“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.” — Aristotle
I first started blogging in 2011. I distinctly remember the fear I felt when I hit publish on my first blog post, terrified of having my thoughts and ideas put out for the entire world to see (and thereby criticize). But I was committed to doing it anyway because I was committed to personal growth, not to mention being tired of letting fear silence me.
6 years and a far more confident woman later, I find myself in a similar position. While my fear might not be using my voice it has evolved into a fear of not having anything important or smart enough to say.
I had a conversation this past week that made me think about how courage is a muscle. When I first set out in my blogging journey my mission was to become fearless — only to realize that fear never subsides, but one’s courage to face your fears only grows stronger.
I fought and worked through an unending list of fears throughout my two years in grad school and even into my first several months of my post-grad school career.
“When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid”
— Audre Lorde
Now I find myself facing fear yet again.
And similar to my slow journey to build my running endurance back up after taking off from running for so long, I’m also struggling to build back up the muscle to adequately face the new fears I’m facing in my life.
I want to start building a different relationship with my Nasty Little Bitch (as my mentor so fittingly calls the discouraging and hateful voice in her head).
I’m working to get to a place where she no longer convinces me that there are smarter and more thoughtful people out in the world who will always have better ideas than mine.
I want to get to a place where I can feel that way and speak up anyway, all because I care deeply about what needs to be said.
I want to use my voice from a place of power — not from fear.