Even as a known extrovert, meeting new people can be nerve wrecking. The thought of going somewhere new can quickly accompanied by a vision of sneering strangers waiting to scrutinize my mere existence and ridicule whatever I say. It’s said that in 7 seconds of meeting someone they subconsciously decide how they feel about you and ultimately how they will treat you. What if I’m under dressed, overly excited or just out of place? Insecurity and self-doubt caused me to veto several invitations and of course to be conveniently too busy to show up. Which is horrible! Let’s call it for what it really is- Fear. Fear is using your imagination to see all the bad things that could happen. Fear will stop you from showing up and stepping out into the unknown. Whether it’s the career you’ve wanted for years or the business idea you can’t go to sleep without dreaming of-fear will paralyze you. For me, the unknown was my blog. If I had such anxiety about meeting new people can you imagine how I felt about launching a blog? Though my blog was technically established in the beginning of 2013 I avoided it for months at all costs. I was deep in fear.
Recently, my mentor prescribed a phrase that I will never forget. He said, “Someone is waiting for you to win”. This unsettled me. It unraveled the constructs of my comfort zone, which was exactly what I needed. He was right. Someone, somewhere, was hoping that someone like me existed. Someone was waiting to hear what I had to say. So without the counsel of my emotions I stepped out into the unknown and finally launched my blog!
So what changed? Where did I get the guts? How did I shake the F-word? I had to starve my fear and feed my faith. I realized that my fears were a culmination of negative thoughts-so I deliberately spent time changing how and what I thought.
–I listened consistently to what inspired me to step out in the first place. Everyday I spent time listening to messages from my mentor that encouraged me to believe and go after my dreams.
–I surrounded myself with positive people who believed in me and most importantly, they didn’t allow me to make excuses. They always reminded me of my potential and all the possibilities when I was confronted with doubts.
–I dreamed again. Fear is just a misuse of your imagination. So I spent time and effort imagining all the good things that could happen. I allowed my dreams and goals to become real to me again. I got involved emotionally, reconnecting with the reason why I wanted to write and blog in the first place-to help others.
Restructuring my thinking was necessary but nothing changed until I took the first step. I had to attack the very thing that made a mockery of me. If I focused on all the things I didn’t have or needed to do first, I’d still be trying to figure things out. Are you still trying to figure everything out? Are you more acquainted with the fear of rejection, failure and disappointment than the faith of your future? Be honest. If you are-just stop. Decide that you won’t let another year, month, week or day go by without you stepping out into the unknown. Get the F-word out of your vocabulary. There is someone waiting for you to win.