How to Stop Punking Out on Your Life…Today

“Punking out” (Verb): To be intimidated to the point of retreat.

UrbanDictionary.com, which seriously has everything you never needed to know

When I hit the pause button on the site over the summer to focus on some bits that were frustrating me had become an Indeterminable Blob Representing All My Failures Ever (in my mind), I did so with the intention of returning with a happy “check out my new stuff!” post and life would go back to normal. Riiiight. You know what they say about intentions, don’t you?

Changes went live, and I was all “SWEET! I will feel totally inspired to write.”

Idiot me forgot that life has a way of taking those plans and ripping them to shreds like your note to Jimmy Smith in the 6th grade asking him to the formal. (I went stag, got a rockin’ dress from Kohl’s, and danced to Quad City DJ’s “C’mon ‘N Ride It” before hiding in the main office the rest of the night.) Before I knew it, I was starting down Ye Auld Indeterminable Blob of MY OWN EXPECTATIONS yet again, and this time it wanted my Fruit Roll-Up (Tropical Fruit).

I was punking out.

Then, a month ago, I received a call-to-action via mailing list from Jess of The Brazen Bible reminding me that making mistakes is both human and normal. I was reading through, and my perfectionism was chuckling evilly in the back of my mind like an overblown cartoon villain twirling his mustache, when I hit the finishing touch:

Made by Jess M., felt-in-the-gut by everyone

Ouch. That sounds familiar. Hello Blob, my name is Inigo Montoya Liz and we are squaring off… or not.

I punked out again. I was scared. Putting my thoughts out there is TERRIFYING, yo. You want fear of missing out? Try fear of failure. There’s a reason why people wake up gasping from nightmares of falling down-down-down… they know it’s going to hurt at the bottom. Yet again, I came up with excuses, the Blob got bigger, and my lunch money was at serious risk.

Fast-forward to today, I got a kick-in-the-pants to pony up and honor my ideas. Excuse me, the exact statement was:

Don’t ever mistrust [your] ideas… Honor the fuck out of them.

Ash Ambirge, CEO and Founder of the middle finger project

Ash isn’t really known for mincing words, as you may have guessed. She IS known for practicing exactly what she preaches. Also for pulling together kick-ass travel with the aforementioned rockstar Jess.

So I logged in, took a big ol’ swig of Jim Beam water, and clicked “Add New Post.” You’re reading the results right now.

“Ok Liz, but why? Why are you finally picking back up now?”

In short: because not writing, hitting mute on my voice, started to hurt more than the fear I’d fail. I can’t keep quiet anymore — I need to talk to you, any of you. I know you. I am you.

You are not alone.

Maybe you’re in a cubicle, reading my site for the first time between Expense Reports and Yet-Another-Office-Memo.

Maybe you’re at home, having finished your yoga with the cat and looking for job opportunities (Hi Seester!).

Maybe you’re up to your eyeballs in stress trying to launch your business, get the words JUST RIGHT, so that you can eat something besides ramen (100 packs at Costco was such a good idea, amirite?) and pay the minimums on your credit cards.

Wherever you are, whatever your situation — it’s cool. I’m not going to judge. But by reading this, we’re connected. And through that connection, I’m sending you all the love juice my little heart can conjure so that you…

STOP. PUNKING. OUT. ON. LIFE.

  • Stop spending your whole weekend doing work. They got your 50+ hours during the week.
  • Stop reading your email first thing when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. That shit’s bad for you.
  • Stop spending time doing things that waste your energy with no determinable benefit. Sorry, clean dishes and clothes count as a benefit.

And for the love of all that is good in the world, STOP ignoring the little voice in your head calling you to do something good, out of love or passion, for yourself and the world. That voice gets energy from action, NOT the mute button. (Tweet that ish!)

The world needs you and me. And I’m tired of keeping quiet.