The paralysing fear of trying

“If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, I am not interested in or open to your feedback.” Brené Brown

Oh Judgement, the dream crusher, the self doubt inspirer, the King of all abandoned projects…

If you ever had the courage to put your work out there, congratulation, you have met the King and you have seen his merciless sword. If you still crumble in fear of how the judge will receive your work, let me give you some perspective.

Have you ever publicly criticised someone’s work? Well, If you are on this page and you are reading this, chances are, you didn’t. If you were the criticising type, you were not this far into reading but thinking how the title is not as ‘smart’ as you would like it to be. LoL

Think about it; those who can appreciate the work you have put into creating something and the strength you gathered to share, most of the time have been in your shoes and are too busy dealing with their own life to take a moment to write a mean comment.

There are four types of public to any type of creative work:

1.The encouraging, appreciative folks. They’ve been there, done that and built the empathy to remember how it feels and offer their encouragement they also needed at a point in time.

2. The folks who never gathered the courage to work for their dream yet, but they are the rare kind of creatures, able to lift people up and celebrate others.

3. The folks who critique all they catch: There are two classes here: a. the ones who never accomplished anything and never thought of doing it anyway, and who need to bring people down to be able to feel better themselves. b. and the even sadder ones who have worked through sweat and tears to reach their goal, and forgot where they came from and how long is the journey.

4. This last group or handful is a great resource for any of us; they will critique your work, not to put you down but to help you up on a shortcut, instead of letting you go on a bumpy road.. They been there and want to help you improve. It might feel like criticising but listen closely for the nugget of wisdom.

I am not an expert, not a public figure, there are others who said/did just that and better; Heck, there are others addressing the same subject as the post I am now typing, and did it thousand times better, I am sure.

Is crushing and unfair that we haven’t been born with an expert level at something, we have to be painfully auful first so we can learn how to get better, and you know what? Not being perfect s**ks and for sure we will have to endure judgement, but that’s fine, as long as today is better than yesterday and worse than tomorrow.

I used to be devastated by critique and soon enough, I have taken the judge’s chair, the know it all, do nothing. I became my biggest critic and stop myself from sharing any achievement, big or small. I stop myself, so others won’t have the chance to show me how average I am. Eureka!!! I have found the formula for never being criticised ” never try anything new”. :))

One can not see him/herself without looking straight into his deepest fears, and my mirror came from one of my favourite writers. Brené Brown opened my eyes when she said “If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, I am not interested in or open to your feedback. “.

I am not in the arena, not hers, not yours; I was not even my own arena. I got so used judging the match from the front seats, that being in the middle of the arena seemed downgrading. If I get down there, I thought, I should only win, if not, I would make a fool of myself.

I might be the fool now, that I am down and fighting my way to improvement, but I better be down here, improving, than up there judging.

What happens when the movie ends

All great movies have a quest or a mission, a hero, lots of struggle, and then the victory; he gets the girl/she gets the guy, they catch the bad people or overcome adversity… Hurrray, and then what?

What happens after the dream is achieved, or if lucky, intensely lived? What happens when spending years and years dedicated to a dream, living with intensity every moment, you reach the final drop, you outgrow your new acquired life, and finished every drop of juice your dream had to offer.

Nobody makes movies or writes books on life after you achieve your dream.

So how are we suppose to know, how to deal with life without a quest?

Nine years have passed since the dream of travelling the world has entered my mind, and almost seven, since the dream became reality. Seven years you might say is a long time to enjoy a dream, however, traveling the world is not just a dream, is a quest; a search for yourself, far from home. For some, the journey may take months, or a lifetime . For me it took almost 7 years.

What now? 

Will home feel like home after so long, will I know what to do with myself? Will I fit in, in a world of social groups and unwritten social norms, when I lost the meaning of “small talk” apart of the chats with fellow travellers on planes heading into unknown, or at coffee shops, somewhere farther than ever imagined, when locals become interested in my weirdly comfortable solo traveller demeanour, starring at the passer by’s ?

When I finally decided that is time to head home, it felt exciting, like a new adventure. Routine life, waking up every morning, run along the harbour, sip ice coffees while reading my favourite books, and take pictures all day.

Somehow, my brain imagined the new routine, as exciting as some of the most interesting adventures while I was travelling. Thinking about the potential of a quiet, slow life, awoken my brain as when I got stuck between the Peruvian and the Bolivian border, without a visa, trying to find my way out and avoiding the risk of spending time in a Bolivian jail.

In other words, doing nothing sounds like an adventure now. For a hyperactive person, a slow life is a novelty, a novelty that will definitely need some major ‘get used to’.

It’s nothing like an adventure!

Isn’t THAT what I wanted, when I stopped travelling, after 90 countries and countless cities/states,…to RELAX? I still do not have the answer to that question. What I do know however is that I do not know how to stay still. Having to be somewhere has entered my system and transformed into. a way of operating into the world.

I think I enjoyed every place more intensely, just because I knew it is not forever, that soon, I will be somewhere else so I better pay attention to it now.

We all know the feeling we get from being busy, or having somewhere to be or something to do, is not always enjoyable but it gives us a hint of “I have a meaning”. Once the goal is removed, the meaning is removed from our life as well.

Making HOME an adventure will require dedication and creativity. The excitement has to be created not discovered, maybe my biggest adventure yet.

Would love to hear from you, if you have a similar situation or some advice, more than “get down from the high horse, people have real struggles”. I am with you if that’s what first thought that crosses your mind, and I am telling that to myself every morning with breakfast 🙂 but it didn’t work so far.