By Adam Hoette
If you’re like most people, the idea of being the center of attention makes you uncomfortable.
For many of us, just the thought of doing something to stand out is enough to give us butterflies. It’s easy to feel like every unique move is being monitored by our our network of family, friends, coworkers, and even complete strangers.
Unfortunately, these thoughts are powerful. They cause us to keep to ourselves and to abandon what could be great ideas, all because we’re worried about doing something a little out of the ordinary. All because we’re worried about being judged.
Every time we put something in front of people, we run the risk of being criticized. People will notice the thing we did and scoff at us as a result - or so we think.
We think that our actions are like a blaring siren to those around us, that everyone within earshot will stop what they’re doing and pay attention to our idea or our work. The reality, however, isn’t nearly as distressing as we think. People aren’t paying as much attention to us as we think - and that’s a good thing.
I remember how much my heart pounded the first time I posted an article. I felt like I was setting myself up to be the butt of jokes among anyone I had ever met. I was genuinely nervous. I had confidence in what I was saying - in fact I felt like I needed to say it - but that confidence did nothing to calm my worries about its response. Clicking “publish” that first time was completely unnerving in a way I had never before experienced.
What I quickly realized was this: It wasn’t that big of a deal to anyone but me.
People read my article. They noticed it. But they were hardly critical of it. I even received a few nice comments here and there. My worries of a negative response were completely unfounded. It was exactly the kind of response I needed - a confidence builder that showed me things wouldn’t be that bad after all.
Your audience is busy. They have their own careers, families, and priorities. The work you feel hesitant about sharing - in all reality - won’t that make a big of a dent in their lives. They’ll take notice, they’ll pay it some attention, but they’ll quickly move on to the next thing. This is good news to anyone nervous about sharing something for the first time. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s not as bad as you think.
When you realize that the world won’t implode because of your idea, it gives you the confidence to share your next one. And the next. And the next.
That first idea probably won’t be noticed as much as you think. But coming back again and again, with idea after idea, is sure to capture the attention of your audience. By then, it won’t be so scary.
It takes practice to calm those inherent jitters. It takes repetition to silence that voice that tells you to keep it to yourself. But it has to start somewhere.
So share those ideas. We want to hear them.
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