Conquering Fear

In my last post, I talked about change and its best buddy, fear. Now I'd like to give you some words of encouragement about dealing with fear:

Don't wait until the fear goes away before you act -
act until the fear goes away.

Please don't think I'm being glib or unrealistic or foolish. I decided to go for it with my art but I didn't just quit my day job and risk raising my kids in a cardboard box. As a matter of fact, it was years before I could quit my full-time job, then awhile longer until I could transition my part-time jobs into contract work, and it could still be another 9 months or twelve years before I can stop doing accounting altogether.

So, what should we do with those fears?
* acknowledge them
* look closely at them
* deal with them
* move on even if the fear is still there

What I am encouraging you to do is to think it through:
  1. What is my fear?
    Name it.
    - Are you afraid you'll be embarassed?  Um.  So?  Okay, THAT was glib.  But really, it's not like you're having a wardrobe malfunction onstage at the Super Bowl.  If embarrassment is your fear, then just be very careful  who you tell - or tell no one.
    - Are you afraid you'll fail?  You've heard about Thomas Edison and his 3000 attempts to find a filament.  Failing often breeds better ideas.
  2. Where did this fear come from?  - Is that just me hearing mean old so-n-so again?  We often play these tapes over-and-over in our heads because some kid in third grade or a cruel teacher or, worst of all, a bad parent told us we weren't good enough or we were stupid or some other judgment based more in their problems than on anything we did.  Do we really want to give him/her/them control over our current life? 
    - Or, maybe it's your gut telling you something isn't quite right.  Then research it a little more I'm a firm believer in listening to your natural instincts.
  3. Is it a valid fear?  Could this actually happen? - Am I really incompetent?  Be honest.  Shut off the tapes and evaluate the situation and your abilities, time availability, energy level, etc. 
    - What is the absolute worst thing that could happen and could I live with it? Don't exagerate either. Again, be honest.  I think you'd be surprised how much easier it is to do without material goods (not basic food & shelter, obviously) when you're doing what you love.  That's why they have to pay you more to work for jerks than to work for nice people. 
  4. Can I address/resolve any valid issues/concerns?Seriously, is there really a true possiblity that you cannot find a way thru or around this obstacle given enough time or effort?  I am willing to bet you can find someone to help you in exchange for your help at something (quid pro quo makes the business world go 'round).  Maybe your ideas dovetail with someone else's.  Maybe your spouse is ready for you to finally be happy and will do anything to make your dreams come true (yay for my hubby who feels this way).
  5. Make a plan. Man. This step alone is a biggie.  Jessica Howard has a time management post and her step three fits here: Make a map and keep following it. I'll just advise that you think of everything you can and then be flexible.  New things will be thrown at you.  Good things.  Bad things.  Boring things. Adjust the plan.
  6. And then, to throw one more quote at you - probably one you've heard the most:
"Just Do It!" - Nike™

The artwork today is by Sylvia Drown. I "met" Sylvia in an online art-business class where we talked a lot about facing our fears. I couldn't believe how perfectly the quote on here dovetailed with my post and I am very excited to now own this piece.

1 comment:

3 Hip Chics said...

great post...I love having a plan...even for's the unknown that keeps our feet planted in cement...i like the part about looking at the "fear" objectively...what are the chances...that's what keeps me getting on your script font!!!