"Amateurs are not afraid to make mistakes or look ridiculous in public."
– Austin Kleon. Show Your Work!
Uh, what? I know I am a complete amateur but that is not how I feel at all. In fact, I am so insecure about making mistakes and look ridiculous in public.
It's the insecurity of being judged. If I'm lucky, I'll realize what others think is unimportant. Always goes well when I can operate with that mindset! Other times, I care too much about what others will think that it prevents me from stepping into doing things I know I enjoy in life.
It's actually one of the reasons why I never used to eat alone.
God forbid someone actually sees me eat alone. Are you kidding me? They'll walk by... Look. Judge. Spend time thinking about the reasons why I'm eating by myself. Wonder: Does he have any friends? What a loner. It's probably his first time here. What'd he order? He really ordered that? Haha, loser.
Believe me, I understand how ridiculous this inner monologue is. 🤦♂️
I'm happy to report I've overcome the insecurity of eating alone. It's quite liberating. In hindsight the social anxiety I'd experience eating by myself is comical.
I do remember the day I overcame this insecurity. Jumped straight to the deep end. What would that be?
I ate without ever looking at my phone.
You have no idea how difficult this was to do. I actually started physically sweating. I must have had the thought about grabbing my phone dozens of times in the first minute. That first minute was hell. Had to have been – I felt abandoned by God.
Having your phone up while you're eating offers the plausibility that you are doing something important or maybe just taking a break.
Think about it: What exactly do you do with your body if you can't use a phone or book to shield you? I suppose you could just keep your head down and stare at your food.
If you muster the courage to lift your head up while you eat by yourself you enter a bold territory my friend. People now have an opportunity to make eye contact with you. If that happens, you run the risk of them peering into your soul. Judging you for all your weakness. I'd rather avoid that can of worms.
Deep in my heart I knew that I needed this moment. I needed to grow as a human being. If I was insecure about eating by myself, just how deep do these insecurities go? 🤔
So I did it. I lifted my head. Fork in my right hand. Food in my mouth. I lifted my head and watched. It was outdoor seating and during the lunch rush. I stared right into the sea of people, cars, and traffic whisking by. I was confronting my social anxieties head on! #brave #courageous
"Don't look down. Keep going! You can do it!", I cheered myself on.
“That’s all any of us are: amateurs. We don’t live long enough to be anything else.”
— Charlie Chaplin
I can get behind this. I just need to reframe my thinking on being an amateur.
Austin Kleon's thoughts on amateurs (not being afraid) + Charlie Chaplin's thought on us always being amateurs = solid lens to help me deal with insecurity. 👍
It's ironic because I just published my first YouTube video. I spent about an hour noodling around the publish page almost convincing myself out of releasing the video.
The thumbnails not good enough. Is anyone even going to like it? Is it even useful? Maybe I should just go back to the drawing board.
I was so concerned that I was going to back out of publishing that I ended up taking a breather to pray for strength to publish.
And just like the first time eating by myself, I knew I needed this moment.
I did it. I pressed the button and published my first YouTube video.
Ironically, the video is about how I restarted training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the insecurities I faced trying to get back into it. 😅
If you read and watch it please share your thoughts! I'm new to this form of content production and am looking for as much feedback as possible. The good, the bad, and the ugly!