I spent a lot of my life - far too long if you ask me now - being afraid to do the things I wanted to do. I was afraid that I wouldn't succeed. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to make a living. I was afraid that I wasn't good enough.
Then I learned something.
Failure is not the enemy. In fact, it can be quite the ally.
I know this sounds awfully cliche. Every motivational blog points out that you need to embrace failure to fight your way to the top. The crazy part is that it is all true.
I was worried about being inadequate. I was worried about being average. I was worried that people would laugh at me or judge me when I couldn't do what I said I wanted to do.
In order to live the life you want you will have to take some risks. The skill lies in assessing those risks and determine what is best for you.
I can't remember a time I didn't want to be a writer. I had notebooks full of short stories, really bad vampire novels, and even worse poetry. I started college as an English major with a creative writing focus but got scared. I changed my major to something even less marketable - Anthropology.
After college I found myself following the path of least resistance. I started in retail then got a job in purchasing and finally landed in temporary staffing where I spent 15 years.
During that time I continued to write. I tried a few avenues to getting things published. I wrote for a small magazine that no longer exists for a little while. I submitted short stories to anthologies. But I was afraid to leave my job behind to do writing full time because what if I failed?
At the same time, Matt was also restless. He wanted to fulfill his dream of building a house by himself. Suddenly we both realized that a tiny house could answer all of our questions for us. If we built a home that didn't rely on conventional utilities and didn't have a mortgage I could feel safer quitting my job and writing full time.
I wouldn't trade the experience for the world, but I have since realized that the tiny house served as a crutch. It helped me gain the courage to try something that I should have done a long time ago.
It is okay to have something to hold on to in order to feel safe, but don't hold on to the wrong things. A tiny house was a risk in and of itself. It was the right launching pad for me.
You can look at this post like a pep talk. Maybe it is. You can also look at it as a revelation. The more I think how I got to where I today the more insight I gain about how I got here. I think that my experience can be a useful example for others.
So, what are you afraid of trying? How can you face the fear of failure and get started today?