Fear is a funny thing. It has a way of convincing you of all sorts of inaccuracies about who you are, what you are good at, and what you’re not good at. Fear running rampant and unnoticed for too long will push you into the dark corner of routine and complacency. Fear will silence your inner voice.
For months I have wanted to begin writing, but I couldn’t decide on a topic to focus on. I sat around trying to decide if I should go for the personal journey or business and product strategy route. I overanalyzed topic ideas and tried to rationalize in my head how each topic wouldn’t appeal to a large enough audience.
I let fear stop me in my tracks. Instead of starting, I let the negative dialog of fear convince me that every idea was bad.
I was afraid that people would read what I wrote and think I had no idea what I was talking about. I had convinced myself that I didn’t have a unique voice to stand out. I let fear tell me that my voice was insignificant.
This fear paralyzed me for an entire year. An entire year.
A year ago I set a goal to build my way out of being employed. I was going to start my own business to build my way out of the never-ending ladder of success. I wanted to build a different kind of success – one that provides for my family without the sacrifices of the nine to five.
This remains my goal and the reason I am beginning to write here. I’m taking the first small steps towards that goal. I know that I’ll mess it all up and get it all wrong, but I know those failures are notches on the belt to success.
Here are the four ways I forced my way out of the fear-cycle.
- I made time to listen to my inner self. I found one hour a week where I went by myself to a busy Starbucks. I grabbed some coffee, set my phone down, and sat quietly. Sometimes I read a book, sometimes I just sat there quietly staring at the blue sky.
- I forced myself to be more thankful. While I sat there quietly, I reflected on the many things I am thankful for. Some days I wrote them down, other days I just reflected.
- I worked to identify triggers. When I felt myself in the fear-cycle, I would take a step back and try to identify the source of the fear.
- I changed my surroundings. I had to kick myself into gear with new scenery. The same daily routine was the perfect feeding ground for the fear and complacency to grow.