Fear knows me very well.
The kind of blood-boiling, heart-racing, I-can’t-do-this fear shows its face every time I’ve got something exciting or important coming up.
You’ve been in this position, right? If you’re launching something new or you’re going to an event for a first time - whatever it is, you’ve dealt with fear before. Especially as someone who’s trying to find their way with their own blog or business.
There’s the comparison trap to fall into, six figure businesses that you can apparently reach the success of in your sleep and new job titles being created every other day. Talk about overwhelming.
For me, nothing is ever bigger or more important than putting myself out there. Not being successful - not being able to get to where I want to be and create a fulfilling life on my own terms - is never an option.
I put a lot on the line for A Branch of Holly.
And when you’re constantly putting everything on the line, you have lots of visits from Mrs Fear. Oh yes. You can’t see her, no. She appears in different ways, but you always know it’s her.
An anxious tummy keeping you awake at night.
Thoughts that keep your mind turning at all times.
Distraction and procrastination as you wait for your light bulb moment.
Telling yourself what won’t happen (for me, I have this constant nightmare where I’m shouted at for being so stupid and I end up letting everyone down).
Burning cheeks when you think of everyone laughing at your mistakes.
Feeling like you’ll never be as talented or knowledgeable as others.
I bet you’ve encountered some of these fears yourself. And you’ll continue to encounter many more. The key is learning how to deal with them.
There’s no quick answer for getting rid of fear. I don’t even think it’s possible to get rid of it for good. If I could wave a magic wand to help you I would, but no simple formula or spell will ever conquer it.
There’s only one thing for you to do - move forward and embrace the fear.
Embrace it? What? No way!
Hear me out. We’re going to go into these three lessons that my mum taught me to think about whenever Mrs Fear shows her face. This is something I’ve carried with me throughout my life and now, I want to pass onto you.
#1 | Think about how lucky you are
While there have definitely been some dark and difficult times in my life - things that are now in the past and aren’t right to discuss in this online space - I know how lucky I am.
- I could be suffering from an illness instead of living a healthy life
- I could have no qualifications, no skills and no experience, instead of 25 with a Masters qualification and an NCTJ award under my belt
- I could be inundated with debt, but thankfully my parents taught me how to handle money
- I could have no family and friends in my support network
- I could have no roof over my head, no food - no anything
I have all these things. The picture of my life means that I’m confident that we’ll always be comfortable - we’ll never be homeless, we won’t go hungry and we’re all healthy. There are plenty of people out there can’t say these things. There are also plenty of people out there who have faced these obstacles head on and worked to create a life that they love and deserve. I know some. And so do you.
Take an outside look at your life and practice gratefulness. Realise how lucky you are. Remind yourself that there could be people in a worse situation than you, facing demons that you don’t know about every single day.
It’s like the saying goes: if everyone put all their problems into a big pot, you’d pick your own back out.
Get your mindset to the point where you can forget about all these things. Be present, focus on the task in hand and do it to the best of your ability.
#2 | What’s the worst thing that could happen?
I’m Holly and I’m a chronic over-thinker. Give me something to worry about and I’ll think of the worst-case scenario. Something my mum taught me to do with all these fearful thoughts? Write them down. Take note of what you’re worried about and why. What does the worst-case scenario look like for you? Get comfortable with the fear.
For me, it was watching my life flash before my eyes, becoming an old lady and wondering what the hell I’d done with my life. For you, it might be never earning higher than a certain salary, becoming alone or constantly falling behind your peers.
Once you’re tuned into your worst-case scenario, you can face it head on. What’s the possibility of it happening? What obstacles are in the way? What solutions can you identify to help you work through them?
And remember, if the worst-case scenario ever came to life, it will never be as bad as Mrs Fear makes it out to be.
Once I’d written my dear down and talked about it with my mum - feeling like I’d wasted my life - I knew it was up to me to change that. I knew I needed to look at my life and ask myself how I could create a fulfilling one to look back on? What memories did I want to make? What did I want to be proud of?
This fear has never truly gone away, but it’s become easier to deal with. Now, for everything I do, I ask myself, will this benefit my life? If the answer is yes, I go for it. Fear or no fear.
When you’re doing the work, your online presence will grow. Fact. If you’re trying to attract new readers, learning new skills, interacting with others and putting yourself out there, you’ll succeed. It’s a balance between doing the work and pushing through the fear to believe that you can get there. Because you can.
You need to be able to look Mrs Fear in the eye and know that she’s not real. Do that and you’ll reach all of your goals.
#3 | Let’s talk numbers
It’s not rocket science - you feel much more comfortable when you know how much money you’ve got to work with. Personal finances can be tricky, but they’re important when it comes to this fulfilling lifestyle that we all seek. Mrs Fear has a friend called Mrs Money Fear. The best thing to do to beat her? Talk about the money that you have.
Let’s think about the key things you want to know:
- How much you have saved/currently in your account
- How long you could live off that by cutting out all the unnecessary things you spend money on
- How likely it is that you’ll make absolutely zero extra money within that time
The last bullet point just isn’t going to happen. You tell yourself that from the offset.
Your answers to these questions might make you realise that sure, I don’t have a huge amount of money, but I definitely have enough to survive off for a few months while I figure out what I want to do.
Plus remember, you can look into extra ways to make a bit of money, cutting out all the unnecessary spending and the generosity of your friends and family. So really, Mrs Money Fear may aswell back off, hadn’t she?
Think logically when it comes to money. This is real. Fear isn’t.
A Final Note
Overcoming your fear doesn’t mean erasing it completely. It means accepting it and embracing it to allow yourself to move forward. You need to change your mindset and that’s a hard thing to do. But it will push you forward and that’s what you need.
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”. That my friends is the definition of strength. And strength will take you everywhere.
How do you move forward and conquer your fears? Which of these reminders do you think will help you the most?
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