Joining groups, volunteering, and willing to put myself and my work "out there" takes a bit of effort, and well, courage. I guess it's the fear of rejection...of me or of my work. I can read all the books in the world that encourage artists to ignore what others think and just make your art. That's fine during the time that I'm working. But then comes the time when I want to show my pieces, to have them accepted in shows or galleries. And that's when my stomach knots up and I start having doubts.
I'm sure it's all part of the process and not unique to just me. Being an artist is not for sissies!