Today’s post is from guest blogger Emily Storey.
Last week, my life coach, Laurel, offered me a dare: write a guest blog post for her website. As is the case in life, I had a choice. I could say, “Hell no. And, by the way, you’re fired.” Or I could say, “Sure, I’ll give it a try.” Clearly, I chose the latter. But as I sat down at my computer to write my first blog post, I became panic-stricken.
How did I get myself into this very uncomfortable situation?
I began working with Laurel to find my life’s purpose and to translate that knowledge into a new career. We played with the idea that I could become a freelance writer and blogger. At first, this seemed like a great idea. It would give me the freedom to research and explore topics I’m passionate about, provide me with flexibility to take time off to spend with friends and family, and allow me to interact with people in a fun and interesting way.
And then the fear set in…
As excited as I was about this potential career choice, my internal voice screamed out all the reasons why I could never be a writer: “Nobody cares what I think. No one will read my blog. Oh my God, what if my parents read my blog? I’ll have to censor everything I write so that my blog stands up to parental approval!” Quite simply, I was afraid of being rejected by my family, and even perfect strangers.
Questioning my beliefs
Laurel challenged me to question if my beliefs about becoming a writer were really true. Did I know for certain that no one would read my blog, or that my parents would be horrified by what I wrote? The truth is, I don’t know because I’ve never tried. Well, I’m pretty sure my parents won’t reject me. At least I’m 99% sure about that, so I’m willing to take the risk.
Choosing action over fear
So here I am. I had a choice and, in this case, I chose action. I chose to do something, to try it out and see what happens, to ignore my fearful inner voice. I chose to believe that the world would keep on spinning and that my self-esteem would remain reasonably intact, even if I fail at writing a blog post.
For me, it helps to surround myself with people, like Laurel, who make me challenge my assumptions and gently nudge me outside of my comfort zone, even if it’s baby steps, like writing one blog post.
What strategies do you use to overcome that nagging inner voice that seems programmed to choose fear over bravery? How do you find your courage?
Emily Storey is a freelance blogger on a life-long journey to discover happiness in everyday life.