2 min read

I’ve done a ton of work on the design and content on my websites this week. And I have to say, they’re looking really great.

But honestly, I’m pretty angry with myself.

I shouldn’t have been spending so much time tweaking and pixel pushing my websites this week. Actually, I had one major goal for myself that I barely even started on.

And if I had this major goal – a HUGE priority – why didn’t I focus on getting that done instead of futzing around with the CSS on my website?

Easy answer: fear.

My coach would call this hiding from the real work. The important work that I know would actually move the ball forward.

And I was hiding out of fear.

To be specific, I’m working to produce a pilot episode of my new podcast to be more narratively driven. I know exactly what needs to be done – and I’ve done everything up to the point of actually scripting the thing.

But I got stuck – and it’s because I’m afraid.

Afraid that it’ll realize it’s harder and will take longer than I want it to.

Afraid that I’ll realize I’m not as good at this as I thought I would be.

Afraid that the final product will suck.

I see this fear in others all the time – it’s what stops us from hitting publish and putting our ideas out into the world.

Our ideas are so good. And as long as they just stay ideas, the longer that we can tell ourselves that it’s a good idea. The longer we can tell ourselves that it would work if only we had the time to dedicate to it…

It feels good to “know” that we can do something. It feels good to “know” that our ideas are brilliant.

That is, until we’re forced to ACTUALLY know whether or not we were right.

That fear – the fear of finding out we may not be as good as we thought – stops so many of us. We hide and we hide and we hide – continuing to talk about the idea and lament the fact that we just don’t have time to do it.

But you do.

And your ideas can’t have impact when you keep them to yourself.

Here’s a secret: the first try is always worse than you think. But that’s what practice is – you start out bad, and you work towards it.

Jimi Hendrix didn’t pick up the guitar for the first time and out poured Purple Haze.

Stop hiding from the real, important work. Get started, give yourself some grace when you don’t meet your own expectations, and try again.

– A letter written to myself