Are you afraid to put yourself out there?

This morning I woke up feeling vulnerable.

Putting myself out there on my blog sometimes makes me feel like I’m overexposed.  I told you, I’m an introvert at heart.

Does anyone else ever feel this way?

I started blogging because I wanted space to write and hold myself accountable for writing, but it has grown into much more.  It is now a space that I think through my life, my writing, my challenges as a teacher.  It is a place where I make new connections with like-minded people and strengthen old connections with those I wish I saw more.  It is a way to put myself out there and build a platform in anticipation of publishing my work.

In other words, blogging is increasingly significant to my life.  But, as a result, I also feel increasingly self-aware.  When I share my posts on Facebook, I question myself, wondering whether I’m driving people in my life crazy– “We get it, you have a blog!” I imagine people thinking.  Yet most of my clicks come from sharing my posts on my other social platforms.  Likewise, I’ve been convinced that creating a following is necessary to success as an author.

I know that there will always be voices of self-doubt.  In general, I try not to listen.  I just also wonder if other people feel the same way.  Do you ever feel silly about blogging?  Self-absorbed?  Self-important?  I’m not saying that blogging is any of these things, it just feels this way for me sometimes, maybe because I have a slightly obsessive personality.

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Marianne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us… It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Even if I full-heartedly agree, it is a hard lesson.  It’s hard to put ourselves out there and not be afraid of our own greatness.  I hate to admit that sometimes I don’t feel that brave.  I really liked this commencement speech that I watched last night.  It reminded me that when all else fails, pretend to know what you’re doing…

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11 thoughts on “Are you afraid to put yourself out there?

  1. Regina says:

    You are so good at putting things I’m thinking into words sometimes!! Each time I post on FB that I’ve written a new post, I sit there contemplating whether or not people are annoyed, think my blog posts are dumb, and worry about being judged. But every once in awhile, someone I never would have pegged to be a reader of mine throws me a compliment or mentions they’ve read one of my posts. Keep writing! Be brave! And I shall do the same! I feel like there are undercover followers that are counting on us. Haha, that’s my attempt to be brave and confident. 🙂

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Aww, I ❤ you. Let's keep each other brave! (And, btw, I admire your courage/confidence daily!) Thanks for reminding me about the undercover followers too, they always catch me off guard and make me smile when they mysteriously surface!

  2. kingmidget says:

    Yes, yes, and yes. I’ve tried blogging over the years, never with much success. I started my current blog last year and hit 2012 with an objective of posting something every day. There are days when I feel like it’s the height of self-absorption to believe I have something worth saying each and every day. As well, and I posted about this recently, the biggest problem now for me is that I have too many co-workers, friends, and family who read my blog for me to actually write about some of the things I’m thinking and feeling. On some level, the only reason to blog is to engage other people, otherwise why not just keep a diary?
    I’m now in my six month of blogging every day and it’s a daily struggle. Write what I really want to write … which would expose so many scars and challenge the reality of so many other people’s existence … or just dabble around the edges, hinting at these things, while posting what interests me and wondering why in the hell I think people would be interested.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      I like the idea of the daily blog challenge! And, I definitely know what you’re saying about people you know reading your blog. I feel that way too, especially as a teacher. I am constantly aware that 10 year-olds and their parents may find me and have an opinion, (despite my attempts to keep my names separate). But, even expressing myself vaguely is turning out to be very cathartic. Thanks for sharing your insights, I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog, (just poked around and enjoyed what I read). Nice to meet a fellow Sacramentan writer.

      • kingmidget says:

        “Nice to meet a fellow Sacramentan writer.”
        Yes, besides that your posts are thought-provoking and interesting, it’s the main reason I decided to follow your blog … must support fellow Sacramento bloggers/writers.

  3. Melanie says:

    Being brand new I don’t have much of a following but I admit I am self-conscious about what I post. I was hesitant to tell my family (I waited a month) and still havent let my close friends or boyfriend see it yet. Thank you for a little inspiration. 🙂

    • oliviaobryon says:

      I never would have guessed you were new to blogging. I’m sure your friends/boyfriend will love your blog when/if you decide to share! It is nice to know that I’m not alone though 🙂

  4. hipmama says:

    Totally! You wonder if you will be funny enough, engaging enough, relevant to life and culture. I just started my own blog and wondered if it would be a big yawner, and family and friends would be too polite to tell me. I do wonder if it is a bit grandiose: are my thoughts and opinions anything anyone would want to read, much less “follow?” But in the end, its not such much about the sucess of the blog, but the deep satisfaction of doing what I love: writing. I write all day for a living in a marketing arena, but to write creatively about what matters to me personally, without the restraints of the PR angle or client needs is sooo refreshing. Yes, you do need to create a following and get your work out there, but the it also helps me to crystalize my thoughts and feelings, and utlimately you do find those like-minded people who love your blog! Win! Win! Keep writing and putting yourself out there. You will thrive!

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Thank you for the words of encouragement! And, you are very right, it is the love of writing that makes all of the less fun parts worth it. I’m guessing/hoping the confidence increases with time too! Glad you commented so that I could read your blog– I really enjoy your writing style!

  5. Stacy MacDonald says:

    I love being a follower of yours. You inspire me to write (even though I haven’t yet…and I’m
    Not a writer). Much love Liv.

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