This topic comes from a video I recently watched on YouTube from a YouTuber named “Evelyn from the Internet”. In this video, she spoke about how a lot of times people are afraid to publicly try the things they really want to do because of the attention and ridicule they may receive – and also the fact that you may be seen failing. She also makes the point, among others, that it is the people who are not afraid to look foolish who often times get what they want.
This was a very poignant topic. Many persons I know, myself included, have, at some point, had goals and aspirations, but were shy to go after them – and afraid to be seen going after them. The ‘why’ is obvious. Failure when it’s happening doesn’t feel good and people generally aren’t kind in those situations. Even in succeeding, people can still be unkind. But in focusing on these people, you run the risk of not getting what you truly want.
So, in contributing to this topic, here are my three reasons why you should not be afraid to be seen trying:
THERE WILL BE SOMEBODY ELSE WHO WILL NOT BE AFRAID TO ATTEMPT YOUR SAME GOAL (PUBLICLY) AND THEY MIGHT SUCCEED
In his essay “Self-Reliance” Ralph Waldo Emerson speaks to the persons who are afraid to go after their goals and dreams because of self-doubt. He says when other persons make the effort and actually succeed at the same goal(s) you may have; you will see in their work and effort your own “rejected majesty.” Simply put, when somebody actually has the courage to go after and succeed at a goal that you also had, despite the noise in the market; their success will arouse your regrets. You realize that if only you had believed in yourself more or had to courage to fail, even publicly, you would have given yourself the same chance to succeed.
And though most people won’t care to admit it, we’ve all at some point watched somebody else succeed at something we really wanted to do but were afraid to do. We’ve watched somebody pursue a love interest that we were afraid to, and succeed in their pursuit. We’ve watched people with a business idea similar to ours put the work in and actually start. Often times our fear of failing publicly doesn’t just keep us from succeeding, it keeps us from starting. We’ve watched persons who may have been less qualified on paper embrace opportunities that we were afraid to go after and succeed – persons who were not afraid to try and be seen trying. And this is not to say that you’ll succeed or fail, you really don’t know; but the pain of regret is worse than the pain of failure – so try.
THE RIDICULE IS UNAVOIDABLE – DO IT ANYWAY
Here is the truth, anybody who has ever succeeded or failed at anything has had people talk about them. It’s unavoidable and quite frankly it’s part of life. Everybody I know who has ever tried anything at all, especially something different than what has been done previously, has been talked about. On this point, I reference the popular Bahamian song title “Dogs don’t bark at parked cars.”
The reality here is that most of the people talking negative about you are afraid to be seen trying as well; even more than you. They will, however, mask this fear through their ridicule. Once you come to this realization, what people have to say becomes so much less important and impactful in the grand scheme of things. Their words may sting, but they are otherwise powerless. And when you ignore their words, you take away their power. But know this – if you are moving, and improving, and trying, people will talk – so do it anyway.
YOU WILL INSPIRE OTHERS
Up to now in this post, we’ve given the naysayers a lot of attention. But one thing about life is that often times when we really care about something and are not afraid to be seen trying for it, persons will be inspired by our effort. In being afraid to be seen trying, we get so focused on the people who will ridicule us that we neglect the persons we might inspire. It may be unfathomable to you now, but there is somebody out there who may be inspired to greatness from watching you try. You’ll sometimes not know the impact you will have. Tyler Perry said it best when he said, “there are people whose lives are tied into your dream.” When you truly embrace that you can have this impact, trying becomes less of an option and more of a responsibility – something that you owe to yourself and others.
Anything worth having will come with some level of scrutiny. If you aspire to rise in an organization, there will be colleagues watching your efforts. If you want to be an actor or singer, persons will be watching to see if you have an audience or not. If you wish to start a business, which always requires people to be aware of what you do, there will definitely be persons watching to see if the business is successful. But don’t be afraid to be seen trying, because trying and possibly failing beats not trying at all any day. And while people may have their comments, understand that most of them are in the stands while you’re starring on the field – so swing for the fences.