Many famous and influential artists toiled in obscurity for the majority of their lives. In fact, some only found celebrity and critical acclaim posthumously.
There are plenty of examples of great spiritual leaders–Siddhartha Gautama and Muhammad come to mind–whose messages were largely ignored early on. It took many years for them to develop anything that could remotely be described as a following.
Most great entrepreneurial ideas are hatched in privacy–or among a very small tribe of like-minded folks.
You’ve never heard of the band you’ll be obsessing over in a few years time.
The next great writer probably hasn’t even written her first book.
And guess what? That blog you’ve been thinking about starting for the last few months. Virtually–and maybe literally–no one is going to read your first post. Or your second. Or your third.
Much of the time we’re afraid to bring our ideas, our art, our passion to the world because we fear others judgment or ridicule. Somehow, we tell ourselves–despite never having practiced–were supposed to be good right out of the gate. So often our ego protection tells us to not even start.
But most of the time, in the beginning, nobody is paying attention. And if we believe this and embrace it it’s actually very good news.
Because nobody pays attention at first, we get to try things out, experiment, be vulnerable, push boundaries, fail better.
Because nobody pays attention at first, we can create free of the critics and the trolls.
Because nobody pays attention at first, we get to practice, for real, not just in our heads.
If we fight through the resistance, if we begin to develop a following, there will be plenty of time for second guessing and reacting to how the world meets us and our work.
But right now, enjoy the anonymity while you can. And just start.
A version of this post originally appeared at http://www.stevenpdennis.com