Do you feel it? Fear; that restrictive word which conjurs up the image of cold clammy hands at a job interview, or freaking out prior to a major life event. A very real emotion, it can also stop us achieving our goals and overcoming obstacles.
Shy at school, I used to be frightened when called upon to speak up in class. Worried I’d blush, which I always did, or, stumble on my words. The main fear for me has always been a fear of failure, manifesting itself in many different forms. Yet, years later I put part of this to one side through gritted teeth and began doing presentations at work. Adopting a mantra which removed my imposter syndrome, who actually cared if I failed? Probably just me, and I was putting aside the fear.
I always wanted to be a writer, poring over multiple issues of Marie Claire and all the other glossies when I was at Uni. This was before the digi age we live in now, pre-blog time. Life happened and I became a training manager at a bank, did a load of other jobs not exactly up my street, then met my husband and had a baby. Taking time out from the work I’d previously been doing, I started firing off emails to local magazines, securing some work experience via book reviews etc. Once more, that fear of failure reared its ugly head. And again, I pushed it away and channelled any doubt into determination.
Blogs became big news and I began writing for online magazines, before later launching my own site. Work was coming my way, and I knew I was getting somewhere. Flying in the face of fear is exciting, liberating and nerve-wracking at the same time. Sometimes pitch emails make me cringe as I’m pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Yet, the act of sending it is another middle finger to the fear, alongside greater experience and empowerment for me.
And the best bit? Continually conquering any fear of failure makes success even more liberating, as you will always know how hard you’ve worked for it.