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.