How Long Before You Try?

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I did some pretty cool new things this week as a writer:

I submitted 2 posts to The Good Men Project. One was rejected (it was a little off brand for them since I’m a woman and I wasn’t really talking about men at all) and I’m still waiting to hear about the other one.

I signed up with a writing agency and immediately sold a blog post.

I submitted the post that was rejected by Good Men Project to the Huffington Post.

I’ve been a blogger off and on for a pretty long time. I first started a personal blog back in 2010 while I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, but I never had the courage to write for other blogs…until now. Something just clicked in me, and I’m simply over being afraid of this.

I’m done being afraid of reaching out and putting myself out there, so I just started. 

Now that I’m on the other side of trying this difficult thing, I’ve been examining my feelings about it, and I honestly don’t know what I was so afraid of. Literally five minutes ago I submitted a post to one of the biggest websites in the world (if not THE biggest), and I’m completely calm about it. I did my part. It’s out of my hands, and here’s the kicker: My worth is not tied to my success anymore. If they don’t like my post, it has nothing to do with me as a person or even my writing ability. It simply wasn’t a good fit. It’s not a sign that I should give up.

Here’s the other thing: I wasn’t successful because someone bought my post. I was successful when I faced my fear and submitted the post.

I wonder where I’d be if I’d had the courage to put myself out there from the very beginning?

I’d probably have more of an audience. I’d probably have had some pretty cool experiences getting to know and connect with my readers. There may have been opportunities to make a living and care for my family through my writing. What a dream that would be!

All this can still happen, but it could’ve happened earlier. I’ve lost nothing but time. Time is finite. It’s limited. We know this, and we still treat time like it’s a renewable resource. We value our egos and our feelings more than we value time. We pamper them and shield them and do everything we can to keep them from being hurt in any way. If we’re afraid of taking risks we live in comfort but every minute we spend remaining comfortable is a minute we lose experiencing something potentially great.

This applies to anything that challenges us:

Going for that raise.

Starting a family.

Returning to college.

Asking someone on a date.

Starting a business.

Training for a marathon.

Letting go of limiting self beliefs.

Beginning the monumental task of simplifying our lives.

The longer we wait to start, the more time we waste, the more time we spend in mediocrity.

Think about something you’ve been meaning to start but haven’t. If you had started a year ago, where would you be today? I think about this a lot, with different areas in my life that need improvement. We all do. Sometimes we’re just lazy, or it’s simply not a priority right now. That’s ok. But if there’s something you true want to do, and it’s simple fear that’s holding you back, do yourself a favor and ignore that dissenting voice. It’s only an illusion. You can do it, and in the process, you’ll probably learn what I learned, that there really wasn’t anything to fear in the first place.

Here’s a challenge: This week, start something you’ve been putting off because of fear. Let me know how it went in the comments!

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