Fear is everywhere.
In the news.
In those perfectionist tendencies.
In the need to get everything right first time.
For me fear is in pitching to editors, my kids getting sick, conversations with banks, driving on motorways in the dark, booking family holidays, doing new stuff in my business that just seems WAY TOO BIG for little me.
But fear is no longer in blogging, sharing myself with people, standing up in front of classes, starting new classes, turning down work, taking on new clients, pitching to businesses, having a baby!
But it used to be in all those things too.
Well most obviously I’ve just showed up and tried those things that scared me time and time again. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve asked for help. I’ve tried again. And sometimes just putting yourself in the arena works and you no longer fear the scary stuff. It becomes small stuff.
But then there’s some more. That fear that paralyses you. The fear that you can’t ‘just do anyway’ (sorry Susan Jeffers but we part company in opinion here).
And in that I’m starting to make some serious progress.
Two things have made some fundamental changes for me in the past few months. They have been deeply liberating.
And those two things are there for ANYONE to grab and to understand.
- I started therapy! Oh yes baby – I’m in therapy. And whilst I used to sheepishly ring on the doorbell to the clinic or only tell a few trusted friends, I am shouting about it now. My therapist (the fabulous Eve Stanway) has – via very few sessions (which haven’t involved tears or exhaustion but instead empowering, intellectual discussions) – shown me that fear can be hugely beneficial and that I can use fear and am already using fear to make great, creative leaps in my business. I’m learning that fear is a sign that something amazing is just around the corner. And as it turns out (as in all things) now it’s on my radar I am seeking out and absorbing some of the most incredible thinking and understanding on fear.
- I’ve remembered what it was like to go rock climbing with my husband. Why is that relevant? When I’m afraid – REALLY afraid (like facing death afraid), I am most able to overcome fear by taking small steps. Just one ledge. Just one more handhold. And so it is in business. I am best able to overcome fear by taking small steps.
So as I approach a new phase in my business and I am in danger of massive overwhelm and freezing (instead of moving forwards) I am starting slowly. One ledge at a time.
If I want to get a feature published in a top end magazine I need to first try my art on my own blog, amongst my own audience and then perhaps a trade publication and then perhaps talk to a few editors in person and then perhaps get a few pitches a bit wrong but learn from them and then perhaps …… you know the rest.
In my new business venture I need to try it out on a few trusted clients before going live with the big stuff … and you know the rest. It just isn’t going to be perfect straight away. And that’s okay!
And guess what? Those opportunities are beginning to present themselves. Funny that!
So yes fear is everywhere. And yes fear can be stifling. And no that fear that freezes you IS NOT creative or positive or empowering AND DOES need a little help from a great therapist (or lots of reading). You need to feel the rawness of fear and do something with it. Make great things. Love the jitters. Put out the messages to the universe, or just to your peer group, or pray if that’s your thing. But don’t let it beat you. Chip chip chip away one step at a time.
Fear is everywhere – but so is adventure.