You are extraordinary. Don’t let fear or ego stand in the way of living an extraordinary life.Unknown
It can be that simple if you let it.
It’s also the problem, isn’t it? We don’t let it happen. Instead, we let fear creep in. It can stall us in our tracks or send us backward. I certainly know that feeling. Before this blog, I had a different one. I wrote a few posts for it, but then fear crept in. (What if nobody reads it? What if they read it and hate it?) And so, I deleted every post and then the blog. It took me another year before I would even try again.
And that is what fear can do, my friend. It can make you doubt yourself and what you’re doing. It can make you hate today, the project you loved yesterday, if you let it.
Even when I started this blog, I still had fear. So I tricked myself into publishing my posts. I started posting them at four in the morning. That way, I was asleep when they posted. Sure, I could have deleted the post after it was published, but I’d been preparing myself since the last time I tried blogging.
For one thing, I got a new blog name. Originally, in 2010, I used Unfold and Evolve. I had some lofty thoughts that I would show how I had evolved by writing about yoga and my changes with yoga. But as I started writing posts for the blog, I realized how pretentious that sounded.
When I decided to try again four years later, I realized whether I was writing about yoga or anything else; we all have to start somewhere. And that’s how Unfold and Begin started.
But my biggest fear with blogging was letting myself be known through my writing. And that one took a few years to develop. First, I joined Facebook. I know, doesn’t sound like a big step, right? But for someone shy, this was huge. Around the same time, my husband and I owned a chocolate shop in Connecticut, and I was the one who managed the Facebook page and the website, and I even started writing newsletters for the shop.
The subject matter made it easier. Who doesn’t love chocolate? But the entire process prepped me to share more. So, in 2014, when I started to blog again, it was easier this time. It may have taken me a year or two to figure out my direction, but I haven’t stopped blogging since then. And yes, almost all of my posts still publish at 4 in the morning–not this one!
What to Do About Fear
The next time fear starts creeping in, it’s time to ask yourself some questions:
- What am I afraid of?
- Did I miss or skip a step and need to move backward first?
- Do I have enough knowledge/education to do what’s next?
- Do I need to practice before moving forward?
- Is my need to get it right/perfect standing in the way of moving forward?
- Am I more afraid of failing or of getting it right?
- Do I have a support system in place for either outcome?
The more information you know, the easier it is to take the next step. Sure, there may be fear, but there will be less fear. By answering the above questions, you should learn where your fear is rooted and can address those specific needs through understanding, education, and support building. In this way, you can move forward and continue living an extraordinary life. For other ideas, read Dream Big, Think Small: Living an Extraordinary Life One Day at a Time by Jeff Manion.