“I always just forced myself to do crazy things in public. In college I would push an overhead projector across campus with my pants just low enough to show my butt. Then my friend would incite the crowd to be like, ‘Look at that idiot!' That's how I got over being shy.” – Will Ferrell, Born Jul. 16, 1967.
What stops most people from doing (or even trying) the things they want to do boils down to the exact same thing.
Fear of public humiliation.
What will people who know me think? What will strangers think? How will this affect my social caché?
Okay, so most people don't use the word “caché” but they know instinctually what it means.
But here is a magical thing. Once you don't have a fear of embarrassment, you are motherfucking bulletproof.
You can say what you feel.
You can wear what suits you.
You can like what you genuinely enjoy.
You can associate with people you value.
You can do whatever you feel like in whatever manner you choose.
And ain't nobody can tell you nothing about it anymore.
You can start actually LEARNING new things. Because you aren't scared to try anymore. Trying is risking failure. No one who is wrapped up in potentially being judged and found wanting will ever submit to that risk.
So do something to kill your fear of embarrassment. How? Humiliate yourself on purpose.
Be silly. Be self-deprecating. Be the first to make fun of yourself and laugh alongside your audience.
Make it a source of your strength.
Remove it as a vector of attack against you.
Try Mr. Ferrell's method if need be. Or maybe like me, you already know what it's like to just be an embarrassing mess for a large majority of your life.
That doesn't make you weak. It makes you strong.
It makes you free.
Are you so liberated? Are you free?