The One...Or Two Things I Wish I Knew
This thing isn't a profound thing. Actually it's quite simple. Let me start off with a little back story...
Hi, I'm Mal. A serial starter of things, be them projects, companies, creative pieces, collaborations...you name it. If the idea comes to mind, you best believe I'm about to materialize it. Was I always this way? I think I was, to a certain extent. I was always a creative human, and when I'd get the urge to learn a certain craft I'd obsess over it, learn it, and then move on to the next. The truth is though, a lot of my early projects, passions, and learnings were done in silo. Actually, scratch that, sometimes they still are.
The thing is, I think there are two reasons that people keep things on the DL:
1. It's not officially a thing yet
2. Because they're afraid to actually put that thing out there
Now, let me break down those two reasons.
If it's not officially a thing yet...
Of course you don't want to share it, especially when it could involve others, or it requires you making commitments to others. So, fair play.
If it's because you're afraid to actually put that thing out there...
Well, here is where the learning lesson comes in. WHY are we so afraid to put things out there? I've come to learn it's many of the below reasons:
- Fear of being judged
- Fear of failing
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Fear of responsibility
I can't tell you the amount of times I've paused on telling people about something I was doing because I was waiting until "it got bigger". Irony is, you've gotta show to grow (is that even a saying?). So often we want something to be shiny and massive before we show it off, because if it's already succeeding then no one can dislike, disapprove, or criticize it...right?
Okay, maybe I made a mistake, because these are actually the learning lessons, also it's two things not just one:
There will always be people that dislike you and what you do. No matter how much you try to prevent dislike, and no matter what you're sharing.
Humanity was trained via evolution to what? Survive. Logically speaking, you can't stay safe if you're taking risks. When people see others taking risks, it is uncharted and disliked territory for them, especially if they don't want to venture into the unknown themselves. Also, sometimes seeing someone doing something you've always wanted to do, but were always scared to can trigger feelings of jealousy or inadequacy within themselves-- feelings that don't always produce the most pleasant of actions. Even if you think you're doing the most enlightened thing in the world, someone will make it their problem. The key here is it's THEIR problem, don't make it yours.
You will always fail at something. No matter what you do or pursue.
Think about the risk you're taking, it's like asking you to walk a tight rope without fumbling when you've never done it before. Chances are you'll fumble. Chances are even higher that you'll fall. That's what happens though when you are pursuing something that is new, and something that is risky. You. Will. Fail. In some capacity, be it a small fumble or massive fall. It's our recovery though that is essential. Remember, this is coming from someone who let her first entrepreneurial failure, and the shame from it, cause her to basically go into hiding for a year. It hurt, it will hurt. It will make you question yourself, your abilities, your worth. Especially when you are taught from a young age that failure is not tolerated or acceptable. Each fumble and fall will teach you how to avoid those mistakes in the future. When you think about tests you took in school, what answers and equations stuck with you the most? The ones you made mistakes on. Now I praise failures. Just remember, when you fail, it's not the end, it's just a learning lesson.