Updated: Jul 5, 2021
One of my biggest fears is putting myself out there. It's easy to overthink and feel self conscious about starting new projects, especially when it's something that other people are going to see.
I recently decided to start putting myself on display by starting a YouTube channel with lessons and tips for new and intermediate guitar players. I've had issues with my weight since college, and I'm touchy about my appearance. I've lost a lot of weight recently, and for months, I was using my appearance as an excuse to hold off on starting a channel where my tummy will be immortalized in the earliest videos. I told myself I would start the channel as soon as I reached a good weight. The problem is, my idea of a "good weight" could easily turn into a moving goalpost. What if I get down to my target weight and decide that I need to drop another five pounds? Would I delay my project until then? What if I gained some weight back?
A better question is "who cares?" This is all in my head. When I watch a video of an overweight guitar teacher, I'm focused on the lesson, not his gut. The truth is that I was just using my appearance as an excuse to delay starting my project.
Another common issue is the fear of not being perfect. I'm an excellent guitar teacher in person, but I have a long way to go before my videos look as good as I want them to look. I'm stiff on camera, and I have a lot to learn about camera settings, lighting, and video editing. But if I wait until I'm great at all that stuff before putting some guitar lessons out there, I'm going to wait a long, long time.
Instead of waiting until I know it all, I decided to just start. The only way I'm going to learn how to record and edit video is to jump in and do it. I've posted 10 videos so far. They don't look stellar, but the lessons are solid. My delivery is gradually improving (gradually!), and I learn more about lighting and video editing software with each project. Each video improves slightly over the last one, and with steady progress, my 100th video will look light years beyond what I'm producing now.
It's okay to be afraid if you're thinking about starting something new, but don't delay like I did. Just jump in and do it.