Prompted by a comment from Joyce, I thought it was high time I wrote another fearless post. If you’re just catching up, you can find the video introduction to my “year of living more fearlessly” here, and follow-up posts here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
Here are the ten things I’ve learned (or keep re-learning)…
1. It’s not doing any good, this “hiding in the bulrushes” thing you try to do sometimes. You’re not doing anybody any favours by not putting your stuff out there. When you put your stuff out there, you might just win $200 in a photo contest. Or get something published.
2. Sometimes, when you try your best fearless growl, and you manage to send out a notice to several creative friends about a cool group you want to start, and then you’re met with stone cold silence by more than half of them, it probably doesn’t mean they don’t like you or think your idea is stupid. It might just mean they don’t open their emails very often. Try again. Maybe pick up the phone next time.
3. Most of the time, other people are just as fearful as you. There might be really good ideas they’re withholding because they’re afraid you’re smarter than them and already thought of those ideas.
4. When you’re on a film shoot with a bunch of big wig film producer and social marketing types (or somewhere else that’s outside of your element), and something just doesn’t sit right with you, it’s just not really a good idea to keep your mouth shut just because you assume they know more than you do. Somebody might roll their eyes just slightly, but when they re-do the shot, there’s a good chance you’ll all agree that it came out better in the end. Trust your gut.
5. About that photo shoot – you’re smarter than you think you are. If you’ve been to almost 20 countries, there’s a good chance you’ll know a little more about some of the clothes worn in those countries than the wardrobe person does. Own your wisdom and then share it graciously.
7. Sometimes, the answer is “wait”. Being fearless doesn’t mean you should rush headlong into something, or push people around in an attempt to get to your goal. Remember to be gentle on yourself and those you care about (or even those you barely know).
8. Yoga is amazing. You might even find yourself in tears after your first class because it feels so right. Why have you taken so long to try it? Maybe it’s time to give up this belief that you’re too uncoordinated for a class that involves body movement. Perhaps it’s even time to forgive yourself for that unfortunate jazz dance class experience and move on. (It was 20 years ago – get over it!)
9. Sometimes, the best way to succeed is to believe you have something worth sharing and then give it away freely and without reservation. Amazing things can happen when you let go of those things you’re too nervous to expose to the world, or you use your creativity to help someone else succeed.
10. It can really, really hurt when your best attempt at fearlessness is met with rejection or (perhaps worse) indifference. Let yourself wallow for a few minutes, learn from it, go do something else you know you’re really good at for awhile, and then move on.
Note: the photo is of my niece, who’s more fearless than most people I know.