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Nobody Cares if You Look Ridiculous

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I am a photographer and writer passionate about the outdoors, meaningful travel, and living deliberately. I hope to use my platform online to show the beauty and complexity of the world we live in, and to encourage genuine connection to the outdoors, culture, people and wildlife.

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This week, I’ve been especially concerned about what other people think of me.

I know I’ve talked about this before– it’s just how I am wired. Worrying about what other people think was the reason why it took me so damn long to start writing in the first place.

In the past week, I can remember hoping nobody noticed how much of my beverage I’ve consistently spilled on myself, or how bad I was at a specific pose in yoga, or that I forgot to wax my upper lip. I spent actual energy concerned about this stuff.

My brain does that thing where it re-plays all the dumb shit I said throughout the day. Or that week. Or over the course of my entire life.

I’m sure everyone I know has been really worried about it too.

Wait.

Here’s reality: Nobody actually cares that much about what you are doing, because everyone is too busy caring about themselves. 

I think about all the times I have looked downright ridiculous. I’m clumsy– over words and actual physical objects. I embarrass myself all the time. Grace does not come easily to me.

I feel like I have looked ridiculous for most of my life, but I probably look most ridiculous whenever I try something new, or take on a challenge, or do something unknown.

Interesting.

It seems to me that you have the highest chance of looking ridiculous when you do something you haven’t mastered yet. When you do something that scares you. When you take a risk. When you challenge your own ideas or someone else’s. When you aren’t confident but are stepping out into the world anyway.

THIS IS WORTH APPLAUDING.

If looking ridiculous happens when we challenge ourselves, then let’s look ridiculous all the fucking time. This is your life. You get one. Realize that whatever awkwardness you feel about yourself is rarely even a tiny blip on anyone else’s radar.

Go forth and look ridiculous. Nobody really cares how it looks anyway.

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  1. I have been lucky enough to have been born without shame. I’ve never cared what people think and I feel I’ve had a happier life for it! Do your thing and never give a f*** what anyone else thinks! 🙂

  2. Lynn says:

    There are things I said/did in fifth grade that still make me wince. Why waste time on such nonsense? I doubt anyone from fifth grade even remembers me. In some ways kids have helped with this–there’s nothing they enjoy more than me looking stupid.

    • I feel this! Our anxieties can be so good at reminding us of cringe-worthy stuff that NOBODY else remembers but us. My mom does this thing where she imagines dragging unhelpful ideas to the Trash in her head. Sometimes I have to use that!

  3. Lucie says:

    I think that I look stupid when I want it. I mean, when I focus on myself too much and how I look, it makes me think that everybody around me thinks that I look funny or stupid. So, I should probably don’t care what other people think and just do my things.

    Lucie // http://www.inbluebox.com

  4. Tara says:

    Hey Erin! I’m loving the music in your videos and would love to know what bands you listen to. Thanks for sharing your spark 🙂

  5. Karo says:

    I think the best way to learn not to care about your “not so pretty/cool” moments is to go into the outdoors for couple of days. Back there you very often re-set your priorities 🙂

  6. This is so true – just be you! I have been challenging myself to conquer self-doubt recently because it is way to easy to compare your choices to the lives of others. But people are different, they always have been, they always will. Doing what is right for you, regardless of what others think or say (and like you said, often it’s not much) is so important. Thanks for posting this!

    • Self-doubt is so real! I still find myself comparing my path to that of others. I think – “why don’t I have my shit together?!” but I realize that nobody really does! Proud of you!

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