I’m Scared Shitless, What About You?

It’s show and tell time! For the past two months I have been jumping out of my boots. Excited to show off the painted rock that I found in my backyard. I think it’s something pretty awesome. Like a dinosaur fossil. I’ve been counting the days until I get to share it with you. Planning and scheming. Carefully crafting every word I would say as I stand there showing off this new found treasure that I worked so hard to dig up. I even rehearsed the standing ovation as I am carried back to my seat on the shoulders of my peers.

But now that it’s time, I feel sick. Reluctant. Doubt has settled in. What if I’m wrong? What if it’s just a painted rock? What will people think of me? What if no one likes it? What will they say? Will they laugh as I’m standing at the front of the room weak in the knees? Or worse, will they laugh at me behind my back?

I am scared shitless.

Maybe I should keep it to myself. Not share it with anyone. I will save a lot of heartache. I won’t risk the possibility of lot of people pointing and laughing at me. Or calling me names.

If I keep it to myself, I won’t have to be scared anymore. I won’t have to worry about what people think. I won’t stand out. I won’t fail. And in the end, no one will ever really know. I will be safe.


Until the day comes along when I realize what I had. And what I lost by not sharing it. That even if it wasn’t a fossil, it was still a beautifully painted rock that would have been loved just as much. Or maybe more. That in my effort to be safe I missed an opportunity to do something extraordinary. And now it’s too late.

That’s just not an option.

So instead, I am scared shitless. I finished my new book but I haven’t shown it to you yet. It is still selfishly tucked away in my pocket even though it was supposed to come out yesterday. It’s delayed because I had the flu. And because the artwork is not done yet. Because it’s not finished being edited.

But really, because I’m scared shitless.

See? You are not alone.

I know you have something that makes you scared shitless too. If you don’t, you’d better find it unless you plan on living a very mediocre life. And when you do, let me be the first to stand up and applaud you when it is time. Because whether it is a fossil or a beautifully painted rock, a book or a piece of music, a new company or an old idea, sometimes pushing past the fear of standing naked in front of the room with nothing more than a painted rock, an imagination and your head held high is all it takes to change the world.

Featured image courtesy of Dushan and Miae licensed via Creative Commons.

  • http://twitter.com/jebbing9 Jason Ebbing

    Love it Marc. We are often our own toughest critics. Can’t wait to see the new book.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Jason! I couldn’t agree more. If someone else ever said half the crap to me that I say to myself I would smack them into next week!

  • Brian Ferber

    Enjoyed the post Marc as a start to my day. Look forward to seeing the book!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Brian!

  • http://twitter.com/Sarah_Penner Sarah Penner

    Thanks for the encouragement Marc. I’m also sitting looking at my book thinking ‘What if it’s not good enough to hack it?’ but I’ve decided that this year I will dive in when I would have stood on the shore. I won’t allow reluctance to steal my joy and, possibly, the joy of others. Congratulations on your book! I’m sure it will be awesome as only Smarc can write it! 😀

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      That’s awesome! It’s been a while, so how is the book going? Have you gotten any further in? It’s not going to write itself you know!

      • http://twitter.com/Sarah_Penner Sarah Penner

        Just finalizing the editing and then off to the beta-readers! :) Bring on the terror.

  • http://pjrvs.com/ Paul Jarvis

    From what I’ve read from what I’ve seen, there’s nothing to scared about. I NEED this book, we all do. But then again, I was scared shitless yesterday when I released my own book. So I know and share that feeling.

    Get better, get editing, get the graphics done and get me that book! :)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Now that it’s out there, so begins the process of expanding on it. Here we go again…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.goldman.94 Mike Goldman

    Read the first 3 chapters. Book looks great so far!!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Mike!

  • http://twitter.com/melissa4horses Mel Smith

    Loved this post! :)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you Mel!!

  • http://www.drmichellemazur.com/ Michelle_Mazur

    We all go thought this, and I loved reading this. I’ve been working on a speech – that’s emotional and intense – as I practice it I think – what if no one likes it, what if it sucks, what if they laugh in the wrong places. I was scared shitless too. I am glad I am not alone.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      You? No one likes it? I find that impossible to believe! And for what it’s worth, whenever I speak people laugh in the wrong places for some reason. It’s not so bad. See? You’re laughing now.

  • http://twitter.com/MattLBrennan Matt Brennan

    Love it. Sometimes you just need to plow through.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Very true! And when you do, you realize that it’s never as bad as you thought it would be!

  • http://twitter.com/SandyAppleyard Sandy Appleyard

    Very well said Marc! I went through this too, with my first book. In fact, I was so scared to self publish that I kept it a huge secret from family and friends. Until I published it and it blew up in my face. I lost the trust and love of many for a long time and I learned my lesson the hard way. TELL PEOPLE! Don’t be afraid…and you also need to tell people because if it’s content that may be too personal, it could blow up in your face like it did for me. All is fine now though :) We’re all happy again :) Glad to see you’re pushing forth and being brave! Way to go!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Sandy! Now that the e-book is out (http://www.notanotherseoblog.com/search-engine-humanization/) and has received a lot of positive feedback I realized there is nothing to worry about. It’s more about taking the leap. It’s never as bad as you make it out in your head!