Tag Archive: fear

Moving Ahead

I dealt with my fears from last week by taking action. I did what I needed to do and got back to work. I hope never to repeat the dream I had last Friday night, though I accept my subconscious may feel differently.

I also allowed myself to be vulnerable on the blog. In the past, I’ve shied away from that. But if this is really going to be a record of my time, it shouldn’t be “all good, all the time.” It should reflect what I’m feeling and thinking, as much as possible, within the scope of things I write about here. It was scary to write those posts, but the story wouldn’t be complete without them.

On the lighter side, I started booking spring travel (several conferences lined up, both presenting and attending) and also booked a place in Iceland during winter, so I can see the Northern Lights. I’ve wanted to do this for decades, so I’m thrilled to have it on the calendar.

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Fighting History

One of my major regrets is that I didn’t start a business in 2002. To be more accurate, I did start a business. I had an idea, built a prototype, went to SCORE mentor meetings, met with a great lawyer and filed paperwork. My site was getting visitors, I was getting emails from those visitors, and initial feedback was outstanding. My family, instead of being supportive, expressed concerns. Worry. Doubt. I felt their doubts creep into my head and take root. I got scared. Maybe they were right. What was I doing? I unwound all the work I’d done and put my head back down to blend in with the crowd.

I never forgot what my lawyer said when I called him to dissolve the corporation:

“If you spent as much time working on your business as you spend worrying, you’d already have revenue.”

I was young. I was far less mature than I am now. And I don’t blame my family; I blame my own reaction to what they said. I didn’t want it badly enough. I didn’t know what I wanted.

For the next 12 years, I wished I’d started the company.

This week was tough because it echoed history. I shared some good news and got back anxiety. Worry. I know it wasn’t intentional; in fact, my family has been incredibly supportive of my efforts this time around. But nonetheless, I spent the end of the week replaying my worries, reminding myself why this time would be different. Fighting my own shadows. It’s not a feeling I’m used to anymore, and not one I enjoy.

I didn’t give in. I’m different than I was. I’ve defeated far worse than some unformed doubts, and I know that the regret of never trying is more powerful than fear.

But I could use a spa. And chocolate. Possibly some flower petals and essential oils.

Existential Roller Coaster

This week I’m riding an existential roller coaster. One day I feel great, the sun is shining, response to my stories and ideas is sizzling, compliments flow. I feel loved, at peace, my arteries unwind, my heart beats steady and I know why I’m here.

Another day I feel disconnected, bombarded by worries over shadows and trapped in my own mind, struggling to make forward progress. Wondering why I’m doing this. Feeling alone.

I knew I would feel this way sometimes when I began this journey. I was prepared for down days and fears, and I don’t let them dissuade me like I once did. This is progress. I used to live in fear.

But I tried living in fear and it does not work for me. It’s like creating a defensive sphere where days are only ever perfectly pleasant: a hazy blue sky, a light breeze, an occasional shower. No gusts of wind, no hailstorms, no lightning challenging anything; but also no brilliant sunsets, no rainbows, no breathtaking views.

I prefer life outside of the sphere. I have time to enjoy life and explore it. This is a blessing. Most days I’m thankful, ready for adventures and the good and bad they bring with them.

When gray days get me down, it’s hard. It’s hard to stay focused on doing good for others and making useful contributions to the world. It’s also hard to enjoy each moment, even though I know each one is valuable and each person I care about is priceless.

It’s a tough balance. It’s a practice, an exercise, waiting for the next sunrise.

But it’s worth it.

Day 24: Fear

It’s funny that I’m still afraid.

I used to think of everything I’d do if I left my job. I viewed work as a roadblock in my path to personal expression, the reason I could not do X, or Y, or Z.

Now, that roadblock is lifted, but another remains: fear.

I majored in journalism. I wrote and edited for a living. I was inordinately comfortable with self-expression.

That was a long time ago. Seven years.

Now I think of publishing exactly what I think and my breath pauses. My family will find this blog. My friends will read it. It’s a space for me to share my process of learning, of exploration, of dreaming.

Dreams sometimes die when they’re exposed to the day.

Truth sometimes flourishes.

I don’t know what will happen.

I’m not used to sharing anymore. I find myself afraid to post what I think, afraid it could come back to haunt me years later, afraid to share with the world instead of with a few colleagues in a private meeting. Afraid it will put me at a disadvantage.

I think this fear is false. Sharing knowledge is the only way to generate exponential benefits. If we all kept our experiences to ourselves, the world would still look flat to most of us. Debate, vicious or vibrant, is vital.

Fear is just fear. It is the nightmare of the introvert. It prevents me from living a full and authentic life.

I am terrified to post this. I’m going to let it sit in the queue, waiting, for the day when I feel ready.

(Edit: posted it on Day 26.)