Would you believe if I told you this: I’ve had the idea of this podcast for more than 2 years. I know. It took me all this time to make it a reality. It makes me wonder what was happening there. Whenever a new idea of a creative project comes to me, I try to sit on it for a while. Sometimes I realise the idea wasn’t that good and it was just the initial excitement and enthusiasm talking. So sitting on it for a while (not this long though), detaching my self-worth and the outcome of it, thinking it through often helps me understand if it is something I’d rather love doing. If it doesn’t go away and I can’t stop thinking about it then I know I have got to do something about it. There comes a time when making it happen becomes more important to try it than the fear of trying it out. Before I share why I took the leap and made it happen, I’m curious to explore what was standing in my way all that time. So let’s explore it together here…
What really stood in the way?
I was afraid of claiming my voice.
Honestly, I was afraid to put myself out there and claim my voice. It might not come as a surprise but I really do struggle with claiming my voice and believing in what I have to say is important. This reminds me of Playing Big by Tara Mohr. Reading Playing Big made me see how I was so determined to keep myself small because I didn’t want to rock the boat.
I was afraid of the good old ‘what will people think and say’
I had always been a people pleaser until very recently something in me wanted to stand up to this and question this behaviour. As social animals, it matters to us what others think of us. I was afraid of what will my peers, my family and friends think of me as I am stepping into this new role which I myself am not sure what it is about (yet).
I was afraid of criticism
I know we are not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people will like you and others won’t. Some will resonate with your work and others won’t. It is okay. It is normal. It isn’t a judgment on you or your worth. It is simply because you are not for everyone and neither is everyone for you. But oh, how much did I hold myself back because I was afraid of putting myself ever in such a position where there will be room for criticism and such difficult conversations. Reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown did help me in understanding who’s comments and criticism will or will not matter for me.
This quote by Theodore Roosevelt sums it very well,
‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.’
I was worried that I will end up adding to the noise
I am one of those people who you’ll see constantly trying to reduce the noise around themselves. This year I’ve been learning to set healthy boundaries. I am a huge fan of digital minimalism and whose voice and opinions I let in, who I follow online and whose advice I take up. I wasn’t always like this. I used to listen to all the podcasts I could find, read all kinds of blogs and conflicting advice when I was researching the idea of making this business a reality. Honestly, I didn’t gain much. I was left feeling overwhelmed and worst of all that I wasn’t good enough. We are constantly bombarded with the call to actions, opinions and advertisements of the things we don’t really need. I was scared, I didn’t want to end up adding to that kind of noise myself. I kept worrying, ‘there is already such great podcasts out there, why do I need to add another one’.
I was scared that my ideas aren’t valuable enough
This stems from my own lack of self-belief at times of despair and impostor syndrome. I know that it isn’t the truth and I know we all struggle with such thoughts on different levels but we all do. This is something I’m still working on and I am sure I will keep working on. But it is oh so scary!
I was over-thinking the idea of originality
I was thinking about what if I will end up producing the same kind of content that is already out there and it will not be original enough. I’d like to bring your attention to a book that changed the way I used to approach originality in my creative work, Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon. In his TED talk, he says,
‘I know something that a lot of artists know but few will admit to, ‘nothing is completely original’. All creative work is built on what came before. every new idea is just a remix or mash-up of the one or two previous ideas’.
So, why I’ve started a podcast?
It is a more intimate and deeper way of connecting
We all consume content on the internet in different ways. Listening to someone’s voice is a great way to connect with them on a more deeper level. I personally really enjoy listening to podcasts and I’m certain my audience loves them too! So potentially it is a great opportunity to deepen those connections and connect in a more intimate way.
To explore, uncover and claim my own voice
As I mentioned above, I really struggle with claiming my own voice and believing that what I have to say is important and that it matters. This is a new medium and I am beyond excited to try to claim my voice and build that confidence in me, myself, my ideas and the work that I do in the world through it.
To establish my expertise and to provide value
The struggle with imposter syndrome and the feeling of not being an expert had stood in my way and I am feeling brave to carve myself a space where I can establish and share more of my expertise.
To build confidence and courage, slowly and sustainably
All of the work I do online and offline is an extension of exploring this very idea of what it would look like to build confidence and courage, slowly and sustainably. If I have learned anything so far it is that they are built by taking small steps little by little. By feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
To connect and share stories that matter
I believe in the power of stories. I really do believe owning our stories and loving ourselves all the good and bad through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do. Sharing our stories and all that messy middle not only allows us to hold space for our own truths but it also works like permission to others who might be thinking of something similar but aren’t yet finding the courage to embrace it. You don’t have to be extra-ordinary for your story to matter. Your lived experience and how far you have made with what you had matters more. These are the kind of stories I want to share with you all too!
My hope with the first season of the podcast is to bring lived experiences of people to make each and every one of you to feel less alone in your struggles and more hopeful in your own journey.
We need more voices of color to share their side of the story too!
Ever since I started writing on this blog, exploring the realms of the online business world, minimalism, simple and slow living I’ve struggled to find examples that I myself could relate to. Representation matters. It really does. I have struggled to find examples of introverted creative humans in the online world like myself with a similar to my cultural background only because I wanted to see what’s possible for people like me but at that time I couldn’t find any. I shared more about it here.
Huma Qureshi wrote an article a while ago, ‘Why simple living and minimalist lifestyles need to be more inclusive’ and have articulated way better than I ever could. But yes, I want to hear more voices that I myself can relate to. We need more examples of people of color making it happen in their own way too!
You can listen in to the trailer of the podcast here and if it resonates with you, it would be lovely if you can share it with someone who you think might enjoy like it too.
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