I spent some time at the beginning of the month thinking about how many of my decisions, or non-decisions, were based on fear. How often I avoid doing something, even a small thing, because I’m afraid. And then I thought more about what I would do, or how I would handle a situation, if I weren’t afraid. It’s changed my world.
Most of my fears stem, I believe, from fear of rejection. Or, I guess, fear of looking like an ass. Which is pretty amazing when I really think about it, because I have spent a great deal of my life looking like an ass. And it’s never killed me.
Fear can be debilitating. I get that. It can be so debilitating that it can stymie your hopes, your dreams and, yes, even your entire career. Think about how much you potentially hurt yourself because your fear of submitting to agents, or even one particular agent, is so great that you don’t do it. Think about how much you limit your potential, and a potential career “win” because you let your fear control your decisions. Fear of what? Fear of someone telling you “no.” Sure it will hurt, maybe, but that no can also empower. How much braver and stronger might we all feel if we take a few hits now and then?
Next time you find your heart fluttering with nervousness and your fear winning a decision take a deep breath and think to yourself, what would I do if I weren’t afraid? and then go and do it.
**Thank you to Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg for inspiring this post.