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How To Overcome Your Fear Of Putting Yourself Out There

Oliver Cowlishaw
April 21, 2021

What would you accomplish if you had absolutely no fear of putting yourself out there? What could you accomplish? How would your life be better?

Chances are, you have absolutely no idea what you could do if your full potential was unleashed. If you're like me, you have a few memories of times when you felt as though every cell of your body was operating optimally and you were completely in flow, but they are few and far between.

It's a shame we can't we feel that way more often, isn't it? 

What holds most of us back from putting ourselves out there and actualising our potential falls under a single umbrella - fear.

If we weren't afraid of putting ourselves out there we wouldn't procrastinate, torture ourselves with perfectionism or waste precious time.

But how do we fully overcome the fear of putting ourselves out there?

Here are three ideas that helped me...

Idea One - Everything Is Practice

Everything you do is practice.

There will never be a state to reach where you are the finished article and that's it.

When we witness the best athletes, artists and creators in the world, we aren't watching their final form, we are experiencing a process in motion.

Even at the highest level of a sport or profession, it's still just practice. The same applies for you. If you're expecting to get it right early on, you're in the realm of perfectionism and inconsistency.

Instead, aim to view absolutely everything you do as just practice. Doing so will free up your energy and make it less intimidating to put yourself out there.

Idea Two - Everyone Is Bad At The Start

Comparison is the thief of joy.

We often buy into a false narrative that I call the "Mozart Fallacy" where we believe that the people who are amazing at what they do got there because of some god given innate talent that we simply don't possess. 

Part of this fallacy is believing that these people were great at the start. This is simply not true, but we have a tendency in today's algorithmic-ally conditioned era to compare our behind the scenes with everyone else's highlight reel.

Don't be fooled. Everyone you look up to was just as bad as you when they started.

But they started anyway. Be bad and stumble towards success like the rest of us!

Idea Three - With Enough Consistency, Progress Is Certain

Many people fail because they don't plan for success on a long enough time frame and become discouraged into giving up when the inevitable storm hits.

An empowering way to think about things is this...

"A life that is better in all the ways you can imagine (and even ways you can't) lies on the other side of habit, repetition and consistency plus time"

Instead of thinking about all the ways that you aren't good at what you do or successful in the ways you'd like, I challenge you to consider what trajectory you are currently on. 

Ask yourself - "If I continue to do this for 5 years, what will my life look like?"

The answer may encourage you, or it may horrify you.

Both outcomes are desirable. 

Conclusion

If you're procrastinating on putting yourself out there in whatever way, I hope this brief list of reflections has helped you overcome the fear and encouraged you to begin to take yourself less seriously.

Whether it's a creative endeavor, a business venture or improving your dating and social life - see it all as practice, become comfortable with being bad and value consistency above all else.

I look forward to seeing where you are in 5 years.

Good luck!


Oliver Cowlishaw

About the author

Ollie is an avid pizza connoisseur, accomplished drinker of coffee and lover of soul music. Heavily influenced by Zen & eastern mysticism, his curiosity regarding the human experience is insatiable. Despite having a strong vocabulary, he swears a lot and uses slang phrases ("ollie-isms") that almost nobody understands, not even himself.

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