Here’s what I haven’t told you yet: At regular intervals in the days leading up to my talk and definitely on the morning of,
I was quaking in my ballet flats.
Seriously. I had an upset stomach. I felt like I was coming down with something. Part of me wanted to sneak out the back door and keep walking.
Why? I mean, what in the heck??! I wanted it, I went for it, I was so psyched. I had done just enough preparing. I loved the folks in the crowd, it was a totally supportive atmosphere.
It’s just that…fear happens. Even when you want whatever it is that’s also scaring the crap out of you. It’s so very human of us to go into panic mode when we’re doing something that helps us grow.
Next time you’re in that clammy, clenched up place (like my toes in those ballet flats), remember:
Where there’s fear, there’s possibility. (Click to Tweet!)
Because fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. And you are big enough to contain both of those emotions and still be able to show up and do great.
Here’s a quick list of ways to feel the fear and do it anyway—whatever ‘it’ is for you:
- Remind yourself how great you’re going to feel the second—the second!—said scary thing is over
- Focus on some part of your body—your feet, your breath, your belly button—and give your mind something else to chew on instead of that same old “Let’s get the farg out of here” bone it’s been gnawing on
- Get curious about how the fear is actually showing up in your body. Are you jittery? Spacy? Revved up? Try rebranding that sensation and experience it as something positive. Give it a name, maybe it’s “power surge” or maybe it’s “zoomy” or something that’s not anything that you could ever feel bad about having. Use it to your advantage.
- Breathe it out with my fave calm-down-in-public thing to do: inhale, exhale, pause. Repeat repeat repeat, and no one will ever know you’re up against the ropes.
- Reach out for support. I texted a dear friend in those moments leading up and she typed out some sweet nothings that steadied me.
- Don’t fight it. What you resist persists. Tell yourself, “Yes, I’m scared, but I’ve got this. And I’m doing it anyway.”
The fear is workable. And it’s a sign that some piece of you that believes that whatever it is you want isn’t available to you is about to melt, like the Wicked Witch of the West when Dorothy accidentally spills water on her.
Because when you can show up for what you want, even when—or especially when—you’re in a cold sweat about it, there is always a beautiful gift awaiting you on the other side.