No, this isn't a joke. October 8th is National Face Your Fears Day. If ever the universe was trying to say something, this is it. I personally struggle with fear. Leaving tech to work at a non-profit start-up doing things I had never done before, starting a conference in India from zero, starting Global Tech Women...the list goes on and on. At this moment I am getting ready to do some things that scare me and I have found myself frozen, unable to move forward. What do I fear? Rejection. Failure. Looking stupid. (I guess the cat is out of the bag now). I was told by coaches and mentors the more often I work outside of my comfort zone the easier this would get. Nope. I still experience fear on a regular basis and it feels just like it did the first time.
Is there something out there on the horizon that frightens you? You are not alone. Sramana Mitra, a highly respected serial entrepreneur and advisor to over 1000 start-ups recently blogged about her fears in How Do You Overcome the Fear of Entrepreneurial Failure? Sramana examines her life and leverages the Hindu religion to put her fear in perspective.
Virginia Sullivan, an author and contributor to the Huffington Post writes in Fear is Your Friend, Shake His Hand that we need fear because "Courage is when the fear behind you becomes more than the fear in front of you." Her advice? Accept it, act, exercise, meditate and welcome it. When we face our fears we grow and become the person we are meant to be.
In speaking with Harriet Tubman Wright just yesterday, her advice to me lays it all on the line. By not doing the thing we fear is worse than the act of moving forward. The time we pause, hesitate, sit there, and contemplate what will happen is actually more painful than moving forward. She is right of course. And now today is National Face Your Fears Day.
Time to move forward. Lookout world.
How are you planning to Celebrate National Face Your Fears Day?