I have made a decision…and it petrifies me! And let me get this out of the way right now, I am absolutely mortified by my plan to publicly admit it, here and now, through my magazine. But I have promised myself that I will not only write it out, but I will also publish it. I have set myself a deadline as well. And with this much said, I can feel my entire body turning to Jello!!
(Here I am, coming out of the darkness and into the light! It’s blinding…but I can do it! – This photo was taken by Sonya Rodier)
[I apologize in advance because this has turned out to be a long article. I hope you will read till the end. I wanted to make it shorter but then realized that I would probably end up missing my deadline and finding a good reason to never publish it. I had to hit “Publish” now because taking the time to edit would give me the time to change my mind! If you don’t have time to read through all of this, please scroll down to the last four paragraphs and read those…]
At the end of my previous article (How much is trying worth?), I decided that it was time for me to make a list of the things I’m “trying” to do and go down that list and finally commit, one way or the other, to each thing on that list. And so, I have made some decisions and commitments to myself since that article. I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into when I wrote that article but on reading your comments and then rereading myself, I realized that it is time…now…for me anyway.
As I mentioned in my very first article (Getting off the fence!), it’s been a number of years that I’ve been saying that I want to write and get onto a number of projects I have come up with along the way. Clearly, fear has been stopping me. I wasn’t admitting it to myself and did a great job giving it all kinds of other names. It was a huge step for me to finally get this magazine going. It wasn’t putting the magazine together, per se, that was stopping me…it was, and still is, fear…the fear of putting it out there!! Plain and simple! You see, as long at it wasn’t public and remained visible only to me, safely stored on my computer, I was fine. Yes, I had a bit of fear (okay, a lot of fear!) at the idea but only I knew about it. I still had the choice not to ever go public. So, truth be told, it was my own self-imposed idea of a form of therapy that made me force myself to finally put it out there…out on the Internet, where I felt I no longer had control of it. It was time to confront my fear and I thought that would solve it. It’s time now to take a giant step…
Now, let’s face it, I’ve been around the Internet long enough to know that I can publish a web page and it will very conveniently (thankfully!!!) get lost among the hundreds of millions of web sites out there. Of course I knew that and I do believe that in the end, while I was absolutely sweating bullets on the day I forced myself to finally go live with this magazine, a part of me inside knew that I’d probably end up being mostly lost in the shuffle, so to speak. In fact, I secretly hoped it and as you’ll see, I went out of my way to ensure it! Surely that appeased me. Nevertheless, I pressed forward and did my best to tackle that fear. I actually decided to promote my magazine by sending out an announcement. And let me tell you, there was a bottle of wine involved there, even though I had strategically hand picked my distribution list. Oh yes, I initially sent out my announcement to about 50 people. That was as much as I could handle. I decided I would start with that because my nerves could not take all this excitement and neither could my septic tank.
I have to honestly thank all of you for your amazing response and support. Really, I received a most heart-warming, encouraging and nerve calming response and I am very grateful to all of you who have been faithfully reading, contributing to and promoting Hogan Visions over the last six months. Thank you!!! I was scared…very scared, to put this out there. You helped me survive my fear and get excited about my project…and you have helped me grow!! It was a huge achievement for me and I did celebrate! Yes, more wine…
Now, after my latest article, I have decided that it is honestly time for me to get off my petrified butt and confront my greatest fear. I want to conquer this fear now because it is obviously still nagging me. The baby steps have been good but I am still within my comfort zone.
When I started Hogan Visions, I didn’t have a specific goal. I didn’t know where I wanted to go with it and I had no specific objective. I wanted a medium to express myself, somehow. Express what exactly? I wasn’t sure. Why? Mostly just because I’ve always wanted to write and it was time to stop being scared of not being good enough. I came to the conclusion that if I continued waiting to answer all my questions, I would never do it. So I opted to just start and see where it took me. And as I’ve mentioned before, I thought that it would be fun, albeit scary, to do things differently and for a change (for me anyway) just dive in without a complete plan from the outset. So I did. My first goal became to overcome the fear of actually publishing what I write and that was enough of a goal without having to get more specific about the actual magazine. It is you, those of you who have shared your perspectives and thoughts over the past six months that are helping me chart a path or ten with this magazine. You have openly expressed yourselves, your way, and shared your perspectives on the various articles I’ve published and it has given me the opportunity to rethink ideas and conclusions I’ve drawn and see them differently. I have found that to be quite interesting and it has made me realize even more clearly, for some reason, how easy it is to get stuck in one’s own way of thinking (yes, my own way of thinking!) without taking a moment to understand where another is coming from.
