How far have you ever pushed yourself to get what you wanted? If you ever want to succeed, in anything, you will need to get comfortable with a lot of fear in your life.
The message that your life will be consumed by fear is not an easy pill to swallow. Believe me, as a lifelong anxiety sufferer, I wish we could have it any other way. But to quote the Mandelorian, “It is the way.”
The easy way is nowhere to be found
If you were hoping for an easy and soft way to get the best bits out of life, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I really am. But it’s no good to hold on to an illusion that will never lead you anywhere but to the back streets of life. Where you’ll miss out on the very best things that you can experience.
I get it, you probably have some reason you tell yourself why this doesn’t apply to you. You’re different, your path from rags to riches is covered with rose petals. I’ve been there and it’s a mirage at best. The truth is that it’s only in your head where that path leads to an interesting place.
The only thing that matters is to get down to business! And the only way to do that is by failing. If you think that it comes naturally to me to open up to complete strangers on the Internet, please reconsider your view of me. I am completely terrified of what you think of me and more importantly how my writing will be received. Several days going by without a single clap on Medium, no followers, no email signups, nothing.
But I am getting to know the fear. And it’s getting to know me. I’m realizing that it’s normal, required even, to have fear when I’m doing something so far outside of my comfort zone. Just keep creating, you’ll never run of ideas as long as you just continue to push forward.
The path less traveled
The journey we are on is not an easy one. Being a creator on the Internet in 2020 is certainly exciting, or at least it can be. But it is not an easy job. And if you are willing to take the risk and expose yourself the rewards can be great.
When I speak of rewards, I am not talking about money or fame. As of yet, I have neither. I have a very nice day job that I am fortunate enough to have that pays all my bills and provides a comfortable life for me and my family. What I am talking about, is an experience that is at once both exhilarating and terrifying.
Even in the absence of feedback from readers, I find great joy in expressing myself in writing. Knowing that I have crossed the gap from consumer to a creator is a journey I know I will not regret. Not in a million years.
Ours is a path that few people choose. It is certainly the path less traveled. Leaving aside the interpretation of that particular poem by Robert Frost, by choosing the rocky path we are announcing to the world that we are masters of our own fate.
Be ready to bleed
I hope you will join me on the journey. Whatever your creative pursuits might be, I implore you to go boldly forth. Risk exposing yourself, risk being criticized, hated, or what is even worse, laughed at.
But know, that to travel the rocky path takes a willingness to take a few blows. Be ready to bleed, sweat, and shed tears. But make sure to decide before you head out on the journey, that you will never yield.
And know that even in your darkest hour, when you’re tired and afraid, that the fear you feel is not telling you to quit. It’s telling you that everything is just the way it should be. And that you are on your way to becoming exceptional.