Don't take yourself too seriously...
Today's post is actually a writing prompt from a very popular minimalist author and blogger. "The absolute best piece of advice I've ever received..." Thanks to another great journal prompt from Courtney Carver!
So while it's entirely possible that I create a piece of writing without acknowledging that it's a writing prompt and crediting the prompt originator... where is the fun in that?!
Here's today's prompt and the resulting brain dump:
The absolute best piece of advice I've ever received is...
Don't take yourself too seriously...nobody else does.
I'm sure there are mental roadblocks (aka excuses) for everyone.... fear of failure comes to mind. Or maybe it's fear of looking dumb. Or maybe it's something like "some day when I do this, I'll be able to do THAT." (THAT being THING you need/want to accomplish.) In all of the mental roadblocks mentioned here, there is an underlying theme of procrastination and an outcome of empty-handedness. Perhaps it's different for other people, but for me, the commonality amongst all roadblocks is that I'm afraid of how I'll be perceived. (OMG I DO care what other people think!! Sort of.) On some level I feel like every roadblock or excuse can be broken down far enough until all that's left is that I'm afraid of how I'll be perceived or how others will view me or whatever action/thing I needed/wanted to accomplish. The short answer to this fear and to all of these roadblocks, then, is simply, not to take yourself too seriously. More simply, lower your expectations of yourself. You aren't going to be perfect.
I can't remember where or who this piece of advice came from... but each and every time I am confronted with a roadblock or an excuse for not doing something... I try to remind myself that nobody cares. Nobody expects me to be perfect. Nobody has the same expectations of me that I have for myself. Nobody takes me as seriously as I take myself. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be final. Just start. Do whatever thing it is that you need/want to do! Do what makes your heart sing!
In particular, this applies to my fledgling YouTube career (which is basically nonexistent at this point). I have been talking about "doing YouTube" for like a solid 3 or 4 years at this point. I have even purchased all the things I swear I'd need to get started (i.e. if only I had THIS this, I'd be able to do THAT. Sound familiar?) I bought TWO cameras, tripods, software, etc. and that still hasn't been enough to pull the trigger and make videos on a regular basis. Why? I'm afraid of what other people will think.
I'm afraid the quality will be too low or that I'll be compared to other YouTubers or that people will snicker behind my back that "I must think I'm really something". All of these roadblocks can be boiled down to this: I take myself too seriously. It doesn't matter what people think. Because mostly they don't. People are too busy consumed with their own lives and their own roadblocks to worry about what I'm doing. Hence, they don't take me seriously... because most people (with some exception, of course) just don't spend that much time thinking about what other people are doing. There are, of course, exceptions to this: TV talk show hosts, gossip magazines, and the occasional facebooker with a little too much time on her hands who puts her nose in other people's business (but typically even this gossip is born out of similar insecurities to the one I'm describing).
But mostly, nobody cares.
Nobody takes you as seriously as you take yourself.
Nobody takes ME as seriously as I take myself.
So what's stopping me now? Nothing. Even if I go slowly, I still need to JUST START. Even slow progress is progress; nobody cares if it's slow progress. Nobody takes me and my YouTube career that seriously. They actually probably expect it to be a little bad. Because I'm new. The expectations I have of myself in my own mind are the absolute only roadblock I have preventing me from just starting. (Note to self: DON'T TAKE YOURSELF SO DANG SERIOUSLY!!! JUST START!!)
Don't take yourself too seriously. If you can remember this... you can probably do anything. Don't be afraid to look silly. Don't be afraid to fail. Don't be afraid to be imperfect. Nobody cares.
And even if they do care, at the end of the day, the people who matter don't mind and the people who mind don't matter.
Until next time... Be well, friends!