• Lydia Chu

Stepping into the Arena

Updated: Nov 6, 2018

When I first decided to create my own personal website back in August of this year to share my personal experiences and life discoveries, I didn't know anything about creating one. Not knowing anything about which program to use and how to use it, it was daunting. Mind you, I'm not very computer savvy or at least I think I'm not. I know the very basics about how to use the computer but when it comes to stuff like building a website from scratch, it was something I didn't have any knowledge of. I was scared to death but mostly, I didn't believe in myself.

You wouldn't believe how many times I wanted to cry out of frustration because I couldn't figure out how to use the program, but I had already told my family and few friends about my new venture so I kept at it. I also didn't want to let myself down and prove to myself that I can do this. Well, two months went by and I was starting to get pretty comfortable with ins and outs of building a website and was learning a lot, but I had another problem. I was starting to get nervous and started doubting myself. I was thinking, who's going to read my stories? What are other people going to think? Maybe my work is not good enough? What was I thinking? With these self-doubting thoughts, I would often retreat to doing mundane things like cleaning or watching TV just so I didn't have to face it. In reality, I was afraid of finishing the website because that meant I had to put myself out there and be seen.

The longer it was taking me and closer I was getting to launching my website, more scared I was getting. It wasn't until I read the book called "Rising Strong" by Brene Brown that I realized what I was really afraid of. In her book, Brene Brown mentions the famous Arena quote by Theodore Roosevelt. That was it! I was afraid of stepping into the arena. I was overcoming with the feelings of fear, self-doubt, comparison, anxiety, and uncertainty. I was afraid of being seen, of not being good enough and of failing. According to Brene Brown, these are the feelings most of us experience when we're facing new challenges in life but when we find the courage put ourselves out there, we will find love, belonging, joy, trust, empathy, creativity, and innovation.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Reading the book "Rising Strong" and watching one of Brene Brown's YouTube videos, I have realized why it was taking me so long to get myself out there. I was afraid of the unknown, of putting myself out there and being vulnerable. Now, I know I must be brave for those who care about me, my children and most of all, for myself. I'm still afraid to know what will be waiting for me once I step into the arena but without pain and courage, I will not know the glory and even if I fail, I will have gained the lessons that will make me stronger.

As I'm ready to launch my website, I would like to thank my husband, Stan, who gave me the courage to believe in myself and to pursue my passion. When I was doubting myself, he believed in me and gave me the strength to go on and picked me up when I was down. I couldn't have done this without him and I am forever grateful.



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