What to Do When Fear Grips You
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; it is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light that frightens us, not our darkness. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking away so that others do not feel insecure around you.” - Marianne Williamson
There are a thousand quotes on fear and I’ve read many of them because I am a fearful woman. Fear of failure, I would submit, is the top reason we fail. A great portion of that failure happens before we even try. We tell ourselves, while the idea burns hot and we consider its validity: I am not qualified enough to make this dream happen. I am not talented enough. I don’t have the time. This idea is too far fetched. And, paralyzed by our fear, we sit idly and wait until the hot embers of our best ideas cool.
I consider how many ideas I’ve burned through and its insane. I have three fully written business plans that never set foot off the ground. I have notebooks chalk full of ideas I never have brought to life because I’ve been afraid that the audience isn’t there, that the market doesn’t exist. I am the least qualified to present the information. My material is no good. I am no good.
I’ve come to realize though, there is a difference between wisely considering a business for its marketability and simply not doing something because you’re terrified of the outcome. Like the quote above says, are we afraid we won’t do well, or is that we WILL do well?
I think back on one of my first endeavors - singing and songwriting. My main goal was to be signed by a record label. But, after consideration, I clammed up because of what responsibilities I would have after that occurred. I would have to stay in shape (what if I couldn’t?). I would have to write more songs (what if I didn’t have them in me?). I would have to perform in front of large crowds (what if I messed up?). I couldn’t do it. So I didn’t. But, what if we changed the way we talked to ourselves? Instead of considering why we SHOULD NOT do something, what if we considered why we SHOULD do something? I should sing and write songs because I have something unique to share. I should do it because I love it and I want to live life doing what I love to do. I should do it because I’m talented, I’m funny, I’m smart, I’m more than good looks and I should show that inward beauty can be successful too.
Instead of giving yourself reasons to settle and be content with waiting to start your dream, I encourage you to consider the root of your fears and push them to the side. Can we eliminate them completely? No. We can’t do that. But, we CAN choose to look at them differently and see them for what they really are.
You are powerful beyond measure. But, if you don’t start, it will never happen. If you let fear steal your joy and your fire for an idea, that’s the end of it.
And if you don’t believe me, please consider a man I heard recently on the radio who has made money selling potatoes online. Literally, he ships potatoes with funny sayings on them to people. Potatoes. With funny sayings. To people. FOR MONEY.
You can do anything.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but acting despite fear.
Today, be courageous and watch your idea burst into flame.