Here is a secret: I either am or have been scared of everything.
Yup. Actually that’s the secret to my bravery.
Bravery is doing something even though you are scared.
And I am always scared.
So I am always brave.
The reason I mention this is that I’m being brave today.
I have always written music, but always been too scared to put it out there. I mean, my own family and closest friends had no idea I did this until a few months ago. (If you are surprised, don’t be offended, you aren’t alone).
Finally, after a few months of leading music at my local young adults group, I was brave enough to try to start making videos. But I was always too scared to put them on YouTube. This fear showed up in my video-making style. I would make a million attempts at one song, watching the video looking for mistakes, never putting it up because it wasn’t good enough, or somehow managing to put it on youtube but HATING it and never watching it and then never loooking at youtube for a few months. Seriously, whenever I tried to do it, it felt like the whole world was against me. But the whole world was coming from myself.
But, there was still that desire to do something with my music. I needed to be heard. I needed to be honest with myself and accept that I am a musician. But I was scared because all of my stuff is so rough. I’m an amateur performer at best. I wanted to make really good, high quality videos. But I couldn’t…because that takes experience…which in order to get…you need to make videos.
So, after a few years of freaking out just thinking about putting videos on youtube, I made a youtube channel. Then, after months of freaking out whenever I tried to make videos…I had an idea.
Why do my videos have to be perfect? Why do they even have to be good? Who really cares? What if the problem isn’t the videos? What if it’s just the fear? What if I made unedited videos? What if I didn’t watch them? What if I recorded them straight to YouTube, didn’t edit them, didn’t watch them, and then just left them there and hoped for the best? Even better, what if I disabled comments on these videos? What if I decided I didn’t need commentary because I was just practicing anyway? What if it wasn’t serious so there was no pressure? What if it was just practice? What if I started out by learning to overcome my fear of making videos by just doing it? What if I made videos without really trying too hard or thinking about it very much or opening it up to public opinion? What if such a thing could happen?
I was sold.
So I started doing that. All of October, I have been uploading a few videos here and there. They are rough. They are unedited. But they are real. And they are nice. And it is getting less scary to make them.
Here’s the thing about fear: It can be overcome in baby steps.
When we are scared of something, it can feel very big to us. So we logically assume we have to do something very big to face up to it. And that’s not always true. Very small things can beat some very big fears. (I think David realized this theory before stepping up to Goliath with just a rock…wait no, it was because of something else…what was it? Oh yes, God). To illustrate, please enjoy the following word picture.
Imagine you are sitting in a bathtub full of water, and you need to let the water out, but you can’t because you are too scared. Imagine that the stopper represents your fear, and you can’t move it because you are too scared.
Side note: fear of fear is a very scary thing. One of the reasons I never really loved Karen and her crew’s theory about “feeling the fear” and doing it anyways (sorry Karen) was because I was scared of the fear. Why would I want to feel the fear? Fear is scary.
Oh, and the stopper you are imagining in this case has to be a plastic one that covers the drain, not a plug that you shove in there, although the analogy could be adapted.
Now, if you bravely remove the stopper in one bold and valiant stroke, the water will drain and you will be saved. However, maybe you are too scared to do that. Don’t despair and don’t condemn yourself. For if you reach over with your baby toe, and scoot the stopper over just a teeny-tiny bit, the water will still drain. It will drain more slowly, you will not have done anything very dramatic, but it will still drain. And you will still be saved. And honestly, I think moving that baby toe is just as brave as ripping out the stopper with all of your might. Maybe even more brave. Because you did something scary to get over something scary.
So, to get over my fear of YouTube videos, I took several teeny-tiny baby steps.
And now, I am at another teeny-tiny baby step:
Inviting you to watch the “First Cut” Music Playlist I made on YouTube.
Because here on Show & Tell, we encourage you to SHOW who you are and TELL your story…because you are important. And Karen and I do this by SHOWING who we are and TELLING our story.
I am my music and my words…so they are important.
I figure I trust you all with my words.
So I can trust you with my music.
You have heard me TELL my story.
Now it’s time you see me SHOW who I am.
Are you scared of anything?
Are you scared of fear?
Can you move that baby toe just a teeny-tiny bit?