Fuck Fear

May 24, 2014 by

“Oh the world of snarky comments we’re living in. And perhaps that’s the most terrifying thing of all . . . But my lesson is this: I don’t give a shit! Okay? I’m sorry. Now listen up: You cannot let a fear of failure or a fear of comparison or a fear of judgement stop you from doing what’s going to make you great. You cannot succeed without this risk of failure. You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism.”

Charlie Day

 

          I’m sometimes asked whether or not I find it weird that there are people out there I barely know or don’t know at all who know a lot about me. My answer is no. A purpose of The Happiness Experiment is to live for me by not giving a fuck what other people think. I don’t care who knows what, because other people’s opinions don’t change how I choose to live my life. Talking to people with the knowledge that they could either know nothing or everything about me, while a strange concept, actually frees me to be who I am to everyone. There is no reason for me to put on masks anymore; I am completely exposed.

          However, not too long ago, I had the odd experience of being amongst people, some of whom were acquaintances and some of whom I hadn’t yet met, that had admittedly read a post on The Happiness Experiment that they had strong opinions about, thereby resulting in strong prejudgments about me and the openness with which I write. Usually, I love when people tell me that they’ve read my blog. It’s flattering and good to know that its message is being heard. It was a little nerve-racking, though, when people I was meeting for the first time, who knew my name before I knew theirs, thought they had me down because they read one post of hundreds. Nonetheless, I wasn’t concerned about their reactions to my writing. Their criticism, specifically, was not what bothered me. As long as I’m happy, I don’t care what others have to say about it.

          At the risk of contradicting that statement, I admit that what I was worried about was someone’s possible reaction to my writing – someone in particular, someone I actually know and care about. I’m owning it: I went into internal panic mode about what another person might think of me based on my blog, which is so anti-Happiness-Tip-#43. I had just felt a negative impact of my blog on my real-life relationships – or, rather, acquaintanceships – for the first time. I was quickly made anxious by the idea of my past writing affecting the status of my relationship with someone. I became so anxious that I thought about taking certain old posts down. Worse, I began questioning what the hell I am doing by putting my life on display the way that I do.

          It took no more than a few days for me to start thinking clearly again. What the hell am I doing by putting my life on display the way that I do? I am encouraging people to do the same. I am showing people that we’ve all got nothing to fucking hide for fear of what other people think; because, as long as we’re happy, what other people think doesn’t matter. I am role-modeling happiness by emphasizing that there is no shame in it.

          To the critics that I will undoubtedly have, criticize me. Go for it. Scold me for being too open, too straightforward, too happy. When you do, remember that I do not live in fear. I’d rather be judged for being happy than be praised for being compliant to the norm. So, do it the fuck up: judge me.

Happiness Tip: Don’t give a shit!

 
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