I've been receiving a few emails from women who dream of starting their own blogs or businesses, but they are finding it hard to bite the bullet. I wanted to address a common thread between them: they are scared. Of being judged, being disliked, being underprepared, not ready, too poor, too busy or just not good enough.
That's fear talking.
Fear is standing between you and what you want.
Fear is universal - everyone from performers to physicists, from the timid to the brave, are afflicted by fear. It's natural and it ain't going away. Our power lies in how we react to it.
How does fear show up? In a myriad of ways. In different people it could show up as procrastination, perfectionism, self-sabotage, obsessing over tiny details, resistance, or complete denial. Not to mention perpetual busyness, so you never have to tune in and listen to your own true desires (for some people, being alone with their thoughts is terrifying).
What if, instead of being an absolute sign to turn back, fear was a compass pointing to what you really want?
In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield says:
Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
To reach our dreams, we need to learn, expand and grow. And growing pains are never comfortable. We have to go through it. There's no other way.
Starting a small business or blog is a fast track to cracking you open. It will bring up a crapload of fears - money, being 'seen', wondering whether you and your contribution are worthy, whether you can continue to come up with content or products or ideas. Whether people you used to go to school with will find you online and mock you. And of course, whether you should just be 'realistic' and get a real job like everyone else.
It may just be the biggest personal growth journey you'll go through.
Truth 1. The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
Truth 2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.
Truth 3. The only way to feel better about myself is to go out… and do it.
Truth 4. Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else.
Truth 5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.
Susan Jeffers | Feel the fear... and do it anyway.
Yes, it may feel 'safer' to stay where you are, take no risks and play small. But you have a choice, when you hear that voice of fear. You can listen and retreat to the status quo, or you can use it as a compass and move forward towards your dreams. Step outside your comfort zone, (remember, growth is rarely comfortable), and do something that stretches you. Buy that domain name. Brainstorm offerings. Announce your intentions to your twitter followers.
I bet you'll find it exhilarating!
Remember that the people you admire also have fears and doubts. The only difference is - they are doing it anyway.
On a practical level, there are things you can do to overcome fear such as tapping (EFT), meditation, visualisation or coaching. And I'd recommend the two books quoted above, as well.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. What particular fear is holding you back right now?
Photo credit: Danka Peter via Unsplash.