Listen, if you heard how hard I rapped along with Hov “…what would you do, you knew you couldn’t fail, I have no fear of anything, do everything well…” you would believe that I meant that deep in my soul, you hear me? You’d believe that I’d already planned and facilitated the series of classes that I developed earlier this year, submitted my pitches to O magazine, Essence and Forbes AND submitted the transcript for my book to a publisher. But, nope, I’ve not done any of those things. Not because I don’t have the talent, ambition or know-how…it’s because…well…#Fear. The fear of looking stupid. The fear of failing. The fear of (insert whatever you tell yourself here).
Confront What You Are Actually Afraid Of
I made myself believe that I was afraid to start this blog. It wasn’t that I was afraid to set up a Squarespace account or even write the blog posts and hit publish. I was afraid that I’d create something that I felt was important and no one else would find value in it. I feared rejection. I feared public humiliation*. I needed validation. That conclusion led me on a journey of self awareness. I needed to understand why I was seeking external approval even when something felt ‘right’ internally. That’s another post. The point is, it’s not until you ask yourself questions to get to the root of what you are actually afraid of will you be able to confront (and overcome) your fear. Trust me, it’s not that you are afraid of applying for the promotion, starting the business or pursuing the relationship…it’s deeper than that. It’s up to you to figure out what you’re really afraid of.
*We let our egos make us think that everyone is watching…and waiting for us to fail. In reality, we are all too busy getting our own shit together to be sitting around watching and waiting on the next person to fail….or do anything else for that matter. #YouDontHaveHaters
What does winning and living your best life look like to YOU? Not to social media. Not to your best friend. Not to your family. For me, success is creating opportunities to do what I love, which is writing, telling stories, encouraging others, speaking and creating. I feel accomplished each time I create a blog post, send a pitch to work with a publication or am tapped on the shoulder for a collaboration. Success will look differently as I continue to progress and will include writing a book, working with Oprah and being published in global publications. Whether you create a vision board, journal or say it aloud…define and visualize what success looks like. When your eye is on the prize, fear won’t play as big of a role as it once did.
“Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.” Easier said than done, right?
Doing it doesn't have to mean jumping out of the building. It could mean taking the first step of entering the building so that eventually you can jump out of it. When you take action, you never lose. Even if the outcome isn’t what you intended for it to be, you will always win when you put in work. You will learn something (maybe you learn what NOT to do), build confidence, make a new connection, gain exposure…..you get it. Personal and professional development doesn’t happen without growth. You grow by doing, experiencing and learning. You can read as many books, blog posts and quotes as you want but until you take some type of action, you will remain stagnant.
Let’s toast to identifying and confronting our actual fears and defining and pursuing success!
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” Nelson Mandela
Until next time……