Avoidance. Why does anyone avoid doing anything? Well, I can’t speak for everyone but I know the source of my avoidance and it’s the question that I ask myself all the time: What if I fail? With this nagging question comes it’s best friend, fear, there to stop me before I even try to fail. This happy realization came just the other day when I realized that almost one month had gone by and I didn’t move toward any of my goals established months ago. What was going on? What was I afraid of? For myself and I’m sure many of you,that fear has a name, an ugly, powerful stench that can stop even the most driven individual in their tracks. For many of us that long time friend of fear, failure, is all too familiar. Why do we fear failure? Is it that feeling of despair and anxiety ? The change in how we view ourselves? How others view us? Whatever the cause, it’s time to stop letting that fear STOP us from achieving our goals…its time to let go, be afraid and step anyway.
Don’t Stop Believing~It’s Not Just a Song
Browsing my computer today, a random article popped up about J. Simioff. Ever hear of him? Nope, nor have I. Here’s a quick tid-bit on him: this gentleman just landed a 1.4 billion dollar deal with amazon after being rejected by some of the foremost investors…ever.This story, while amazing, didn’t seem to resonate with me. I’m a new blogger, a stay at home mom–what in the world did I have in common with this self-made millionaire? All of this ran through my head as I breezed needlessly through this article until one bold faced quote came up: “The only way to fail…is to stop”. Hmph. Here I was at a full stop. I mean, I’ve been avoiding writing this piece since, well, before Easter. I had stopped. Eek. After all, writing about crafting, home décor, teaching the kiddos…that’s, well, that’s the EASY “stuff”. Writing about your fears takes a bit more gumption (I LOVE that word). However, that key phrase “the only way to fail is to stop” was the cold splash of water I needed to shake that fear off my back.
That Little Voice Inside You….
As a one-time educator with a very detailed plan for my life and career, I never had to worry or question where I was going or what I was doing with myself for the next 20-25 years. My income: all set, predetermined. My daily routine, done. Check, check and, well, check. I would get my Master’s Degree ,(check!), continue to teach and enjoy the classroom environment, the students and my summers to relax…for the next 25 years. Hmph. Sounded good for awhile, but….what if that’s not exactly what I hoped for? What if a little voice inside started saying “this is not where you’re supposed to be” (sorry…we are on a Moana watching marathon right now in our house). Do you feel a burst of excitement, (possibly mixed with that forbidden “F” word–aka-fear), when you think about those dreams? Have you ever imagined yourself somewhere else, doing something you completely LOVE only to squash it because of fear? Because it was “too big?” It’s time we all started listening to that little voice inside and realizing our own dreams.
Where you are NOW…
Do you have a career you like or, perhaps, tolerate (to say the least? Perhaps you really enjoy the path your on? Maybe you have an income that works and a routine that’s “doable”. So, why change it? Why fix what isn’t “broke”? When I was teaching, I really enjoyed my career. The predictability, the income; there was little I had to be concerned with. I was comfortable. However, every now and then, in the midst of a motivational speech given by administration at an all school meeting, something inside of me would “burst”. I would feel this amazing urge to get up and apply their “dream one size too big” speeches to my own life…outside of teaching. What was holding me back? If you said “fear” and “failure” you’re exactly on point. I was stuck, like knee deep in fear and failure-stuck. I knew something had to change.
Take it Slow…but TAKE Steps!
So where did I begin? For starters-I just began taking steps–tiny, baby ones. It was better than staying still. After all, if you’re starting from zero, there’s nothing to lose…right? For me, it was starting to write outside of my teaching career. Starting to freelance write. One day, I even dared to call myself a “professional writer” HA! That was a huge step…but one that I needed to take-one we ALL need to take. We need to start building the bridge away from fear, we need, as Ruth Soukup (an amazingly, inspirational entrepreneur), states, to “exercising your courage muscle”. So, what should you do to start exercising? Identify your dream. Then STEP!
This is Just the Beginning
If you’re just starting to “exercise” that fear away, you’re not alone. I’m in the midst of this journey as well! I will tell you, that my current success from that first step of becoming a freelance writer, to diving in and creating this blog entirely on my own started with those small steps and “willing” the fear out of me. Seriously. I became so excited about the prospect of starting this adventure and so frustrated with the fear itself, that I just started walking THROUGH it. Don’t get me wrong, at times you need to be your own cheering section through this process and it isn’t easy! I’m still getting stuck(i.e…writing this blog). As I moved through the steps, however, I began to realize that this was just the beginning and that it was ok. That I WAS, in fact, moving toward my goal…not away from it. I was paralyzed last month by fear and decided it was good to take a small break in order to regroup, reenergize, and reconnect. How did I get to the point where I felt like I could write this? I found some outside inspiration. Let me introduce you to Ruth Soukup.
I’ll take my Goals- 86 the Fear and Add the Inspiration, Please!
Let’s face it, sometimes we all need a little push, perhaps a little inspiration to get over those days (or weeks, in my case), where fear takes over your beloved dreams and stops them faster than quicksand. In the last months, I began reading one of my favorite blogs, The Work at Home Woman. In that time, I grabbed a lot of inspiration from Holly and her team as I was feeling pretty defeated. It was at here that I discovered Ruth Soukup, a successful entrepreneur, blogger, NY Times Best Selling Author and more! I read and read all about her personal story, her professional background and countless case studies surrounding her online course that she developed. After taking a big breath, I sucked in my fear (literally), and enrolled in her Elite Blogging Academy course. I’m just at the beginning of this course but, I LOVE it. Point is…if you’re stuck in the muck with fear, your first step may be opening your eyes and seeing what’s out there for some outward inspiration.
Here are some ideas of where you can look:
- Seek people who are in your niche who have risen above obstacles:
- online (i.e. search how to overcome fears about…and insert)
- inquire with friends
- tap into networks of coworkers
These are the people who may have been in your same shoes and will provide some additional advice on how they rose above their own fears to achieve their goals/dreams.
The DO IT SCARED Movement: Like the Honey in my Coffee
Sometimes life has a sense of humor-right? I mean, in a good way. Flash forward a few weeks later and I’m back at it…trying to fight fear and move on with my goals. All of a sudden, quite out of the blue, I’m reading a post from Ruth Soukup about fear and she states: “Courage doesn’t mean we are never afraid. Instead, courage is being scared but taking ACTION anyway, despite our fear”. HOLY mackerel-now why haven’t I thought of that? Being afraid is actually OK…letting the fear STOP you…not so much. I’m just at the beginning of these podcasts, but they are pretty AMAZING! What’s so awesome about this podcast? There are worksheets, full transcripts AND there you may be topics you love, there may not be–choose what you feel resonates with you…its all up there, and it’s all FREE. Check it out here: https://doitscared.com/episodes/
Here’s a few ways to start off if you’ve found that fear is sabotaging you the way it has me recently:
- TAKE A STEP–any step. Remember-the only way to fail is to stop. Perhaps start off by writing down your dreams/goals-or draw them out, or look online for ideas.
- Find some Inspiration! Ruth Soukup’s messages through her online courses and now, in her podcasts, are moving and motivating–listen to one here:https://doitscared.com/episode1/
- Remember-it’s actually good to be scared…just don’t let that fear stop you!
- Failing? FAIL better…if it’s one thing I’ve read over and over that seems to make the most sense is that through failure, we learn, we grow, we get one step closer to those goals. Keep moving toward what you love.