One of my greatest joys in leading Plywood is to see friends overcome fear and bring dreams to life. This is what I get to do everyday. Some dreams impact me forever. I remember sitting at a coffee shop about 5 years ago and talking with @BrettTrapp about his story for the first time. He vulnerably entrusted me with something very personal. Brett will be a teacher to thousands on being true to your story. He courage has forever imprinted me and I hope his courage empowers you. You should read his entire story bluebabiespink.com and take what he says as a vulnerable journey of tension and hope. – Jeff Shinabarger
Growing up, I had one fear that ruled them all…
One fear that loomed large—like a pissed off gorilla hiding in my closet.
One fear, coiling its tentacles around my throat each day.
My fear was that people would find out that this preacher’s kid from Alabama…was gay.I’d committed to stay single and celibate. But I created a life of distraction to keep people off the trail. I bought a big black SUV, traveled a lot, and worked myself to death so I didn’t have to talk about it.
But over time, I learned that dating fear every day is exhausting.
Years passed. I allowed a few friends in. I let myself talk about it. My heart got healthier. Eventually, I began to despise the fear I’d loved for so long.
Sometimes in life, we have to decide to step out from our hiding place and start shouting. So I decided to shout the thing I feared most…I decided to just tell the world.
I came out on Facebook on a Tuesday morning in late 2016 and followed that post with a 44-episode memoir called Blue Babies Pink. I knew some wouldn’t get it. I knew some would call me a narcissist. And I didn’t care (or…I just decided not to care, rather).
I’d lowered the drawbridge to my greatest fear, and about 50,000 people flooded in via the Internet. It was glorious. For eight weeks I wrote, and we all feasted on my fear together. It was healing for me and helpful for lots of others too.
It’s a long road from obsessively hiding your pet fear behind thick castle walls to blasting it from a megaphone so the whole kingdom hears. The fear that keeps people in the closet is the same fear that keeps people from chasing their dreams. Many of life’s struggles begin with fear as the ailment. And courage is always the cure.
Throughout Blue Babies Pink, there were three truths that caused my courage to soar…
Reminder #1 — Fear is fake.
It’s true: Fear doesn’t exist. It’s not a thing. It’s not a substance. It’s not an element with atomic particles. We can’t observe it, extract it, or measure it. Fear is simply a feeling produced by a mushy part of your brain called the amygdala. People with defective amygdalae don’t actually experience fear which is proof that it’s a fairy tale—no more real than flying carpets or mermaids or giant beanstalks. It’s literally just in your head. And the first step in growing your courage is acknowledging that fear. is. fake.
Reminder #2 — People don’t think about you all that much.
It’s true: People aren’t thinking about you. Being scared of what others think can be the the biggest obstacle to starting. The reality is, most people just don’t care that much. They’re too self-focused to be worried about you. And if they do care, they’re probably in bed with fear themselves and won’t be a champion of your vision anyway. When you realize you aren’t being watched all that much, you can reinvest that emotional energy into your craft, your passion, or your project.
Reminder #3 — You’re dead in 100 years! Yay!
It’s true: Even with a daily diet of kale, grilled chicken, and Crossfit, you’ll still be dead 100 years from today. That may seem dark, but it’s actually quite freeing. You were issued exactly one bumping/thumping/functioning heart and once it gives out, you’re done. In that moment, all your fears will cease to exist. All your imagined doomsday scenarios will die as they lived—as pointless cerebral machinations. What will remain are the echoes of the actual work you did. So if you’re reading this, that means your heart is still thumping. It means you still have time—time to hurl yourself into the unknown, time to go mend some broken fragment of the universe, and time to be the bearer of great COURAGE.
Brett Trapp, Creator of Blue Babies Pink