I just completed my very first lesson on my YouTube channel, also titled Scattering Agates. I am so excited about this new adventure and also so nervous. As I type these words, I am still shaking from the recording session I just did.
I compare this first episode to that first pancake (pictured above: an actual first pancake). You know, the one no one wants because the first pancake is usually a little burnt, or not cooked enough, or a wonky shape. Eventually, it gets eaten and it tastes just as good as the others even though it is not perfect. In fact, with pancakes as with other creations, there rarely is a perfect production. Listening to one of my favorite musical artists the other day, I thought about how they have a lot of good songs, but only a handful of great songs. Artists of all types produce great works because they do it. If I stopped making pancakes because the first one turned out bad, or worse, not at all out of fear they could turn out bad and my kids might refuse to eat, people would starve!
I've noticed my kids, who are hardly great at anything (yet) because they are young, have moments of bravery and inspiration only to slink back into themselves out of fear of failure and rejection. Fear stops people from doing a lot of things, but it seems that fear of failure and rejection are barriors we don't readily recognize in ourselves or others. For instance, I might tell someone I would never jump out of an airplane because I'm afraid of heights, but I would not tell someone I am afraid to teach religion lessons on a YouTube channel because I might fail or be rejected. Well, I actually would tell someone that, but normally people don't divulge these types of fears, and often don't realize that's what stops them in the first place, at least this has been my own experience.
Coupled with fear of failure and rejection is the expectation of perfection. My jaw practically falls to the floor any time one of my children gets upset that they can't do something right the first time. I remember when one of my kids refused to do his school work when he messed up once. It was a new subject!! I tried not get mad because it was so utterly ridiculous. I began to repeat this question to him: "Are you God?" He'd say he wasn't and then I'd tell him, "That's right, because only God is perfect." Another tactic I use with my kids to help them to persevere is to point out how often babies fall down when learning to walk. It takes time and practice to do anything well.
All this has got me wondering how many times have I been stuck because of fear? How many exciting projects and creations have I missed out on, or others did not get to benefit from, because of fear of failure, rejection and not doing it perfectly? Too many! That is why I am going ahead with this YouTube channel idea. Instead of allowing fear to stop me, I am just plodding ahead. I'm not sure how it will be received or where it will end up, but for now I'm ignoring fear.
Here is a link to the Scattering Agates YouTube channel. My first video is up. It's a little burnt, and has a wonky shape, but you can just eat it anyway! I don't want you to starve!