It was a fear like I had never known before.

A lot of people who know me, know I am scared of animals. And as much as I have tried to react differently to them, I always end up at square one. But unlike most people think, I do not hate animals; I actually love them … just from afar.

But there is another fear that is deeper than my animal base fear and that is getting my writing out and making it public, for people to read.

I remember when I decided to start taking writing seriously. Of course, there was no way I could do that without throwing myself to the mercy of people’s words, kind or otherwise.

A lot was running through my mind. What if they do not like it? What if I was delusional and I was not meant to handle a pen? What if? What if?

But somehow I posted the article anyway on Facebook (took a lot of courage) and only shared with friends on WhatsApp who I knew would not be too brutal if it was not good.  A friend with whom I had not spoken for quite some time chatted me up and she was like, “I read your article” after we exchanged pleasantries. I held my breath expecting the worst.

“It is very good,” she said.

Wow! I was not expecting that.

“Share it everywhere on social media. People need to see it,” she continued, giving me different suggestions on how to go about it.

Okay, really? I was not dreaming. I received good feedback, someone actually liked it. So I had courage to share on other platforms.

Then other comments started rolling in. They ranged from “I did not know you wrote so well” to “don’t ever stop writing.”

I could not believe it. What was so special about what I had taken pains to edit to make sure it came out error-free?

There probably wasn’t anything awesome about it. But I learnt a lesson that day:  Gifts are not meant to be hidden.

The fears and self-doubts will always be there. As a matter of fact, anything worth doing in life will scare you to the pit of your stomach.  The reason you are afraid is because you care. And if you care, then people deserve to see it. The reason God put it inside of you is so you can use it to change the world. It is gross injustice when you deprive the world of your gifts because you are scared.

If you can’t do it for yourself, then do it for humanity, it needs you.