What would you create if no-one was judging?
Life Lesson 1: Good ideas always come in the shower. Especially when you’re singing loud to ‘Go Your Own Way’ (this version is the best!) Life Lesson 2: Not everyone cares if you go your own way. They might not care about what you do in general.
Stay with me on this one. You know I’m not one to throw shit around on a Friday morning.
You and me. We’re passionate people. We want to put good shit into the world. But sometimes we get stuck. We get so worried about what other people might think about what we’re doing and who will see our work that it almost feels paralysing. Sometimes it is. (Writer’s block ring any bells?)
We can get so preoccupied with what other people think.
How they’re going to judge us. What our work says about us as a person. Whether it’s good compared to someone else. Whether someone will think we could have done it better. Whether people are going to share it. Whether it will move people. Whether someone will raise their head and make an ugly comment.
And sometimes we’re worried about ‘people’ in general. This mysterious entity that we talk about like they’re sat looking over our shoulder at any minute, ready to point their finger at us and shout ‘fraud!’
And other time it’s specific people. Family members. Old friends. The people who bullied us at school. People we fell out with a while ago. Colleagues. Competitors.
Whoever they are, it’s fair to say that we dedicate a lot of our time to worrying what they are going to think.
And that’s time we can never get back.
Time that we could have been spent doing things that set our hearts on fire. Time spent reading a book that inspires us to start a project we’ve never thought of before. Time that could have been spent doing the work.
And I want to save you time in the future by telling you something that took me a long time to learn, but really helped me to turn a corner:
They don’t care as much as you think they do. They might not even care. We might not even be on their radar.
It's a truth that’s a bit like a bitter pill to swallow: No one cares more about what you’re doing with your life more than you do. (The truth will set you free!)
And to be clear here, I’m not talking about your audience, the people who you help (though we could do with stopping worrying so much about them as well). Because when your heart is in the right place and you’re doing the work that matters, you help and inspire people without even realising it.
When I first launched That Hummingbird Life, it was like taking a sharp intake of breath and waiting for all of the negative comments from people in my life that I hadn’t seen for years.
And they didn’t happen.
And it’s been the same for every single thing I’ve done since.
And when you don’t hear anything from them regardless of what you do, it becomes a hell of a lot easier to stop caring what they think and to stop worrying. And sometimes you get to a place where you’re putting yourself out there without even a second thought of them.
I think we get stuck waiting for permission.
We get stuck in this place where we think everyone in our life is going to judge you. (If they do and they’re a dreamshitter, read this).
But here’s the thing that really matters. What you do with your life, what you create, and how you spend your time - these are things that concern mainly one person - you. And there’s only one person who is truly invested in this and this makes a difference to on an everyday level - you.
So take a step back, and ask yourself: If I stopped worrying about all these people, right now, what would I focus on? What would I create? What would I dare to try.
And let yourself be surprised by the answers.
I'd love to know what your answers are in the comments!