I am excited to announce that I am now a freelance writer and editor! This dream was birthed in me at the young age of six, when I realized I could write books for kids who loved reading, just like me. Thank you to the people in college who told me I should major in English (I didn’t listen), and to my family and friends for supporting me in this transition. While I will be writing several books and waiting for them to be selected for publication, I will also be offering writing and editing services to those who want to make their writing dreams a reality.
Although this has been a dream of mine, I woke up this morning with a sense of fear. What if I put myself out there and nobody bites? What if people don’t like me? What if they find out that I’m not perfect? The good-girl Christian in me says, “God has a plan! It’ll all work out in the end! Don’t be afraid!” We tend to be scared of being scared, so we put a spiritual band-aid on our fear and call it a day. However, I’m still afraid! I’ve never done this before. Fear is a natural response to the unknown.
To help me launch my career, my husband bought me a copy of the book Business Boutique by Christy Wright, a professional who helps women start their own businesses doing what they love. In one of the beginning chapters of the book, she wrote about fear in starting your own business. Fear is normal, and everyone experiences fear at one point or another. Her solution? “We just do it scared” (15).
As I re-read through Chapter 2, “Fear is Normal,” Wright only mentions that phrase a few times. However, after reading all 19 chapters of her book, I can clearly remember that phrase as my takeaway. If we only did things when we weren’t afraid, we would miss out on a lot of life. I’m actually more afraid of settling than neglecting my dreams. What is more fearful to you, being stuck in a job that isn’t your passion for the rest of your life, or taking a leap of faith and risking it all to pursue your dreams? Doesn’t the latter option sound like a movie?
A few people in my audience struggle with anxiety like me. I used to get scared just going out to eat with friends. You may get scared going to parties or traveling or visiting certain places or even not having plans. Going on retreats as a teenager, the staff members would tell us to aim for our yellow zone. The green zone is our comfort zone, and the red zone is our debilitating fear. While high ropes courses might be easy as pie for you, they make me nauseous and dizzy; I literally can’t move when I get to a certain height. Doing something in your yellow zone is doing something that stretches you just enough not to break you.
If you feel God calling you to do something in your red zone, which is quite possible, have grace with yourself to take baby steps there. If you are scared of publishing a book about your traumatic past, start off small by sharing your story with a trusted friend or a small group of people. No matter what you do, don’t let fear keep you from doing what you love and what you feel God is calling you to do.
Here are some quotes that I found when searching the phrase “Do it scared.” May they inspire you to pursue your passion, even if you have to do it scared:
“If you’re afraid, don’t do it. If you’re doing it, don’t be afraid!”-Genghis Khan
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
“What you feel doesn’t matter in the end; it’s what you do that makes you brave.” – Andre Agassi
“Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the absence of self.” – Erwin McManus
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”-Marianne Williamson