Fear of Failure

Yesterday I had a plethora of ideas to blog about for the remainder of the week. More lessons learned from WordCamp US, ideas and goals for next year, updates on how certain projects are going, etc. But last night an idea popped into my head thanks to John Saddington, a blogger and entrepreneur I’ve been following for several years.

I sent him a message on Twitter that I am thinking about doing something with video, following in his footsteps of rebooting his VLOG recently. I don’t think I can post daily like he is doing, but a weekly video in replace of a blog post sounds reasonable.

Fridays, maybe?…

Part of why I’m considering this idea is because I resonated with his reasoning. It’s easier for me to hide behind a screen to write, edit, and publish without anyone watching while I’m communicating. Writing is comfortable and comes naturally to me, which is why I feel so motivated and inspired to continue doing it.

Video is scarier for several reasons: a lack of technical and other experience, self-conciousness, fear of failure, to name a few. But recently I’ve been thinking I should throw caution to the wind and just try some ideas even if I think will fail. As John replied to me on Twitter, “why the hell not?”

I’ve heard many motivational speakers say things like, ‘if it’s not a “hell yes,” it’s a no.’ That can be good advice to keep people from wasting time on unimportant things. But it also has the potential to keep a pragmatic person like me from testing and exploring new ideas. We are told to focus on our strengths, but I still believe there is value in working on our weaknesses.

A significant reason for doing this is to work on my public speaking skills, which I mentioned yesterday that I want to do more next year. It’s an opportunity to practice, get feedback, and improve. It’s important to iterate quickly on anything creative, to get a feedback cycle going, and hopefully get better. If I don’t see improvement, or crash and burn completely, I can also end the project sooner (without wasting as much time) and go on to the next thing.

I also think it’s a good idea to stretch yourself, especially creatively. One of the best ways to come up with new ideas is to get “out of the box” of your normal constraints. Sometimes that means going to a new location or working at a different time, but it can also mean changing your tools and anything else familiar.

Please bear with me as I venture down an unfamiliar and uncomfortable path. I’m sure it will be terrible in the beginning, but I won’t let that keep me from trying something new. I don’t want to wait until the new year because I’m sure I would talk myself out of it by then.

What is keeping you from trying something new/scary today?

PS, need some motivation?

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