There’s this quote that I really like by dear ol’ Ben Franklin “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”. Sometimes when I’m feeling shy I like to think of my life as a book – and if it’s one that someone would want to read.
I mean, what makes a good book?
-attention to detail
There is a lot of importance in becoming your own interesting and compelling protagonist.
Not for anyone else but just so you can lay there at any time of the day and think “hey, I think I’m pretty cool”. Growing up I’ve found that there’s a taboo around just liking yourself which is just stupid – like if you choose to accept a compliment instead of bashfully deflecting it…“oh this old thing? Please, I’m a mess”.
You know that whole phrase “haters gonna hate” -> well, yup. It really doesn’t matter what you do because there are always going to be people who don’t like what you’re doing for some reason.
To be honest, even the people who typically like what you’re doing might decide they don’t like what you’re doing anymore crying “you’re different!” and it goes the same way in the other direction. It’s extremely unfair for people to expect you to act the same way year to year and it’s unfair for you to think other people should love every breath you take.
I mean you, the desire for stability is fine but again, what kind of book would that make?
“Once upon a time, there was an individual who always did the same thing and acted the same way from the day they were born to the day they died”.
I just wrote the whole thing.
If I’m going to be honest, the best role you can hope for with a life like that is the supportive side character- you don’t really get a story arc but at least you were consistent and loyal, right?!
I implore you, stop being afraid to look a bit silly.
Stop taking yourself so seriously. I was watching this great video about this that brought up the point that there is a certain amount of a stale narcissism that goes into being shy.
Going back to the idea of bashfully deflecting compliments I find people also love to pull out the “I’m too shy and scared to do that!”.
So you’re afraid to stand on a stage, sure but why? Could it be that you’re trying to retain a certain front of being “pretty” or “cool” or “elusive and sexy” and the simple act of standing in front of some people might make swiss cheese out of your persona to reveal that you’re a *gasp* regular weird person just like the rest of us?
Now, let’s talk about the importance of risk taking.
Have you ever been listening to someone else’s stories and thought “boy… I wish I had interesting stories to tell.. I don’t even know what to say next…”… Well, luckily there is a very simple solution! If you want to be more interesting just do more interesting things. I know it sounds common sense, that’s because it is.
Trying different things and especially things you’ve never done before is the first step to everything new, fresh and exciting. In this vast expansive reality in this vast, expansive universe there are actually more things that are possible than you will ever experience in your lifetime. Isn’t that so exciting!? That’s so much to explore!
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”
Now the other important thing about taking risks: failure.
You’re going to fall on your face sometimes. You’re going to try things and not like it. You’re going to lose some things and some people and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Think of it like one of those sand sifters people use to find gold- thing about shaking up your life is all of the extra sand and sediment will tumble through the mesh and allow you to find the things that are truly important. It’s those people and those things that you’ll learn to cherish and will make your life richer in the long term.
The great thing about failure is the learning opportunity. I know it sounds like a consolation prize but it’s not. It’s firsthand, super exclusive insight into the reality of whatever situation you’re dealing with.
No successful person got to where they are now without blood, sweat, and tears, that’s not a figure of speech either. I read somewhere that we could probably learn a lot about how to choose the right partner from the people have been divorced.
Oh, that’s another thing to bring up! Hey, we also don’t need to make all of the mistakes ourselves- learn from others too but know that it won’t substitute first-hand experience.
-Do you think what you’re doing is interesting?
-Are you the main character of your own story?
-Are you worrying too much about upholding an artificial front?
-Are you comfortable looking silly?
-When was the last time you took a risk?
So there you have it. Risks are vital to your independent character development and make you interesting and wise. So be kind, don’t judge, have fun, and encourage others to do the same!
I’ll leave you with some of my favourite quotes and videos on risk taking that I like to use for inspiration and guidance:
What I learned from 100 days of rejection a Ted Talk by Jia Jiang
The Terror of a ‘no’ from The School of Life
“The people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind”
“It’s okay if some people don’t like you, not everyone has good taste”
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable”
-Ceaser A. Cruz
“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents”
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”
“Respond to every call that excites your spirit”
“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done”
“Amateurs wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and work”
“Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference”
“The scariest moment is always just before you start”
If you want to read some more, check out my Pinterest because I’m always finding and posting inspiration there 🙂