Do you sometimes feel yourself getting annoyed when you really want to do something but fear stops you from even trying? I used to be like that. I would think, I cant do that, or I would never be able to do that or it looks really complicated.
I remember my first retail job. I was standing behind the till watching a colleague put through sales on the computer. The computer was not what they are today, but back then it was state of the art. I watched her flick through screens at the rate of knots. I watched her clicking through options on the screens as fast as lightening. I saw the queue of people that were waiting to be served and it never seemed to get any smaller. I was physically shaking. I was thinking, oh my goodness, I will never be able to do this.
Just a few weeks later I was as fast, if not faster than she had been. My typing background helped and I knew the keyboard inside out. I quickly learned which options I needed and was soon speeding through the queue of people like a long term pro.
I never forgot that feeling. I never forgot how convinced I was that I wouldn’t be able to do it. If it weren’t for the fact that I was desperate for the money I probably would have not gone back after that first day. If I had let that fear beat me though I would have missed out on everything that came after that.
A couple months after that I was upgraded and got a pay rise. A few months after that I was taken on full time. I was then asked to cover a busier shop with more money and benefits and a few months after that I was selected for management.
My management career led me to all sorts of great places both small, large and medium sized companies where I learned all sorts of skills – Excel being my most accomplished achievement. I am a Microsoft specialist in this application and that was something else I thought I would never get the hang of.
I then decided I was going to have a go at doing a degree to see whether I could achieve a BSC honours. This was something I had always secretly wanted but never for a second thought I would be able to achieve because I never thought I was clever enough. I had learned by now not to let fear put me off. I gave it a go and 4 years later (one year early) I got my degree in Psychology.
These management and IT skills led me to the tutoring and coaching roles of my later career where I helped individuals and groups achieve work based qualifications, and the psychology helped me to get the best out of people without them knowing what I was doing. This is when I decided that I loved coaching and mentoring and wanted to do more of it.
I then got involved with a charity that helped people to become self employed and gave them support in setting up their own businesses. This was my favourite job yet. I really felt that I was helping someone to achieve a dream. My knowledge of fear and why we let it hold us back helped me to explain it to my clients and this helped them to overcome the hurdles they faced along the way and keep an open and positive mind.
I then realised I needed to learn about online business and how it worked. I needed to know about blogging and marketing and SEO because this is what I was being asked. I decided to get educated in this and remember thinking – this is way above my head. But I persevered and am glad to say that I am now, amongst other things, running my own successful online business and helping others to do the same. I am coaching and training them and delivering workshops to those who have just started their businesses but need a gentle push to get them going.
If I had listened to my fear that day in the retail shop, and I had not come back the second day, I would never have learned this valuable life lesson. More importantly, I would never have got to do all the fantastic things I have done with all those fantastic people and I wouldn’t be enjoying the lifestyle I am now. I am earning more than I ever thought would be possible and I am living in a house that I never thought I could afford to live in. I am literally living the dream. All this has happened because I never gave in to my fear. I pushed on and stuck with it. I made sure I kept telling myself about the last time I thought I couldn’t do something and how that turned out.
I can honestly say that I am not afraid to have a go at anything now. Things go wrong, of course they do, and I fail at some things. The point is, I had a go. I didn’t let fear get the better of me and I never will again.
Perhaps you have been thinking about starting something and feeling that fear creep in. It is natural. We are supposed to be fearful of the unknown, it is what keeps us alive and safe. But knowing when to listen to it and when to ignore it is the clever bit.
If you want a guiding hand or a few words of encouragement then please feel free to contact me by any of the methods below as I would be very happy and honoured to help.