Let Fear Be Your Friend

It is August, so let’s get personal! I have been thinking a lot about fear lately and how letting fear “be my friend” has helped me so much in my life and career. It started when I was thinking about raising children. When you are first raising little ones, you are most concerned with their safety and maintenance (“don’t put that in your month”, “don’t touch the stove, “do wash your hands, and “do brush your teeth”). This takes pretty much all your time, attention and energy. If you are lucky enough to get to do the same thing much later in your life, that part comes second-nature and allows you to focus more on the emotional well-being of the littles.

I noticed that when a little kid says “I’m scared” it is usually not the monster-under-the-bed fear but more of a WHOA-I-don’t-know-what’s-going-to-happen fear. As a creative professional, you should be able to totally relate to this for all of the business and marketing issues we deal with every day. Issues such as getting paid what you want, client conflict, production problems, asking for work, sometimes even asking for anything!

When the littles say “I’m scared” in a WHOA-I-don’t-know-what’s-going-to-happen situation, I now always reply the same way, “Yes, you are afraid because you have not done this a hundred times.” And then it struck me, that’s what I have always said to myself when faced with the same type of fear for business and career issues. Every time I push through and take action, confidence grows and fear subsides.

When you allow fear to stop you, you are not using it for its essential value – a warning, a caution. But a “stop” sign is just that – stop and then make your turn. Stop and then take the action. Stop – look both ways – then cross the street.

Don’t stay standing on the corner, you will be there forever.

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