It’s still scary and awkward.
You’d think that since I post on YouTube, I must know what I’m doing, right? Naaah. Just about every time I post, I look at myself and go “ugh. Really? Is this any good?” Not because I don’t believe in what I’m saying. Where I am still not very comfortable is me. My voice. How I look. How I say things. How I sound. The voice in my head is highly judgmental. He goes “ugh, this guy is not much to look at.” Self is your harshest critic.
But here’s the problem. Let’s say I don’t show up as me, I show up something that I think I should be in order to be more acceptable. To study what people want and just be that. And let’s say I become successful, whatever that means. Then obviously I am on the hook to keep being that thing. There is some gratification in doing what’s wanted, but there is also an expense. Since it’s not your true form, you have to expend a lot of energy to contort yourself to be that thing. The gratification wears thin after a while. Soon you’re putting more energy into maintaining that form than what you’re getting from the results. I hit walls and burned out from doing this. More than once. Yes, I am that dense.
But I keep doing it because fundamentally I believed that just being me is not enough. I am not in demand, I am not attractive enough, I am not impressive enough. And you know what, I really am not, because I am not practiced at being me. If I just focused on being me and kept at it, I’d get good at it eventually.
My guitar playing is an example of this. I’ve been playing like 30 years now but I still feel like a klutz. Early on I went “Man, there are so many amazing guitar players out there. There’s no way anybody will find my measly playing worthwhile.” Instead of allowing myself to love it and share it just because I was excited about it, I judged it as unworthy. And that became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I could have enjoyed playing all this time and gotten better at it.
If you practice being and doing “you” you will get good at it. I know it’s scary and awkward at first. But it’s just like anything else. You show up and practice, and you’ll get better.