How To Become Fearless
In 2018, I did something that terrified me. I asked a few friends to help me to take a picture on a bridge, outside, in the last week of December. I wanted to do something scary as I got my photo done for 2019 for my word of the year, Fearless.
Facing your fears is the only way to overcome them. I am terrified of falling on ice in the winter. Gravity loves to reach out and embrace me quickly when I fall. It happens so fast I am often on the ground in utter shock before I can fathom how I am supposed to get up again.
That day, with snow and ice on the ground, and on the bridge, we went up together. I struck a few poses to get the picture you see featured for this article. Climbing up onto an icy bridge to get the picture I needed to show myself that I would be fearless for the whole year was scary. But I did it!
It did not mean that I wasn’t petrified of falling down and hurting myself. I was and still am really scared of falling on ice. But I did it anyway.
Fast forward to 2021. I stood on my front step today, looking at a foot of heavy snow. Winter popped in on Groundhog Day to remind us it isn’t spring, yet. I looked at all of the snow, and I got started shoveling. Three hours later, I do not know if I have enough energy to go at it for another hour, which is how long it will take me to finish.
As I rest, I hope I can work tomorrow. I have a short shift, but I need to be able to get there, so I had to take the time today to shovel. I am also concerned with the effects it will have on me. I am not an athlete. My husband hurt his back last weekend, so I did as much as I could today. (Good news, he faced his fear of being in pain and completed the shoveling). Yay!
Things are changing in my world. I have become more involved with a great group of women online, in a virtual village, Biscotti Park. It is based on the original theory of the Mayor of this village, when she wanted to network but wasn’t able to leave her home, after recently moving. She was homeschooling her daughter and missed the interactions she used to have with colleagues and clients at her former jobs. It led her to create 100 Coffees, a virtual cafe. Her idea was to allow other women entrepreneurs to connect and network, virtually, by having 100 coffees a year. If we all meet two new people every week, we will have coffee with 100 people throughout the year. Coffee is a verb in our online space.
Not only do we grow our potential customer bases, but we also find that we are making friends within the village. When the virtual cafe began changing, I really wasn’t sure how to navigate it. All of a sudden, it seemed to be thriving, with people hanging out at the cafe, and building their own virtual spaces in the neighborhood. With the village taking on the name Biscotti Park, and the original cafe being named Holy Grounds, I found myself fascinated as it grew before my eyes.
Suddenly people were advising me that I need to coffee with this member, or that member, and the newer members didn’t know who I was. It was growing so fast that I felt like I was being left behind. I reached out to the mayor for a coffee and started to get an idea of what was happening. The next thing I knew, I was planning to open my own virtual space, to get in on all of the fun everyone is having at Biscotti Park.
I am settling on a date for my ribbon-cutting ceremony. Every member of the neighborhood gets one when their space opens. Not every member of Biscotti Park has their own virtual space (which is a Facebook Group with numerous groups linked to it, if you weren’t sure what I was describing). Some members are perfectly content to visit, explore, and take in what the other members have built. I am still not sure if I am ever going to be ready, but I have a date in mind, and I will be working to prepare things on my side as the day gets closer.
What is my space going to be like? I’m not sure that I can answer fully at this point. I have found a picture of what the outside might look like if it were not a virtual space. The one thing I will say for sure is that the Mayor really set the tone for it when she said it was, ” …going to be a place of all things Tish!” It will be one location for people to connect with me as I grow my businesses, expand my author portfolio, and come up with a few surprises as I figure it all out. The Mayor of Biscotti Park has been incredibly helpful to me as I figure out what I want to do in my virtual space. The plans have been revised several times, and each revision brings me closer to knowing what it will be.
As I have coffee with the members of Biscotti Park, I am finding myself being welcomed into new virtual spaces, and invited to share my knowledge with even more members. It is fun to meet with women who want to help you to grow in your own space, right beside them. It is also terrifying to think about creating presentations for women who have been in the entrepreneur lifestyle, who are succeeding with their own businesses while I have not yet reached their level of experience and expertise.
Am I concerned about it being perfect before I get to the ribbon-cutting ceremony? Absolutely. Here is the thing, though. If I wait for it to be perfect before it opens, that day will never come. It would be a terrible shame to miss out on what could be the biggest entrepreneurial opportunity of my life because I am too scared to put my ideas out there, into Biscotti Park. So guess what? I am going to do it scared. That is the secret to becoming fearless. To acknowledge what terrifies you, and to bravely move forward to do whatever it is, anyway. Even if it is not perfect, and you do not feel ready. Procrastination, delays, and avoidance of working on projects are really just excuses you tell yourself to stay in your comfort zone.
To be fearless, you need to face what scares you, and take action to push through the fear to your next level of excellence. If you challenge yourself with your fears and move past them, it will open you up to greater opportunities. No matter what you are afraid to do, if you take action, you will be able to celebrate your achievements as you grow into the person you were created to be. Gather your friends, take that first step, pace yourself, and take note of the lessons you learn on your way. You never know who might benefit from your story. You might be the right person to lend a hand to someone who is too scared to take the first step alone.
Featured photo by Matthew Watson; photo edited by Tish MacWebber via Canva.