly that in five years, whereas you? You'll be off chasing your dreams. 

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