I've had this idea for a project (a lifestyle newsletter) for two years now. I've hemmed and hawed about it. I've created pages, hidden them, and then deleted them. I've put out feelers on Twitter. I've told Danny about it. I've gone back to hemming and hawing. I've written blog posts, prepared launches, scheduled blog posts--and then backed out at the last minute.
I'm scared of launching a newsletter and watching it fail. I'm scared that, like many things I do, it will never reach its full potential because I get scared at the last minute. I'm scared that no one will be interested, that I'll feel dumb at the end.
Mostly, I'm scared of something I really, really care about being seen as self-serving or stupid.
The nature of my anxiety is one of holding me back. Some people deal with anxiety by being busy, having schedules. I deal with my anxiety by staying in bed, not doing anything. I look around at my messy, cluttered house and think, "I want to change this," but I can't bare the thought of not getting ahead. I think about projects (novels I want to write, blog posts I want to write, projects I want to start, community events I should attend) and give up before I even fully commit.
By nature, I'm a homebody and in many ways, I can be very lazy. My biggest critic, however, is myself and I know it: I know other people look at me and see a hard worker, a mom who is doing her best. But at night, I think of all the times I spent sitting on the couch, or standing in the kitchen, or aimlessly listening to podcasts. Why don't I start running again? Why don't I start that project I wanted to?
Why don't I just start the dang newsletter?
Then the little voice says, you're not popular enough. No one cares about your blog, or you, or anything. Your Instagram isn't curated. Your Twitter is boring. So I rewind: I unschedule the blog posts, delete the tweets on Twitter, tell Danny I'm backing out.
It's hard to feel so nervous about something. It's hard to want so badly to do something, but to be so paralyzed with fear about failure. I want to be better at this blogging thing than I am--and admittedly, I'm much better at helping other people at this funny game than I am at doing it myself.
Maybe one day--someday soon--I'll be braver. Until then, I'll keep thinking about it, talking myself into it. I got so close to doing it, launching that newsletter, this time. Maybe next time I'll be braver.