It is normal to have fears, what’s important is managing them and making sure fear doesn’t stop you from experiencing things and pushing yourself. – Jessica Watson. Australian 16 year old girl who sailed solo around the world in 2009/10.
Everyone experiences fear, this is only natural. It is a Jessica says in her quote above “it is making sure fear doesn’t stop you from experiencing things and pushing yourself”. I remember the excitement when I gained my first paid booking to speak at the Sofitel for the Chartered Accountants of Australia conference for their new graduates. However the excitement was quickly followed by fear. Although I had spoken in front of large groups in a previous business I knew the audience, their needs, their expectations and I was not being paid. All of a sudden everything changed.
I needed to prepare a talk directed at this young audience of emerging professionals. An area I had not experienced or knew little about. I had to research and ensure my talk was relevant and interesting. I also had to create a power point presentation, which I had never done before. I was being paid to present so the organisers had certain expectations.
As I prepared for this presentation the fear set in. I began the ‘what if’ scenarios. What if I stumble and stutter? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t connect with the audience and they just stare at me? What if the feedback is negative and the organisers don’t want to pay me? What if it is such a disaster that the Chartered Accountants of Australia spread the word around the ‘accounting community” not to hire Bev Brough.
The fear well and truly set in but I was not going to let it stop me. I had chosen this journey and I had to start somewhere. Fortunately it wasn’t a disaster; I did get paid and received a testimonial. I am pleased to say I have improved (and continue to improve) greatly from that first experience. However the fear still continues as I still go through the above emotions and negative ‘what if’ scenarios each time I am booked and prepare to present.
Another of my fears is failure. I like most people I know like to succeed, but we can’t know whether we will succeed at something new until we try it. I didn’t know if I could create a successful business as a speaker, however I would never know by just thinking about it or worse, worrying about it.
I constantly run the ‘what if’s’ though my mind for most situations – what if I invest all this time into my new business and it isn’t successful or worse I lose money on this venture (there is that limiting money belief again). But you know what, I knew that I would never know unless I tried, and I would rather fail at my dream rather than not try at all. So I did give it a try and I am enjoying the journey. Yes I do experience fear (a little too often unfortunately) and worry about the negative ‘what if’ scenarios, but I wouldn’t change anything because I am living my dream.
Don’t let fear stop you living your dream. But what if I fail? But what if you don’t?