I’ve been avoiding you all day.
It’s 6:15 pm and somehow I’ve come up with a million reasons not to write to you. So...after rearranging my living room, taking my car in for a smog check, doing all the laundry, hand scrubbing the bathroom floors (because of course that’s the priority right now!), making 3 snacks and pouring myself a glass of wine, I have NO MORE EXCUSES!
I’ve been avoiding you all day because I’m honestly a little terrified to write.
Here’s the deal. I’ve started my independent coaching business to bring this passion I have out into the world--my passion for helping people identify their strengths and achieve their dreams, break through fear (ironic: see above where I mention being terrified), and start living bigger and more passionate lives.
I believe in what I have to share--these tools that have helped hundreds of people--yet, up until now, I’ve always had a relatively small stage: a coaching room, a coffee shop, a classroom, a chapel audience. Typically, I share my thoughts with 1-25 people and now I’m about to share these thoughts with...the internet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’ll instantly have thousands of readers, but there is something pretty scary about having personal thoughts and testimonials available for anyone to see.
Stuck in Fear.
As I was processing this feeling “stuck” about writing with a friend of mine, I was reminded that being “stuck” is where great life design really happens. The goal isn’t to never get stuck. The goal is that when we get stuck, we find multiple solutions to the problem and sometimes we discover the reason why we got stuck in the first place. I know why I was stuck. FEAR. That four letter word that we all deal with in one way or another.
The truth is, fear is usually the thing that causes us to avoid, deny or delay (sometimes infinitely) our deepest dreams, goals, and desires. Like writing this blog I’ve been dreaming about for months now.
In my day job, I’m a university career coach. I absolutely love, love, LOVE my job! But, I almost didn’t get that job. Not because I wasn’t qualified, but because I almost let fear hijack my dream. The day before my (read:panel) interview where 15 people grilled me about why I should get the job, I almost called off the interview. (!!) I was laying on the couch paralyzed by fear of giving a 20min presentation and having my presentation--and my dream--ripped to shreds.
My fear was great but my desire was greater.
I wanted this job soooo badly that I almost self-sabotaged and if it weren’t for (1) my supportive husband giving me a much needed kick in the butt, (2) my realization that not going for my dream was worse than trying and possibly failing, and (3) a lot of hard work up to that point, I would not have had the courage to walk into that interrogation interview room.
So, who are the people who can call you out when you’re in fetal position on the couch? What can you do to remind yourself that “you’ve got this!”, regardless of the outcome?
In Presence by Amy Cuddy, she talks about the importance of body language and posture. Before taking on a scary task, a daunting presentation, a hard conversation, assume the “power pose” and you’ll be surprised at the confidence you gain--and the confidence you exude! Fear can get us stuck, but being stuck can actually be a great launching pad for progress. In Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (of the Stanford d.school and two of my professors in college), they talk about how being stuck is an important process for designers because it is an opportunity to create myriad solutions. To get creative! Usually in the multitude of ideas you’ll find the golden ticket!
What fear holds you back?
Is it the fear of going for your dream job because you just don’t feel ready?
Are you afraid of going back to school because you don’t think you can pull it off?
Are you afraid of using your voice and speaking up in the meeting?
Is it impossible to imagine yourself asking for that raise--and getting it!?
Why can’t you go out on a limb and try that new side business?
Does the idea of asking that person you’ve really wanted to get coffee with have you making excuses for why you’re too busy?
Stop Letting Fear Stop You!
It’s time to stop letting fear stop you from the things you really want in life. From that move across country to experience a new place, to that amazing career opportunity that would skyrocket you to success--with all great opportunities comes a chance to get out of our own way and be surprised by what we can achieve.
Despite being a newbie at writing for this blog, I have done a good deal of work busting through fear and anxiety to find what I am great at (Strengths) and what I am passionate about (career). I have positively turned around my fear and created tools by which to control it to make great strides to find joy and success in my personal and career life.