I finish writing the email to my editor and attach my manuscript. My mouse hovers over “send”. Here we go, kiddo. Click the button. Go ahead. You can do it. It’s just the first draft.
It’s not the condition of the draft that scares me. It’s what sending this represents. It’s the possibilities that could come along with it. It’s the doubt that I’ll rise up to opportunities if and when they present themselves.
But I know even that’s not true. I have evidence of the opposite. This is all just inner critic chatter because she’s scared.
“It’s OK, little one,” I say silently. “Remember, fear is good.”
“It sure doesn’t feel good,” she replies.
I’ve always said that if you’re feeling a combination of excitement and fear, then you’re on the right track. My sweet critic just needs some reminding from time to time.
It’s human nature to gravitate toward pleasure and/or away from pain, but who ever said that fear is the same thing as pain? Sure, on the surface it sounds terrible to be afraid, but let’s consider what fear means.
Managed fear tells you that you’re outside of your comfort zone. You’re stretching yourself. You’re taking a risk. It’s having the courage to do this that stirs up stale energy and helps you feel plugged back in. If you felt comfortable all the time, your life would be stagnant, and that’s no fun.
Hang out with the fear, but don’t let it rule you. Instead, use it as a reminder to reassure yourself that there’s nothing to be afraid of; that whatever will come your way, you can handle. You’ll figure it out. You always have. And you may actually find that you’re better for it.
The more often you stretch yourself, the bigger your comfort zone becomes. And the bigger your comfort zone becomes, the more likely you’ll be to say “hell, yeah” to invitations and challenges. This is when life gets interesting!
You’ll find that you’re more productive, creative, resourceful, and courageous. Everyday things that would trip you up in the past become a piece of cake. Where you struggled to see options before, your head will swirl with possibilities. While it feels scary at first, soon you’ll feel infused with joy!
To help you begin to mix things up a bit, try some of these suggestions:
- When driving someplace familiar, choose a different route.
- Order something new off a restaurant menu.
- Identify the risk takers in your life and spend more time with them.
- Pick one day per week for a technology sabbatical.
- Finish the following statement: “If fear wasn’t an issue, I would ____________.
Like Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Have a great week!
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