You're not good enough. You're doing it wrong. You're the only one who doesn't know. You're the only one. Everyone else gets it. You're going to fail. And everyone's going to see it. You can't do it. You can't.
Did you read that paragraph up there? Can you even imagine how much of a jerk it would take for someone to talk like that to someone else? I can. Because I do it all the time. But it's usually when I'm talking to myself.
This was my inner dialogue last week, the night before I took off for points east, to go to a bloggers conference and speak about writing and editing. Self doubt was high—like, off the charts high. I just knew nobody would be excited to see me and I would feel like the odd one out, the one who just can't stay on the beat with the rest of the group. I literally packed like 12 outfits so I'd have something to wear no matter what—be it weather, group dynamics or what have you.
All of the things, all of the time, that's what I worried about. I wouldn't say the right things or wear the right things or eat the right things or any of the right things.
Rational? Of course not. Even while thinking it, I understand that it's not really how it's going to be. But worry happens. Especially in my life—every day that ends in "y" is a good day to worry about something in my world.
But I headed out anyway. Took a deep breath and jumped in with both feet, like I said I would do. Stopped for coffee on my way—turns out the baristas at the counter were from up north like me, so we had a nice chat about home and "you betcha" and "uff-da" and all that good stuff. Okay, that's a good sign.
Traffic was good, and by the time I got to Arkansas and exited from I40 to I49, I was calm but also excited. And just a quick minute into that drive north and I was amazed. Gorgeous doesn't begin to describe the scenery and I could have kicked myself for never having driven this way before. It was invigorating and excitement was overtaking anxiety.
And by the time I sat at the bar with my roomie and a glass of whiskey on Friday night, I realized I wasn't flinging myself into the lion's den—I was dancing into a conference filled with my people.
Sometimes putting yourself out there is scary. I heard a quote recently that said something like when you're afraid of something, it just means that it's something that really matters to you so you should do your best. Sometimes what feels like fear is just the weight of something within you.
#InMyLife there is acceptance. Sometimes by others, sometimes it's me accepting myself.