For a new activist starting off can be a frightening experience.
The best advise that I could possibly give to a new activist is start small and just do it. You will be amazed with how quickly you become comfortable performing outreach.
When I first joined the party I had a strong desire to help in any way I could, especially in outreach. I started stockpiling material but wasn’t sure how I would deliver it, and therefore kept putting it off. I eventually decided that it was time to just do it, so I put ten cards in my pocket with the intent to distribute them while doing my grocery shopping.
While at the store it seemed as if every aisle was packed with people. The whole time I was thinking about worse case scenarios. Eventually I just pulled a card out of my pocket and placed it on a stack of paper towels. In my mind I was sure that the other people in the aisle had seen what I was done and braced for a confrontation.
That ended up being the only card I placed that trip. Once at home I took the time to think through what had happened. The first thing I realized was that nothing happened, there was no confrontation, no public outing. I realized all my fears had been in vain. I also realized that even if someone had seen me place that card they would not have known what it was without having a chance to examine it. Finally, after a little more thought I came to the conclusion that I went at the wrong time. I had gone to the store on my way home from work, the same time most people do their shopping. I decided that the next time I would go in the evening when there are fewer people.
The next day I made a special trip to the store. I managed to get rid of the remaining nine cards, though I still found myself nervous. The next time I placed twenty cards, placed a flier on a car, and felt more at ease. Within a couple weeks I was placing fifty cards and several fliers each trap and was completely comfortable doing so.
It is also important to note that in the time that I have been distributing material I have only been confronted once. I was in one place for too long and someone ended up seeing what I was doing. He approached me, said “thank you” and walked away. I was fortunate that he was one of the many people who secretly support our cause. However, it is not difficult to imagine a confrontations getting ugly. A confrontation is something you want to avoid. Best way of avoiding such situations is to be aware of you surroundings and not to stay in one place for to long.