I had this very lovely and insightful conversation with a friend the other day and it reminded me of a sense of deja vu. For I have had this conversation multiple times with different people over the years. The thing being that until this moment I never took it out and analyzed it. See my friend was complimenting me on my business journey and commented on how I am fearless. Now this is not the first time I have heard this before. I normally just shrug it off and move the conversation in a different direction. For truth be told I am not fearless. Not in the slightest.
One time this was mentioned it was in regards to my career. At the time I had been laid off from a job that I had for many years. In retrospect the layoff was a blessing for this pushed me to focus on my entrepreneurial journey but that story is for another time. My focus at that time was getting a job. I was scared. Unemployment wasn't going to cover my expenses and unemployment checks were only for a limited time. So I did what I know to do "take action".
I got out my list of recruiters and spent every day on the internet/phone looking for my next job. I let all my friends know I was looking and open to opportunities. For a solid two years I was very lucky in my opinion, to not only have job security to go from one freelance gig to another. In retrospect I only have six weeks total of unemployment. In those six weeks it wasn't full unemployment as I was working a low-income job just to keep active and not fall into a rut. For me the low income job I took wasn't a solution but a band-aid.
But this was my focus when I set my mind on something I am laser focused. I see nothing but that item/goal until its achieved. When she complimented me it was at a time when she herself was looking for another job. An endeavor in which she had no success, in her mind I made it looks so easy. Whereas in my mind I had no choice there was no back up plan. There was no safe secure job/paycheck to go back to (like she had). If she found no success after any period of time she just threw her hands up and went back to her comfy job. Whereas I was at a point of no return. I had no security to go back to. I had to create it. So if something did not work out I had to adjust it and keep going. I did this when l was looking for a job to further my career and I continue to do this as an entrepreneur.
The thing that I have found holds people back is fear. Fear of the unknown and uncertainty. Think about those things that hold you back.
For years I thought of myself as an introvert. Truth be told I prefer my own company. Not to say I don't socialize because I do. But giving a choice between going out or staying home with Netflix and a good meal? I will choose Netflix.
That being said when I started my business I approached networking events same way I approached job hunting back in the day. It was an opportunity to find interesting and insightful people that I can connect with. Was I afraid? Absolutely I would be coming up with excuses all the time as I was getting ready or even while I was on the way to the event. My fear was what would happen if I did not go. By not going to that event where I may meet a great business contact or someone very interesting. I had more fear over a lost opportunity that than anything else.
The reality of the situation is/was I would go to these events by myself and I would never be alone. There were many people going solo who became my new buddy/networking partner for the night. The "shy gal" was chatting up a storm to strangers. No one of which would think I was shy for the main reason being that I was out and chatting. Something a shy person would not be doing. I was just taking action.
Same thing applies when it comes to travel. For the longest time I wanted to go to Greece. I decided that 2015 was my year. I told my friends and gave them an open invitation. Like with many trips it's a juggling game of dates/times. I already decided that this would be at a date/time that worked for me and if others could go great. So off I went and booked a fully escorted tour of Greece. Everyone I met was shocked that I went by myself, which was funny because every day I met a new travel buddy/friend. In retrospect it was one of my best trips so far. Plus on this trip I was never alone unless I wanted to be.
So when people call me fearless it could not be anything further than the truth. I am very much afraid. I am afraid of not living life to the fullest. I am afraid of not trying things.
I remember watching Auntie Mame (Rosaline Russell version) and when she said "Life is not a dress rehearsal" or "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death". These lines stayed with me ever since. My main fear is going thru life fearful and having regrets. I will stumble and fall and sometimes fall very hard. But I will always get up. I will always try again. My fear is living a life ruled by fear, something I will never do. Don't let fear stop you from having the business and life you desire. Life is not a dress rehearsal.