You already know that I teach people how to push past fear, self-doubt, resistance, and the procrastination it leads to, in order to get creating — whether that means making art every day, or getting that website up, or finally teaching that class you’ve been longing to teach.
But just in case you were under the impression that maybe I don’t struggle with these things myself, that a professional Creativity Instigator such as myself never gets stalled by fear, let me assure you that I do.
Here’s a very recent example.
Ever since last August (at least!), I have made public speaking my big goal.
I mean serious big goal.
As in, I want to be speaking around the world. As in, I want to be in demand as a well-paid speaker. As in, this is essentially a new business (or new arm of my business) that I want to create.
Yet it took me until last Saturday to finally publish a speaking page on my website.
You’d think public speaking would be a breeze for me, right?
You’d think that slapping up a speaking page on my website would be a simple matter, right?
It took me at least 8 months after setting the goal to actually get that page up!
That’s some serious stalling.
That is Resistance with a capital R.
Because this public speaking goal scares the heck out of me.
Not so much the getting onstage part.
Yes, I get nervous, but after 11+ years of singing onstage, plus another decade of leading services for my synagogue before that…
…being onstage in front of an audience (of any size*) doesn’t terrify me anymore.
(Anymore being the operative word here. Believe me, it used to terrify the breath right out of my lungs. I’ve gotten comfortable performing only by doing it.
That’s how it works. (Click to tweet this!))
No, I’ve learned to love performing.
That’s not what scared me.
I’m actually comfortable calling myself a singer and improvisor (now).
But stepping up as a public speaker? THAT is a whole new animal.
In order to really own that I’m a speaker, I have to own that what I have to say is valuable enough for people to want to hire me. And THAT is where my gremlins go nuts!
“Who do you think you are?!” they cry.
“Nobody will take you seriously!”
“Creative play as world-changing?! Who do you think will hire you to talk about that?! You’re crazy!”
And anytime my gremlins see me making moves towards action, they’ll hit me with…
“Ha! You’ll never get hired, because you don’t have a professional video demo reel!”
“You can’t possibly get a professional demo reel, because you need a gig to get video, and you can’t get a gig without a demo reel!”
And on, and on, and on.
That’s why it took me over 8 months to get a speaking page up.
I knew I was stalling.
I knew it was gremlin chatter.
But I still let the resistance win.
I did not implement the keys that I teach in my webinar, 6 Keys to Eliminate Procrastination and Unlock Kickass Productivity (which I’m offering again tomorrow! Click here to register to join me live AND/or get the recording!)
I wasn’t ready.
Sometimes it’s like this.
The fear is so great that it slows us down to a snail’s pace.
It’s okay. This is part of being human.
Our job is to just keep picking away.
Acknowledge the fear (which takes self-awareness, and awareness is progress!)
Question the gremlins. Ask what’s really true.
And just keep taking baby steps — even nanosteps — toward your goal.
And of course, treat yourself with great gentleness and compassion throughout.
(Do you recognize my Golden Formula there? Self-awareness + self-compassion = the key to everything good. (Click to tweet this!))
If you keep at it, eventually you’ll be able to push through the fear enough to make it past the milestone that felt impossible before.
Like publishing a “minimum viable” speaker page, complete with a “minimum viable” video, on your website.
What are you scared of?
If you’re ready to push past that fear and finally tackle your procrastination head on, register here for my free webinar!
* Melissa trivia: In 2009 I sang backup for the Duke of Earl in Arco Arena, in front of an audience of 6,000.
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!