Banish Your Inhibitions

You hold yourself back from singing even though you want to.

At the perfect event with the right audience, there’s an open call for announcements and you hold yourself back, even though you know it might be the place you’d find suitable talent to join your team.

That meeting lasted way longer than it needed because of a few inconsiderate people, but when the chairperson asks “any last questions?”, you sit there (like everybody else) quietly, holding in it.

That’s inhibition. And it’s ruling your life.

Inhibitions out of respect are fine. If a relative says stupid things to you once a year, it’s okay (and even good) to keep quiet and let it pass. She’s older than you and whatever you say will upset the order of things, so it’s okay for you to let it pass.

Inhibitions out of fear, on the other hand, should be banished. If you feel like singing karaoke, don’t let a bunch of people in watching TV stop you from doing it, especially if you can tell that they’re not really enjoying themselves anyway. Throw caution to the wind and sing your heart out. There’s no reason you’d need to be cautious about something like sinning.

Likewise, speak up if you want people to know what you’re thinking. No human can read minds, so if you don’t tell a crowd that your startup is doing great things and is looking for talented people to join the team, nobody will know.

Of course, it may be daunting — more so for you than others, perhaps. But you know yourself; some things are hard but should be done, because when it’s finally over, you’d be glad you did it.

So for those of us who can only be described as Quiet — and I consider myself among you — think about life this way:

Life is a movie and you’re the main character. What would you do to make things interesting for your audience when your movie is released?

It’s a trick I use to get past my inhibitions and deliver my intent.

What’s the worst that will happen if you broke your inhibitions?

You’d look silly but funny singing in front of so many people. But you’re the one having the most fun at a boring event.

You’d make a terrible pitch and some people think your startup is nonsense. But hey, that has always been the case and the only difference is that that person at the corner who’s been quiet the whole evening knows you and what your startup is working on, and he’s getting excited about the prospect of joining your team.

You’d appear loud, even rude, in front of your boss for calling out the inconsiderate behaviour of those two senior colleagues who’s always holding everyone up at meetings. Your colleagues are giving you death stares and probably won’t ever help you out with work again because they’re not just inconsiderate but petty, too. But Sarah and Jacob who’s always at the same meetings as you now quietly look up to you for saying what should’ve been said a long time ago if not for their own inhibitions.

Try it the next time you notice yourself holding you back. And if you actually think about it, seeing yourself as the star of your own movie isn’t that far from the truth.

//first written on a Flowriter prototype