Embarrassment. Fear. Dread. Uh oh. What will happen if they find out?
You know, I used to feel this way all the time. I used to feel this way about every little thing under the sun. And you know what?
I still feel this way a lot.
But now I remember what it is, and what to do with it.
What I don’t do is act on that fear—on my good days. When I feel it, I try hard to listen so that I can confront the thing I’m afraid of. What? What was that? Afraid of what people will think if you don’t shave your legs today, huh? Terrified? Imagining what they’ll say about you? Creating pariah scenarios in your head?
Oh yeah, really?
Time to get rid of all the razors and see what actually happens.
(Would you like to hazard a guess as to whether anything actually happened?)
As important as unrepressing myself was to the direction my life has taken—to everything I do now and everything I want to be, and all the skills that are allowing me to move forward—I’m still afraid when I post something to do with sex. “Sex is bad,” something says. I will be rejected for being willing to discuss it in public, it says. But you know what? That rarely ever happens. (I just did it again yesterday in a spectacularly entertaining and ridiculous way, so I’ll let you know if I get any more fallout than usual. That is to say, none.)
The thing is, I really care about the public dialogue about sexuality, even if I don’t write about it often these days. So knowing that I fear that discussion is really frustrating for me. Knowing that, I want to confront it whenever I have the opportunity. I think it’s the right thing to do. I think our fears need to be confronted.
That’s how we grow.
It’s not just about sex. It’s not about dating, or marketing, or cold calls. It’s not about parties or chatrooms. It’s not about flying in planes or swimming in deep water or moving to Africa. It’s not about having fuzzy legs, either. It’s not about polyamory or veganism or making new friends or launching a new business or any one thing.
It’s about you. It’s about who you’re meant to be. It’s about the person you can grow into, the person you’re moving toward, the person that happens if nothing squelches you. You don’t set out to be squelched. You set out to be amazing. So why would you let anything get in your way?
Get rid of all the razors in the house, or start writing about the topics that scare you, or whatever else you have to do to confront that voice in your head. Hell—it might be the only thing you have standing between you and greatness. You’re not going to let that stop you.