Today I took a walk through my neighborhood, and noticed some houses had put up their Halloween decorations. One doorway lay under the watchful eye of a zombified grim reaper. I kept turning my head as I walked by to see his black robes slowly moving with the wind. For some silly reason I felt the need to quicken my step. My walk reminded me of all the things we fear in life that keep us from doing what we really want to do. To be completely honest, there was a time in my life when I was terrified of performing in front of people. I still get nervous sometimes, but I never would’ve gotten to where I am now if I hadn’t faced those things that made me uncomfortable. If I never faced my fear of performing, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog now and I for sure wouldn’t have had the opportunity to perform in venues across the country.

This year I’ve been stepping into some uncharted territory. Its easy to keep doing the same things over and over again. But you’re less likely to come across opportunities, and you’re even less likely to stretch yourself and grow as a person. I know putting yourself out there can be daunting. I do it every time I write a song, and every time I step foot on a stage.

I have similar feelings about putting out this new record. It’s a pretty personal thing that I’ve poured a lot of time and energy into. I’m putting a piece of myself out there in hopes that people accept it as something worthy of their attention. Songs take time to write, and even longer to record and release. But I’m doing it anyway, regardless of any fear of rejection. And it will be rejected by some people; that’s just how it goes. You can’t please everyone.

So here is a challenge for you. Do ONE thing this week that you’re afraid of. Maybe you’ve always wanted to sing at an open mic. Maybe you have some writings you’ve been too afraid to share with anyone. Maybe you need to leave your job because you’re miserable. Maybe you want to apply for an art fair. Do yourself a favor and stand up to your fears and insecurities. It won’t be so bad, I promise.