Last summer, I drove with my mother and daughter on an epic road trip. It was my mom’s 75th birthday and she wanted to see the Biltmore, the Smoky Mountains and return to Colonial Williamsburg. We had an amazing time – 3 generations in the car, laughing, singing, playing ISpy; I had forgotten what it was like to crank up the radio, strain my vocal cords to and sing off key in full volume. By the way, we’re all tone deaf, but we had the best companions in our car. So, all of this seems awesome, but, I am coming clean. But the entire time, hanging around my neck was an incredible feeling of fear.
The plan was to get creative, find ourselves, 3 generations in 3 different stages of life, and I was excited for the challenge. You see, I was completely terrified because I was starting over, again. With loads of unique skills from many interesting jobs, I am a total benefit to anyone who hires me. But nobody has. So, what should I do? I write. And that’s the scary part. I started this blog, I submitted articles that were published in newspapers and magazines, but they really don’t pay enough to cover the bills. OK, they don’t pay at all. And here I am, naked and afraid before you, my lovely, supportive peeps.
For years, my mom was always the one who helped me through my fears, holding a safe imaginary box of love, acceptance and strength while I faced my stumbling blocks. But this seemed so much bigger. I have a need to create, and I shall continue to do so every day of my life. But I also know that I need to get past my fears, move out into unchartered territory, suck it up, and find an income.
By daring to create it’s like falling into a river. It takes me, ready or not, through raging currents, slow moving pools, and out to the Great Big Sea. Yes, the world. Being semi-introverted and lacking the finesse of recent college grads, this is my boulder in the middle of the river. The metaphor is not lost on me. I am reminded to keep swimming ahead, putting myself out there, uninhibited. I need to be raw and naked and vulnerable so that the right opportunity will allow me to latch on to safety. And how will I do this? By swimming through the fear.
My advice plain and simple:
- Get naked. (metaphorically) Meet your fear head on with the gifts that God has granted you. Fear keeps me (and you) from meeting our full potential and grabbing that great job. Drop it all, expose yourself, and meet your future full frontal.
- Jump in, feet first. You must prove to yourself that you can overcome your fear. Put yourself out there. I went to my first networking group last night, and was amazed that people thought a freelance content writer/blogger was an amazing job. I got a few cards, and some very positive responses. It was really that simple, just jumping in. When we face our fears, our lives get changed forever.
- Start swimming. The current is going to be strong, at times overwhelming. Don’t give up, don’t give in. Once you make it across the water, you’ll feel an incredible sense of accomplishment. I have my first client. A barter, but one I need. The next one is for cold, hard cash.
- Get your hands and feet dirty. Squish the riverbed sand between your toes. Let your hair get gunky from the moss and algae. Meet Mother Nature with your full attention and presence. As with any big fear, the trick is to let go. Abandon your fears to whatever comes to pass, even if you fall or get mucked up.
- Be delighted. Meeting my fears head on (besides being truly scary) gives me a sense of freedom. There’s a certain rush, a pleasure in moving beyond the fear. Almost a relief as I spoke with new contacts, mingled with those I knew, and proudly declared that I worked as a freelance content/blogger/writer. YES! Feels great!
I guess I needed that road trip to remind myself of who I am. I needed to re-establish my own belief in my ability, and fall back on the unconditional support from my family, especially my mom. Whatever that thing is that terrifies me, it’s asking to meet me because it knows the incredible joy and freedom that will comes later. It anticipates success. Now my lovelies, let’s all get free together. Free from fear, free from what holds us back. Remember, if we flow with the river, we reach the end. And if I need another road trip to clear my mind and check myself, I know who to ask.
Stay brave, motivated and caffeinated!😉☕