Conquering the Fear of Posting
I’m relatively new to Medium. I’ve been reading articles here and there for over a year. A month ago, I committed to a membership. The value I’ve received far outweighs the cost. There are great writers on this platform. They are so great that they make me question if I’m even close. Is my writing just as good as someone who’s been writing here for years? Do I have something valuable to say? Do readers actually want to read and share my content?
I posted this article on Facebook without fear. I was honest about my struggles with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and how it has made me a better person.
A couple weeks later, I wrote an article on leadership. I debated posting to LinkedIn as I had success with the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu article. However, LinkedIn is a different platform and posting could affect my career. Instead of sharing, I sent to a friend for her opinion. In the interim, I refined and refined. I read my article over and over. Did it convey my message? Was it easy to understand? Would people find value in its content?
My friend recommended I post on LinkedIn. I was scared. What if it made me look stupid in my professional circle?
Watch all your acts, all your beliefs, and find out whether they are based in reality, in experience or in fear. Anything based in fear has to be dropped immediately, without a second thought. It is your armor. — Osho
I dropped my fear and posted. My article has been well received. And even if it wasn’t, it doesn’t matter. I posted what I wrote. I thought enough about the content to create and refine it, it was my job to see it through.
Fear has prevented me from doing many things in my life. I am at a pivotal place now where I am beginning to understand. Fear has been holding me back. I refuse to let that happen any longer.
How many articles have you written and not published? How many start up ideas have you tuned out because of the fear to see them through? How many hobbies have you not started because of fear? There have been too many to count for me. I went through the same with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It took me 11 months to decide I was ready to try it!
There is a zen story that goes something like:
A man walking in the night slipped and fell from a rocky path. Afraid he would fall down thousands of feet, because he knows that just at the edge of the path was a very deep valley, he grabbed hold of a branch that was overhanging the edge. In the darkness of the night all he could see below him was a bottomless abyss. He shouted and his own shout was reflected back -there was nobody to hear him.
You can imagine that man, and his whole night of torture. Every moment there was death below, his hands were becoming cold, he was losing his grip…but he managed to hold on and as the sun came out he looked down…and he laughed! There was no abyss. Just six inches below his feet there was a rock ledge. He could have rested the whole night, slept well — the ledge was big enough — but instead the whole night was a nightmare.
Fear is not more than six inches deep. Now it is up to you whether you want to cling to the branch and turn your life into a nightmare, or whether you would love to leave the branch and stand on your feet. There is nothing to fear. — Osho
Fear should not prevent you from posting an article, or frankly speaking, doing anything in life. I’m a work in progress when it comes to fear. Sometimes I’m quickly able to tell it to shut the f*ck up. Sometimes I have trouble. What I have found helpful is asking myself if what I am thinking is factual. For example:
Thought: I can’t post this article on LinkedIn. I will get fired.
Rationale: Is that a fact? Will I actually get fired for posting an article on leadership?
I find that questioning whether a thought is factual allows me to determine whether I am thinking out of fear or whether it is reality. For someone with anxiety, this has had a tremendous impact on my life. Try it and let me know if it works for you.