#Trust30 Day 31 - Image

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mess up your hair. If you are wearing makeup – smudge it. If you have a pair of pants that dont really fit you – put them on. Put on a top that doesn’t go with those pants. Go to your sock drawer. Pull out two socks that don’t match. Different lengths, materials, colors, elasticity.

Now two shoes. You know the drill.

Need to add more? Ties? Hair clips? Stick your gut out? I trust you to go further.

Take a picture.

Get ready to post it online.

Are you feeling dread? Excitement? Is this not the image you have of yourself? Write about the fear or the thrill that this raises in you? Who do you need to look good for and what story does it tell about you? Or why don’t you care? -Matthew Stillman

[I thought yesterday’s #Trust30 post was the last one of its kind, but now I wouldn’t be surprised to find another one in the inbox tomorrow. This might be my last one, regardless.]

Doing outrageous things to draw attention to myself, such as dressing up like a madman and posting a picture on the internet is something that I tend to avoid, probably because I like to be thought of as serious. At least that’s the image I tend to portray (I have a hidden comedian side too, but it doesn’t come out all that often). Besides, dressing up weird and posting a funny picture on the internet would make me a lot less nervous than posting a link to this*. Dressing up is much less personal to me than letting people hear me sing, especially when I can tell that I was holding something back (I do like the guitar part on the song. It took me a while to come up with all those licks).

Anyway, I understand the need to do things outside my comfort zone. I can’t remember who said it (my guess is Seth Godin), but it is good to “do something outrageous once in a while just to show yourself that you can.” It pushes you out of your comfort zone and helps you overcome your fear of looking ridiculous, a real fear that many of us have. People are often well-rewarded when they can overcome this (Lady GaGa is an example that comes to mind), so the advice is something I should follow more often.

I’m working on it.


*The HFC Theme Song was written and recorded in Boston in 2005. Thanks to @TimDowning for the help, and to all those who contributed photos (mostly my mother).