We’ve all felt it, whether in junior high speech class or the high pressure meeting where we know we could contribute but, or the conversation over coffee when we suddenly feel like hiding under the table.
I’ve thought long and hard about this, friends, and it seems there’s a root cause of this fear that we don’t talk about much. (Or maybe it’s just me.)
Here’s what it often comes down to…
I don’t want to look silly.
Yep, that’s the highly intellectual, fancy-pants version.
We hide that reason behind all kinds of other ones that sound much more proper–like timing, needing experience, not having adequate resources. You know the drill.
But in the end, I think a lot of times it just comes down to trying to avoid embarrasment (and embarassment can kill you, you know). And we’ve got good reason for this fear. Because here’s the deal: If you put yourself out there, at some point you will look silly. The reason? You are an imperfect person in a fallen world.
Or, as the authors of Art and Fear, say, “Making art (their term for putting yourself out there) provides uncomfortably accurate feedback about the gap that inevitably exists between what you intended to do and what you did.”
In others words, what you imagine as ideal and what you can execute as real are never, ever the same thing.
And when you realize that (or worse yet, when others point it out) there comes the “feeling silly” part. But there’s simply no way around it. We all get our turn at playing the fool.
Here’s the secret: We will survive those few moments.
And there will be far more moments when we feel God’s pleasure at doing exactly what he made us to do.
That’s JOY, my friends.
The secret? Fear and joy can’t coexist.
So let’s go ahead and accept that sometimes we will look silly, we’ll survive anyway, and the story + the glory that follow will make it all worthwhile.
p.s. My dear friend Sarah Markley is giving away my new book You’re Already Amazing on her blog today. So pop on over and enter (so I don’t look silly). 🙂