Over the last weekend I did something that was probably the most terrifying experience of my life. I entered a Japanese karaoke competition (hey, I don't speak Japanese)... and I was the lucky person to go first. I've gotten up on stage and performed before and had no problem, but just with the prospect of doing something new and unfamiliar and maybe, just maybe, embarrassing the heck out of myself a small voice kept repeating over and over again in my head "run".
As I was sitting around, waiting for the competition to start every inch of me didn't want to be there. The voice kept telling me that "why would I want to get up and humiliate myself" and "why would I want to?" The mere thought of rejection was killing me.
As writers, we've got to learn and accept rejection. If we don't put ourselves out there, and only keep our writing to ourselves then there's no way to grow or learn from the experience. Rejection is one form of growth. If you can get back up after being told NO, then there's no way you'll be able to improve or grow.
When the little voice decided to nag me, there was a couple of things I had to do to give myself the strength to push on:
- Take a deep breath
- Tell myself that it's okay to fail - you learn more from mistakes than you do from successes (even though successes feel better)
- Tell myself that all experiences will help me grow... even if I fall on my butt in front of hundreds of people (lucky there were only 50 in the auditorium)
- And, picture everyone in their underwear (well, not really... but I've heard this helps some people who have to perform in front of people... I just think it's creepy)
So, do you have a little voice of doubt and how do you overcome it?