I started on my path to joy in May 2001 when I submitted a few personal essays to my local paper. My weekly column is now in all kinds of papers in all kinds of places.
That step of putting myself out there has led to where I am now. Believe me, I was chicken. I emailed my writings at midnight when the world was asleep and no one knew what I was up to. Oh, the fears we harbor.
Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of what others think.
I’ve come so far in my journey since then. My writing led to becoming a speaker. The first time, I was scared speechless. Literally. My first speaking gig was a train wreck, and yet now I speak in front of hundreds to great response and absolutely love it.
Taking these steps, and doing it scared, has taught me so much. We never really “get over” our fears. We simply learn to keep moving through them.
Every step I’ve taken with my business has evidenced that. In addition to writing and speaking, I’m now a life and business coach. I work with women who want to learn how to tap into their joy and take their lives to the next level.
I had tons of great content to share, yet when I first offered my online life mastery program, I was scared that no one would sign up. I did it scared, and sign up they did.
I’ve done it several times now and the results clients report cause me tears of joy. If I had held myself back because I was too chicken, I would not be feeling the joy of helping these women see their own beauty and letting their lights shine in the world.
As I face new opportunities, fears still pop up. Now I have the tools and confidence that I can try new things and the earth is not going to open up and swallow me. If I fail or if I succeed or I get embarrassed or if someone thinks I’m wacky, the world keeps spinning. We don’t fall off. We just keep learning and growing.
Now I know the secret to my success is to do it scared. I still get nervous doing radio or television, but I move through the fear. I get a little better every time.
It’s a little like writing a book. I have three of my own, and have written seventeen books for others. Yet in the middle of each project, I get overwhelmed and the task seems daunting.
I’ve figured out that my fear is not that I won’t finish the book. It’s the fear of the finished product and putting it out there. I am by far my own worst critic. So I remind myself that every single client has loved their end result. One book I wrote sold 3 million copies.
You would think I’d be over my fears, but they still show up from time to time. I think it’s human nature.
Realizing that we are not alone in these fears takes some of the bite out. When you are able to act even when feeling like a scaredy cat, that’s when you are able to break through. The path entices you to another step forward. Step by step, scared or not, leads to amazing joy. I’m living proof. My clients are living proof.
Whatever it is that you are holding yourself back from, take a step. Don’t chide yourself for feeling afraid. Simply do it scared. The world won’t swallow you. I promise.
(Kelly Epperson Simmons is a writer/speaker/listener and happiness expert. Contact toll free 888-637-3563 or email@example.com. Download the free ebook “7 Steps to Being Happy Right Now” at www.kellyepperson.com.)