So now I’d like to add more points of view to the mix. I’d like to hear from everyone because we all have different experiences and views and they are all valid. I’ve been doing this in my workshops and I want to carry that philosophy over to this magazine. I believe that if we can come to be more open to all the different ways of seeing things and interpreting the world we live in, we could so much more easily be more tolerant of all that we don’t know, don’t understand, have not experienced and so on. We all have different preferences and so there’s no reason we have to go around liking everyone or everything, but can we not at least accept the differences as simply that, differences that we can perhaps learn from rather than get angry and frustrated about…or worse, fear!! Yes, that is now a goal I have. I would like everyone to feel free to express whatever they feel or think without fear of judgement or reprisal and I would like to know that people are willing to at least hear others out even if they don’t agree with them. Is it possible to accept and understand, even if we don’t agree? Maybe then, just maybe, we could all be just that much happier and less stressed…if we felt free to openly and honestly express our thoughts and feelings?
That, at the moment, is one of my objectives and perhaps it’s an absurd objective…but the thought of realizing it makes me smile. And to make it really concrete, rather than just some esoteric ideal, I have decided that I want to get as many readers and contributors as possible so that we can learn from each other and share and experience many different points of view. I realize that the only way to get anywhere near to realizing such an objective is to put it out there. And here is where my fear comes in…
I am afraid of putting it out there, petrified…of having a whole bunch of people that I don’t know and have never met reading the articles I write. I have been so very private all of my life and writing the things I have written over the past six months has been incredibly scary for me. Way way way outside my comfort zone. But at least, so far, I know every one of my readers or know where you come from because I have mostly controlled that until now. Every time you have shared one of my articles on Facebook, I have had mixed feelings. On the one hand I truly appreciate it while at the same time, I am overwhelmed with fear! Now I need to conquer that damn fear of really revealing myself to the world at large, strangers, people I’ve never met. Know what I mean? It really scares me. It always has. But right now, today anyway, I have convinced myself that it is time to confront that fear once and for all and see what happens…and maybe even inspire others to do something similar for themselves as well? How else will I ever know? So, in a nutshell, now I have an objective but I am afraid…and to put it more accurately, I am absolutely mortified! Maybe it has something to do with what I was saying in the eyeball experiment I did (The eyeball experiment – Part 2) where I concluded that I didn’t want to be seen. I’m going out on a limb now, in an effort to confront that fear, and I’m asking for your help…please!!
It’s not clear to me what this fear is about that is paralyzing me, making me sweat bullets and feel incredibly nauseous, but I am going to assume that I am afraid of being judged and I am afraid of putting myself out there without having a full blown plan…just a vague, esoteric objective. How about that? So far, by maintaining “control”, so to speak, of who knows about this magazine, I have been able to contain my fear and hence the resulting paralysis. Now I am ready (that’s me convincing myself). I have set up soft padding to land on when I pass out completely from the fear that will hit me the minute I publish this entry and I’ve gone out and bought some Depends diapers to contain the mess.
Here goes… I need your help to put my magazine out there as far as it can go. I even have a concrete goal. I would like to reach 10,000 subscribers to Hogan Visions by the end of October 2010. Yes, I know, that’s in 3 weeks. But I am convinced that it can be done and I need that kind of a crazy goal to finally, once and for all, confront this fear face on! The higher the number, the more mortified I am. I promise to let you all know on November 1st how far we got… Here is how you can help me…
- Will you put it on your Facebook, your LinkedIn, your Twitter, and/or any other social network you belong to? (You can just hit the fancy buttons at the bottom of this article).
- Email it to your friends and contacts by hitting the “Email to a friend” button below and sharing this article with your contact list.
- Become a fan of Hogan Visions on my new Facebook fan page.
- Press that “Like” button at the bottom of this article so I can feel the love… 😉
- Subscribe to Hogan Visions directly (you can do this in the right hand column of any page)
- And whatever you are willing to do and can think of…
On my end, I will do the same, I will promote my magazine beyond my comfortable, controlled, contained, known group of contacts. I have just set up a Facebook page and you can follow this magazine on my Facebook fan page by clicking “Like” on that page. The higher the numbers go, the more fear I will feel. So go ahead and have a bit of fun…do your best to scare the pants off me. I want to be terrified for Halloween!!
How did I come up with the goal of 10,000 subscribers? It took me six months but now I can deal with 50 to 100 people reading the articles I publish. So I came up with the goal of 1,000 and decided that while it was scary, it was still manageable. When I brought the number up to 10,000, it took me close to a week to recover and the little voice in my head became unbearable. So, 10,000 it is…for now. I am convinced it can be done and I also know that the closer I get to my goal, the more fear I will feel. But I am convinced that somewhere in there I will finally conquer the fear. I need to fully face it to get beyond it…
If you only have a few minutes (after you just kindly spent forever getting through this article), please post this on your Facebook and/or email your contacts and if you have a couple of extra minutes, please feel free to let me know what you think of my idea or even better, share your greatest fear…
(I’m calling on all of you! – This photo was taken by Manon Ouellette)
Thank you for your help and support!!! And to all of you who celebrate it, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks again to Sonya Rodier and Manon Ouellette who had the foresight months ago to get the perfect shots for this article!!