I try not to speak for people other than myself. Somehow, I feel pretty confident that I am not the only person who is afraid of experiences. Especially when it’s doing something for the first time.
My problem with these fears is they hold me back. They have kept me from exploring the world, and all the new experiences it has to offer.
Last night, I tried stand up comedy for the first time. It was a resolution last year, and I had put it off. Why? Because I was scared.
I was scared I wouldn’t be funny, that people wouldn’t look past my outward appearance, and I know deep down I was scared because I didn’t feel good enough.
I put off trying stand up comedy for a year. Though, I know I’ve been putting it off longer than that. I delayed because, despite my lack of fear of a microphone, I was afraid of not being funny. It’s the only time in my life I’ve worried about crickets.
When the time came, I wasn’t nervous about the crowd (I had, unknowingly, stacked the room with all my friends), or being on stage. I was nervous about making people laugh. I was nervous that I might not accomplish my goal, which was to bring some joy and laughter into the lives of those in the room.
I learned a long time ago, when doing speech team in high school, that a certain level of nervousness is a key to success. It was a sign I had truly invested in a speech. Those speeches, the ones that made my palms sweaty and my heart race when I took my initial breath to begin, would make it finals.
It was the speeches where I was cocky, and without a care in the world, that never made it past the first round.
Not all nervousness is a sign that you are doing something wrong. It’s not always a sign that you are in the wrong place, or the universe telling you it’s not your path. Some nervousness is a sign of how much you love this thing you have created. It’s a sign that you have poured yourself into something.
Rejection happens. Failure happens. Don’t let a fear of those things stop you from trying. The only true failure is the project that is never taken on.
I wish I would have realized this sooner. I wish I would have shed the weight of shame and guilt years ago. But, I also know that the universe brings you things when you are ready for them. And, maybe this is a sign that I am ready for my next adventure.