Putting Yourself Out There.
It is so hard to put yourself out there. I'm an INFJ, what does that mean you may ask, that I'm a hardcore introvert. INFJ personality is considered an Advocate and makes up less than one percent of the world. We find idealism and morality at our core, we are not idle dreamers, but are capable creating the strategy to realize our goals and make a positive impact on those around us. (If you don't know your Meyers Briggs yet, check yourself out, it is pretty interesting). If left to my own devices I will be hiding reading a book or writing one...or drawing a picture, but the point is I am likely alone or with immediate friends and family. I like being alone. The voice in my head is entertaining, but the world requires me to be an extrovert far more often than I would prefer. When I surface among humanity I often find myself helping others and advocating for them, their rights and protecting children.
Interestingly, every job I've had, the majority of people I have worked with have believed I was an extrovert. Baffling and funny, but this is how I survive. I am an Introvert that is Extroverting. This takes gobs of energy, but it works. I do book signings, meet with clients, talk on author panels, and teach at The LOFT. All of these things make me definitely pit-out-my-shirt with endless rivers of sweat. There is a thrill to it too. Knowing you're helping someone else, that you being there–no matter how uncomfortable–is helping someone else. What an honor. Truly. But lets be honest. It is vulnerable.
Right before the event I often want to run out the back door and hide. I want to escape from being seen. In high school being seen was such a challenge that I actually got so nervous that I threw up before most of the games I cheered for as a cheerleader. I don't throw up out of anxiety and fear before events anymore. I'm able to keep the butterflies in my tummy mostly under control. The sweat though, that is a river of wetness may always be mine. Ha!
The vulnerability of being in public, being watched, and having your work be consumed by the masses is hard. Knowing there are trolls hidden everywhere to hurt you, because they haven't found a good hobby yet. (Dear internet trolls, take up knitting or frisbee golf. It is a far better pass time then harassing random folks anonymously on the internet). And worst of all being judged. Judged for my work: design, writing, illustrations. Judged for my fitness, outfit and hair. Judged by my sex. Judged by my race. Judged by my relationships. That is a hard mountain to climb. I'm currently writing a novel, that twice I have considered not putting it out into the world because I was scared to be judged. If we let fear and our natural states as introverts and humans get in the way of our faith in what we can create, we will be shadows of ourselves. We won't meet our true potential.
It is those moments you have to remind yourself of this: "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other." –Walter Elliot
Keep creating, keep trying, keep opening yourself up. Keep having faith in yourself. There will be ridiculous haters out there, but there will also be a sea of supporters cheering you on.