If you’re going to go public–through writing, speaking, or teaching–you’re going to battle self-consciousness. It’s a terrible state of being; self-consciousness is an acute (and often painful) preoccupation with self. You evaluate yourself based on how you think others perceive you. You’re constantly worried about how you’re coming off to people. You feel judged and inferior.
You live in an imagined state of shame all day long.
You torment yourself with how everybody’s feeling about you.
So you most likely go back into hiding. Well, not anymore.
What if you could be free from self-consciousness and on this very day write the blog or book you’ve wanted to, give the speech you have boiling over inside of you, or teach that thing you want to pass on? What if you did this in front of other people–lots and lots of people–and you felt free from yourself?
I speak as one healed of shame.
The answer comes through one word: love.
When you love your audience and you love your subject matter, you don’t have room to think about yourself. You’re too busy loving. You’re too busy thinking of them to think about you.
If they reject you, it doesn’t matter. You didn’t do it for you.
If they mock you, it doesn’t matter. You didn’t do it to impress.
If they exclude you, it doesn’t matter. You didn’t do it to earn their love.
You did this public thing because you love them and you love the thing you want to write, speak, or teach about. Love of subject, love of student. That’s what a mentor from Yale told me the secret of great teaching was. He’s right.
I’ve been making a fool of myself in front of audiences for over twenty years. Just go out there and love them. Let love cover you, and you’ll stop thinking of yourself so much.
Let me know how it goes.