For the times when you're going for something you want in life, the best advice I've ever learned is: Be yourself. Duh! It's so obvious. You're unique and no one can do YOU better than you. But what is it about allowing myself to just be the most natural thing that could ever come to me that inspires such terror in my heart?
It's that I'm a weirdo, i'm extremely flawed, and muhfuckaz are gonna JUDGE me, that's why!
And I know I'm not the only one. We want to fit in. We don't want to be too different or weird because we want the people we like to like us back. In fact, here's a song I wrote about that.I'm a really sensitive introvert and I grew up thinking that caring about things, and expressing deep feeling was seeeww ghheeey. Today I can go out on my own, with my guitar and microphone, set up my gear in a crowded public place, uninvited and unannounced, and sing my HEART out to random strangers. I've come a long way. So I'm gonna share with you some tips that I used to get to this point, and how I plan on keeping going through this scary-as journey to me-ness.
1- The desire is stronger than the fear
I'm putting myself out there right now, and i'm taking a risk that the message I'm trying to give might get misunderstood, ridiculed, or worse,... ignored. But I have something to say, and it's too important to me to let fear stop me from saying it. I'm gonna make mistakes, I know it. And i'm making myself vulnerable by opening up to criticism. But that's not what matters. It's not about me and my ego. I just want to share something that really means something to me, and that's worth taking the risk. No matter how awkward or stupid I look sometimes. I don't care. I mean, I care, but however it looks to someone else, I know that I'm doing the right thing. My throat used to clog up when I was supposed to sing in public. I would open my mouth and no sound came out, and I would start crying. It was devastating, but I wanted to sing SO badly that I practiced and practiced, and humiliated myself on stage many times, because I KNEW that deep down I had a voice, and I wanted to use it. The fear was strong, but my DESIRE was even stronger. Use your fear to grow, because behind that fear, there's probly something you want really badly. Or else you wouldn't be so scared.
2- Have nothing to lose
In 2013, I packed my things, and I took a plane across the water. I had no money and no plan, except to rip myself out of my comfort zone, where I would be forced to thrive, or not. In those five years I had amazing experiences, and soul crushing failures. And i'm still standing here. I put myself into situations where I had no choice but to use my natural instincts and talents to get by. Like when I first arrived in (expensive- as) Perth, Australia with no money, I was sleeping on a friend's couch, and I couldn't find a job anywhere. Bars and restaurants weren't hiring because it was low season. But I didn't get discouraged for a minute. One day I walked passed a supermarket, and I saw a man playing guitar and singing beautifully in the entrance. A lightbulb went on; I saw my chance. I didn't hesitate. I just went home, grabbed my guitar and sat by the next supermarket down the road, and I gave those customers everything I had in my heart. And they gave back. That was the beginning of my busking career. There was no time for 'What will people think?' or 'Am I good enough?', I just knew I had to go do what I do best... ....Be me.
3- Accept yourself just like your are
I've heard that every single one of the world's problems stems from the belief that we are not good enough. That makes perfect sense to me, so I make conscious efforts to repeat to myself (usually in my head) things like 'I am a good person', and 'I am enough', and 'I believe in myself' until I truly, deeply believe it. And while i'm at it I say positive things about other people too.
YOU ARE WONDERFUL just like you are. And so am I. Yes I have flaws, I'm insecure and I don't have all the answers. But that's ok. That's part of me. And I love myself for all my shortcomings and my longcomings. You're not meant to get everything perfect the first time. Or ever. You need a problem to find a solution. You need a question to find an answer. Life's a journey. A learning experience, if you will. There's always a possibility of rejection and failure that come with opening up, but if you can love and accept yourself as you are, no matter what other people say or do, you're safe. Because you got that strong inner knowing that you're aaaaaaalll right. And that's powerful.
So that's it, that's the three ways that I use to let myself be who I am. It's still absurd to me that it should be, like, a hard thing to do. Cuzz, i mean... what else can you be? What's your approach to getting over your fear and letting the real you out? I would love to read about it in the comments. If you found this helpful, don't hesitate to share this post with someone else who might benefit from it. Peace!