There have been a lot of things I’ve been afraid of in my life. Here are just a few.
I’ve been afraid to:
-Go through labor and delivery with my kids (I survived, two c-sections later).
-Travel alone to an unfamiliar location.
-Take a cross-country flight even though I know I’m more safe in the air than a car.
-Pick up the phone and make a call for information I need for an article (I’m introverted, and there are days I just don’t feel like talking to people I don’t know).
-Confront people who have hurt me, because rarely does it work out the way I hope it would.
-Share my history of battling depression and anxiety, because it’s a topic that not many people want to discuss.
-Try running again after a minor injury sidelined me for a few weeks.
-Hit the “send” button after crafting a query to a potential literary agent.
-Apply for a job I don’t have 100 percent of the qualifications for.
-Upload an audio file I created and produced in order to share my love of true crime reporting to the world.
This is only a small fraction of the things that scare me or have intimidated me in the past. And guess what? I survived every single one of them.
Yes, if I fail at something it will be embarrassing. But who will really know? Me. I’m my harshest critic. If an agent decides they don’t want to read my entire manuscript, they will simply send me a polite response. If a person doesn’t want to be interviewed with a story, they will say “no” and I’ll move on. If someone doesn’t want to discuss mental illness and the stigma it carries, they don’t have to. I’ve had minor physical injuries and have always been able to get back into shape. If I make a mistake in a podcast recording, I’ll own up to it and learn how not to do it in the future.
I don’t want to be one of those people who watched other people chase their dreams while I told myself, “I’m not good enough. And if I mess up, people will judge me and ridicule me.”
It’s taken me being in my early 40s to get past a lot those fears, but sometimes it takes time to gain courage to go after the bigger dreams.
I hope others around me will agree.