Though it’s been over four years, I still remember the exact moment I sat behind my laptop and clicked “post” to share with the social media world that I had started a blog.
I wanted to vomit.
Truly. It was one of the worst feelings in the world. Those of you who have done something similar know what I’m talking about. While you are excited, feel accomplished, maybe even proud, you are immediately slapped with this wave of fear. Fear of rejection, fear that your product sucks, fear that people will think less of you–or worse–pity you.
And while the longer you practice and the more you share your creation with the world, it does seem to get a bit easier, but it never fully goes away. I was reminded of that a few weeks ago when I (accidentally) published a facebook page for Hanna Seymour “the writer”.
I could vomit just thinking about it.
I thought I could create a draft page without making it public, but apparently not. Thanks facebook! Once I realized what had happened, I immediately texted my husband “Oh God! I created a FB page. PLEASE LIKE IT. GO LIKE IT.” And then I proceeded to have a full on meltdown.
The next morning, encouraged that I actually had some likes on my page, I went ahead and used the facebook tool to invite my friends to like it. AGAIN TOTAL MELT DOWN ENSUED. My heart was beating a million miles an hour and my pits began to sweat. (This is not a joke. I never joke about pit sweat.)
So, I started texting some friends about it– different writer, blogger, musician friends–looking for comfort and support. Why is self-promotion the grossest thing in the world? It makes me want to crawl up in a hole and die.
Why is it that every time we put ourselves “out there” it’s the scariest and worst feeling in the world?
When we share our art, creation, music, thoughts, beliefs, or ideas, we share a piece of who we are. It’s downright terrifying to think that people will reject those pieces of us. And the reality is, some people will.
But we can’t let the fear of how people will respond, prevent us from sharing what God has put in us or who He has made us to be.
I recently came across a quote in my dad’s bible that said:
“Be free from the fear of men but full of the fear of God.” —Dr. Bill Lawrence
While my facebook page is a silly example of fearing men, how often do I hesitate to say or do something because I fear how others will respond?
What would it look like for me to be so convicted, so rooted, and so grounded in who I am, who God made me to be, and what God has put on my heart to do, that I never even consider how others will respond?
What does it look for the fear of God– not being scared of Him– but being so in awe, having such a deep respect for Him and His plan for my life, that my fear of man pales in comparison?
Once again, I’m reminded of my newly-adopted mantra “I’m responsible for the work and God is responsible for the results.” (If you missed this post, I wrote about it here.) Or put in another way I overheard recently:
God’s not asked me to be successful, He’s asked me to be faithful.
Who cares what people think? Who cares whether it soars or flops? I’m not be asked to create success for myself. I’m just being asked to be faithful with the gifts, talents, relationships, time, and environments God has given me. The same goes for you, my friend. We have nothing to fear except living a life that is less than what He has wired you, gifted you, and called you to do.