Last week I was told that my content is inappropriate for LinkedIn. It is too personal, not professional enough, and also had two grammar mistakes.
And though I don't necessarily agree with that (and didn't go looking for the mistakes), the unsurprising result was that I immediately regretted everything I ever wrote, and was completely unable to write another word.
I have been writing content, on and off, for almost 13 years now (ok, it is more off than on after my blogging years but still), and yet, for me, the fear of exposure never got any easier.
To deal with it, I used to pretend it's just Hidai reading, or no one is reading, or that I don't care because nobody who reads it actually knows me.
But it's not true, and in a very weird twist of it-doesn't-make-any-sense, I really like it when people actually read what I write, and comment on it.
But In my defence, I never claimed a lot of sanity.
I think there is nothing scarier than putting yourself out there for the world to see, and have an opinion. Funnily enough, it doesn't even have to be a really personal post. It can be a light post like the one Hidai posted last week, or a completely business related post. The "oh my God what have I done, what are THEY going to think of me, will this be the day I reveal myself as a total fraud" is always there.
In fact Hidai & I are working on a new venture which is very exciting for us, but will require marketing, and video recording, and putting ourselves and our business front and centre for the world to see. And it's so so so scary. Yet if we don't do it, our new thing will fail for sure.
So I am sitting here, forcing myself to not think of the person who asked why continue writing if I don't get any direct clients out of it, or the one who asked why I think anyone cares what I had for dinner (Tesco cheese rolls with goat cheese and half a chocolate doughnut, BTW), or the one who said it's too depressing.
Chocolate helps. Of course.
So does necessity.
But more than that, and I know it sounds way too bombastic, but when I need a reminder why it is soo important to try, to dare, to put myself out there in order to achieve my goals, I look at the kids.
Because last year Ron decided he is bored and he wants to start playing Touch Rugby. He was 16 at the time. Not the best age to start playing a sports you only heard about 2 days before you started playing it.
But he found a team, where he is the youngest and only new player, and it didn't stop him. He went to every practice, every match, and every tournament. He watched every match he could find on TV / YouTube, learned all the strategies, and practiced in real life and the virtual one.
12 months of putting himself out there.
And it was hard. Ron is not used to being not the best at anything, he is not used to not being able to go from 0 to 100 in 60 seconds, and he is not used to people seeing him struggle.
But last month he got to participate in his first and what was apparently one of the biggest international Touch Rugby tournament, in Edinburgh.
And a couple of weeks ago the club had their yearly prize ceremony, which we didn't know about, and Ron decided not to attend because he didn't think it was relevant to him, and as it turned out he missed a chance to wear a tuxedo and to do a lot of drinking while wearing a tuxedo, but also he missed the fact that he got the prize for most improved male (player. But it's funnier like that).
So I prepared a huge amount of chocolate, and sat down to write this post, mostly to remind myself that (and I can't believe I am going to give Hidai the satisfaction of using one of his favourite sports quotes here) you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
So you have to put yourself out there, try, write, be front and centre.
How else can you ever have a chance at being Most Improved Male?