It’s easy to look around at your favourite bloggers and admire how they seem to have it all figured out. They took a leap and everything looks like it’s fallen into place. They’re productivity wizards, furiously pumping out great content and having one success after another. Between their perfect pics on social media to the new collaborations and projects they’re always working on, they make it all look so…easy.
But this isn’t the whole story in most cases. It’s easy to forget that behind our screens there are real humans with their own unique set of struggles and fears. Today I want to get something off my chest and chat about fear, an emotion that has popped in to say ‘hello’ to me quite regularly lately.
The past few months have been massive both for The Department of Wandering and me personally. I’ve made some really big investments in the business including hiring two contributing writers (get to know them here and here) and am now managing a small team. I’ve been focusing on streamlining the site from the back-end and making some strategic web-development decisions. I’ve been working on new branded campaigns and negotiating with new clients. Oh, and in amongst all of this I’m developing my first e-course due to be launched in October – the biggest project of the year.
Aside from all the business stuff, there’s also a lot going on personally right now. I’m in the final stages of planning our wedding, Ben and I are thinking about moving and we’re weighing up whether to invest in leasing a nearby studio space as an office. Big decisions! Travel has definitely taken a backburner while we’re in the trenches planning ALL of the other things. I’ve never made as many decisions in my life as I’ve done recently. #brainfried
You could say that I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed.
There are times when I look at my to-do list and feel heavy like I might sink under its enormous weight. There are so many new things happening and so much change. Don’t get me wrong – these are all exciting, positive things. But, particularly with the business side of things, I’m steering the ship into vast, unchartered waters without a compass. Do I feel vulnerable? Yes. Am I afraid? Yes. But am I letting these feelings paralyse me? No.
Doing anything new and especially anything creative leaves us feeling exposed, vulnerable and fearful of the outcome. This is, after all, our important, heartfelt work. We expose our bare souls when we send our work into the universe and that’s a scary thing. These are all completely natural feelings but it’s what we do with those feelings that is important. Instead of letting fear hold me back, I’m using it to propel me forward. Leaving my comfort zone behind to enter new, unmapped territory is scary for sure but I know that this is where the growth happens. This is the part where I realise what I’m made of.
If I have an art, it’s deconstructing things that really scare the living hell out of me… Fear is your friend. Fear is an indicator. Sometimes it shows you what you shouldn’t do. [But] more often than not, it shows you exactly what you should do. – Tim Ferris
Over the past few months and, in particular, the past few weeks, I’ve accepted that it’s okay to feel vulnerable and afraid. I think there would seriously be something wrong if I didn’t feel this way because then I wouldn’t be doing it right. Right? Most people think that being courageous means having no fear but in actual fact being courageous means having fear and choosing to face it head on.
So, hello fear. I’m happy to have you here. You showing up tells me that I’m on the right path and so I’m going to use you as fuel to keep pushing forward. I’ve got shit to do and I’m not going to let you get in the way.
If you’re feeling fearful and vulnerable in your creative work right now, embrace it. This is your sign.
Interested in reading more of my personal ramblings? Browse the Journal category or read these posts nexts:
- Shouldn’t I Have My Shit Together By Now?
- Why Your Crappy Job Might Be Exactly What You Need
- Why I Could Never Go Back to Work for a Company Again