When I quit my job mid-last year, I thought with all my new free time I'd be producing content and building up a following like a madman.
This did not happen.
One of my major challenges has been regaining the ability to focus (which I'll talk more about another time), but the other one has been getting past my ego.
Every time I thought about writing an article or publishing a video.. or even something as simple as posting a Facebook status, I would think about how other people would react.
How would that guy I knew from university react? How would my hockey teammates react? How would my family react? How would my girlfriend's family react? How would my best friends react?
While some people might find the content interesting or insightful, I knew not everyone would receive it the same way.
I would vividly picture everyone scrolling through their phone, coming across my post, and finding a way to mock it with their friends over lunch.
It's that fear of judgement that crushes your creativity. That forces you to stand on the sidelines.
It wasn't until a couple months ago that I slowllly started making progress around getting past this fear of judgement.
I'm not sure why this was the moment that made it click for me...
But I saw a friend post an Instagram story about a hair product company she had become an independent sales associate for.
I thought "wow, she has real guts for being able to just put herself out there like that."
But then I thought "wait, why? Is this really a big deal to anyone?"
That's when I realized that most people are too busy to truly care about what you do or don't do.
Sure, some people may form their own negative perception of you for a brief moment, but everyone has so much going on in their lives that it doesn't really matter.
There are so many inputs available these days that if someone doesn't resonate with your message, they just hit skip and move on to the next one.
And even if they leave a negative remark, it typically has more to do with their own insecurities than it does with your work.
Where it gets better...
Is when you put yourself out there a few times, and realize that there is a small subset of people who do enjoy what you have to say.
People who take a minute out of their day to say "you literally stole the words out of my brain" or "love this, keep it coming" or share a personal story.
The feedback from these people matters way more than the people who take 5 seconds to possibly judge you and then move on.
It's still not easy for me to hit publish, but this 'whatever' mentality has definitely made it easier than it was before.
Whenever I start to overthink it (aka every time), I just say "^%$# it" and hit the button. Kinda of like jumping into a cold pool.
I spent way too much time on the content to not hit publish anyways.
I'm sure this is a process that becomes easier the more times you do it.
Desensitizing yourself to the fear of judgement.
It's easier said than done, but it can be done.
Then you can finally get off the sidelines...
And play the game you've been wanting to play.