My mother is a talented Italian cook & chronic worrier – and she does both mostly with her hands.
Growing up, I was only allowed to ride my bike to the middle of the driveway marked by the lamppost – and then I’d have to turn around and return to the backyard. Forget the fact the backyard was crawling with mosquitos and I was severely allergic. Mosquitos weren’t kidnapping-sickos. We’d take our chance with Malaria.
In my mom’s defense she kept me safe. We lived on a busy street. And you know what that means – even more perverts! So you can imagine her surprise (or maybe not) when she ended up with a kid who moved 3,000 miles away (twice) and once called home saying she was going to be late for dinner – and when pressed for details confessed to making a pit stop in Cabo – sorry mom can’t talk we’re taking off!
(BTW this is why I don’t yet have children.)
However, that fear of what lurked beyond the lamppost was a VERY real concept that always stuck with me – even when I tried to shake it at every reckless turn. Even my most impulsive decisions I weighed carefully to measure just how reckless they were. I was the only 20 year old who could walk out of her job for lunch and never return – and yet that night slather my face with anti-wrinkle cream and read about 401Ks. What an odd mix. But that’s fear for you – it makes us do some STRANGE things.
What I learned was this – as long as I kept moving forward, as long as fear didn’t catch me, then it was totally OK to live with. At the end of the day fear too has it’s role. Without fear, I may just walk into the polar bear exhibit for a good belly rub because aren’t those fluffy cuddle butts adorable?
Now being paralyzed by fear and allowing it to rob you of your dreams is another story.
If you feel like you’ve been paralyzed by fear – fear of the unknown, fear of letting your family down, fear of making an unsavory financial situation worse – acknowledge it. And then put it to bed – knowing that on the other side of that fear is the potential for something much greater than you can imagine. It will require you do to things you currently don’t do. To show up. To accept accountability in a way that hurts. Hurts, my friends. Nothing ever stretched and squeezed me so much in all of my life as my freelance business. But the reward is SO great – beyond words really – that there’s just no turning back, and I have ZERO tolerance for ever being robbed of that excitement and fulfillment again.
So how do you stay one notch above fear? How do you explore beyond the lamppost while not getting abducted (lol mom that was for you.)
Here are four suggestions that REALLY helped me.
Choose Your Confidants Wisely
The reason this is number uno on my list is because we already know what we’re looking for in a conversation when we choose someone to confide in. We know we’re either looking for reassurance, validation or the push we need to move forward. In fact, our clever psychology usually chooses the outcome of these chats before we even realize it. For example, if you’re terrified to move forward and you’re really looking for validation to just pack it all in and go home – then the person you’ve chosen to discuss it with is most likely going to agree with everything you have to say. You then get to say, well Jane thought it was a terrible idea to move to Spain and work on my book. Well, of course Jane said that! She lives in her mom’s basement and has stock in Purell! You chose her because she was going to give you exactly what you needed to chicken out.
My advice? Choose someone who will always tell you the hard, bloody truth. Someone who has already been where you’re trying to go. Someone who understands that in this battle called entrepreneurship our fight & flight mechanism is triggered so many times it’s like we’re Darwin’s ghost. Choose that person. They will give you sound, objective counsel from the perspective you need – not just the one you want.
Find Your Community
A Facebook group. A LinkedIn pal. An Instagram circle. Find your tribe. Your peers – your travel buddies on the way up success mountain are going to understand where you’re coming from more than anyone – and also help you brainstorm when things aren’t going so well. Unlike a mentor, your peers are right in the thick of the madness and pulling out all the stops – just like you. If you’re struggling with blogging, or Facebook ads, getting new clients, whatever – you can bet someone in your community has found a work-around and is willing to share!
Schedule ONE Decisive Action Daily
One of the tricks fear is REALLY good at is making you think that you don’t have time for your dreams. It makes you believe that the responsible thing would be to suffer in a job you hate, in a town you can’t stand for the sake of duty. You’d love to move forward with your Etsy business – but there’s just no time.
There is as much time as you schedule for.
Hang in there with me for just one more second. All day, everyday, our lives are consumed by unexpected “things.” Car repairs, doctor visits, surprise tax bills or whatever we weren’t counting on – but yet we still make those items on our list disappear. We fit them in.
Your dream isn’t unexpected. In fact, by scheduling ONE action every, single day (yep, write it in that planner) you can plan and prepare for your dream. You can pencil it in for whatever time is MOST convenient for you and if you’re honestly serious about changing the shape of your life – you’ll find this to be the most rewarding hour of the day. And yes, it only needs to be an hour. Or less. But it must be daily. And it MUST be scheduled. It’s hard to make excuses and fear the unknown when it’s already penciled in as a task.
Applaud Every Single Success
Guys, this is pre-school with no Legos or juice boxes and the work is A LOT harder than Letter People. But remember what kept you going at that tiny, impressionable age? It was celebration and acknowledgement of your wins – no matter how small. I mean, I got a Little People airplane (comfortably sat 12) for finally scoring a 3-pointer in the potty chair! I am 30 something years old and remember that moment like my parents handed me an Oscar. Become that kid again. Become the kind of person that even a positive email from a potential client can make your entire month. Be the kind of person who takes themselves to dinner because they shared their first blog post. Those moments keep us going – those victories boost serotonin and keep us moving forward when the dream desert seems otherwise depressingly dry. Every BIG success is made up of small moments. Don’t wait until you get to the top to pat yourself on the back – the chances of you making it without being kind to yourself are slim and sad.
Fear is real, sure. But so is managing it. And if these four tips helped the girl who never rode her bike past the driveway – well, they might just make you a millionaire.
Do you have a dream I can help you turn into a profitable business? What if I told you that your talent could lead you to earn an extra $3K in 30 days and get you well on your way to quitting your job? On April 20th, I’m hosting the free class 3K in My PJ’s where I’ll share how I started my six-figure freelance business and how you can do the same. Space is limited and ALL creatives, dreamers and job-escapers welcome 🙂