One word.

That’s how much I had written in the past hour and a half while trying to figure out what to say in this blog post…and it was the title. No, I did not stall intentionally.

Why?

Because I encountered the SAME thing EVERYONE does whenever they are at such and such a function and someone decides “ya know what? I think having YOU speak is a terrific idea.”
You probably have a friend/cousin/aunt/uncle/… someone in your life that you are absolutely sure could nail it…but YOU don’t feel like that person. So you stall. You deflect the opportunity.
You attempt to convince those around you that you aren’t good at that sort of thing.

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Photo: Vikram Vetrivel – (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It’s a fear of rejection.

It’s an onset of fear before the moment we perform when it is widely understood that we will. We can call this stage fright. The truth is that it will exist so as long as you are looking for acceptance from your audience. Conversely, it ceases to exist the moment that you decide you don’t need it from them.

We don’t tell stories for acceptance.

We tell stories because they have value all on their own. They entertain, inspire, challenge, or move us. They help us understand who we are, and help shape what we wish to become. We look into the faces of characters like Aragorn, Scout, or even Aslan, and think “I want to be like that.”

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Photo: J Brew – (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Stories heal us.

Within the crucible of story, the forging of a character often becomes the forging of character within ourselves. Our obstacles manifest themselves as the obstacles of our characters, and the working out of how they overcome them give us insight into how we may overcome our own. By being honest and open with our stories we have an incredible opportunity to help others. The end painting, dance, book, or story is a representation of the process we went through to arrive at healing. It becomes a road map to victory.

This is medium agnostic.

Performance poet. Dancer. Painter. Writer. Artist. Telling a story is about channeling something that already exists within you and getting it out. That process is priceless. It’s priceless because you need the healing, and your audience needs to learn from it.

Accept yourself.

Comma splices, stuttering, and all. I say this because if you accept yourself and recognize the value of the process, this question of value takes care of itself.

Your art does not need the nod of a thousand people to determine its worth.

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