I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
That’s a great quote to post in your office, write in your journal, or share on social media.
And we know it’s true.
But how do we get to the other side?
This isn’t the blog post I’d planned to write for today. But the topic of fear has been all around me this month.
On September 8-10 I attended the Inspired Vacay, a retreat hosted by the Female Entrepreneur Association in Palm Springs, California. At this retreat, I realized just how much I’d been letting fear of failure hold me back. And during one of the sessions, FEA founder Carrie Green told us that we must choose our dreams over our fears.
Related Reading: How Inspired Vacay 2019 Turned Me into the Dreamer I’d Always Claimed to Be
And this past weekend I attended the Recreate Women conference at Church of the Highlands and the topic of fear came up again and again. Did you know that the phrase “Fear not” is in the Bible 365 times? That’s a verse for every day of the year!
This month I’ve also been reading the book Business Boutique: A Woman’s Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves by Christy Wright. She reminds readers that fear is normal. She also writes:
“Fear isn’t a sign that you’re doing something wrong. It’s a sign that you’re doing something new. It doesn’t mean you’re not capable, qualified or ready. It just means you’re doing something that matters to you. And fear doesn’t means you’re doing something bad. It means you’re doing something bold.”
Imposter syndrome, something almost every woman I know battles constantly, is rooted in fear, fear that we’re not good enough and that someone is going to figure it out.
In a recent live coaching call, Carrie Green said that we can’t run from our fears. We have to run through them.
But how do we face our fears and run through them when we’re shaking in our peep-toe boots?
Here’s something else you’ve probably seen retweeted or reposted a time or two: “F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real.”
It’s all a lie! My fears (and your fears) are all rooted in lies. And it was this revelation that showed me how to get to the other side of fear.
Following an exercise found in Business Boutique, I wrote down all the things my imposter syndrome, my inner mean girl, says to me and replaced each lie with truth.
Lie: I’m not good enough.
Truth: I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t even have to be the best to add value to the lives of others.
Waiting for perfection is pointless. Waiting to be ready is foolish because “being ready” isn’t a real thing. There will be always room for improvement and that’s a good thing because when you stop growing you stop living. So just get out there!
Lie: I’m not smart enough.
Truth: I have two journalism degrees and nearly two decades of experience. Anything I don’t know but want to know, I can learn.
And as a woman of faith, I stand on 2 Corinthians 3:5: “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”
Lie: I’m not pretty, skinny, or funny enough to succeed.
Truth: Psalm 139:14 says “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Furthermore, the women of the See Jane Write community don’t need me to look like a supermodel or be a stand-up comedienne. They need me to equip and empower them to go after their goals, which I’ve been doing for more than eight years.
Lie: No one cares what I have to say.
Truth: People read my blog posts, my email newsletter, my captions on Instagram, my column for Birmingham magazine, and other things I write.
I know so because they tell me so and because they thank me for my words. And even if only one person reads the things I write, that one person makes the work worthwhile.
Once you drown out the lies of your inner critic with the truth, it will be easier to take that first step to write that book, launch that blog, send that pitch, or start that business. You’ll go live on Facebook or Instagram. You’ll record your first YouTube video. You’ll go after your first speaking engagement.
I’m not saying that doing these things won’t be scary. It will! But once you’re standing on truth, you won’t let the fear hold you back.
I almost let fear keep me from launching my new online course See Jane Freelance. I told myself that because I haven’t written for Essence or Vogue I have no right to teach others about freelance journalism. But I have written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and websites and I’ve been doing so for nearly 20 years. I have plenty of wisdom to pass on.
If you’re interested in learning more about the freelance writer life and you want to get published and get paid, sign up for See Jane Freelance before enrollment closes on Oct. 1. Use the code SJFEARLYBIRD to get 25% off.