If you’re faced with a new and scary thing to do …. first – STOP. THINKING. Then, feel the fear and do it anyway.
I’m freaking out. There. I’ve said it out loud. Fear is catching up to me, and it’s catching up fast. Fear can have a cast of thousands, but it’s the usual suspects that keep popping up. You know the ones – the fear of failure, and the oldie but goodie, the fear of not being good enough.
I’ve lived in Boston, Kobe, Singapore and now here in Melbourne, all but one completely unfamiliar cities to me at the time of my move. I remember one day in Boston driving home on the highway in a massive Nor’easter (that’s a snow blizzard so bad you can barely see 3 feet in front of you) wondering if I’ll make it home in one piece. I’ve stepped into new roles with huge expectations of me, starting afresh with new teams and colleagues with each new role. I’ve faced down intimidating Board of Directors and survived. But nothing brings up fear more so than starting your own business.
You would think that after all that, I would have conquered my fears. But nope, they are still there. Strong, healthy and very much alive.
The biggest, nastiest of my fears cheerfully hopped onto my journey (uninvited, mind you) when I left my thriving corporate career several years ago to start my own business in a completely different field. Oh, and did I mention, in a completely different country (yup, crazy right?!). And as I continue pushing outside my comfort zone as an entrepreneur, they’ve enjoyed a back seat view, cheerfully having some chips while they occasionally offer up some (usually unhelpful) commentary like – “You don’t really think you can do this, do you?”
I’ve realised that as hard as I try to shove them out the door, my fears will never go away. So I’ve learnt to live with them. And I’ve adopted this as my daily mantra –
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Thank you, Susan Jeffers for that (you should get her book by the way if you haven’t read it yet).
Mind you. Don’t go jumping off any cliffs without first doing your homework and preparing well. That will certainly help take the edge off your fears too. Not to mention, minimising major, egg in your face, disasters.
But this mantra has served me well. And my fears? Well, I’m now kind of used to my travelling companions, and like my mum’s nagging, I’ve learnt to tune them out (sorry mum!)
So if you’re faced with a new and scary thing to do …. first – STOP. THINKING.
Then, feel the fear and do it anyway.
That’s what I did today. And survived.
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