The aftermath of an invigorating conference like Content Marketing World is usually two-fold:
- I walk away inspired and empowered to pursue my passions.
- While all that inspiration is surging through me, I go through the recovery phase, which includes a blue period, missing the constant interaction, and recharging from that constant interaction.
You can call me a lot of things but “simple” isn’t one of them.
There’s usually a third phase but I’ve come to accept that particular phase to be a constant in my life. I try to push it out of my mind and forget about it. At times, I’m fooled into thinking I’ve conquered it but it returns at the most inconvenient times to cripple my progress.
As entrepreneurs, we don’t talk about fears as often unless it’s in a book, we’re asked about it, or there’s a listicle on Forbes quoting something we mentioned in a conversation.
We all have fears.
We don’t volunteer this information because we think it makes us look weak.
Maybe it does. Maybe after reading this blog, you’ll reconsider your opinion of me. You have that freedom.
In the professional sense, the common fears are failure, public speaking, taking a leap, going against the grain, running out of money, and at times, looking foolish.
I don’t fear any of these things, mainly because I’ve lived through them and survived.
No, my crippling fear is something so ridiculous, I don’t admit it often.
At least, I don’t admit it so publicly.
Failure is easy to come back from. You take the hit, you go down, but being down means you can always get back up.
When we fail, we learn from our mistakes, ask for help and forgiveness, and we try again.
I’m terrified of succeeding.
I’m not sure how to come to terms with succeeding.
On most days, I still feel like that girl sitting in the back of a cab after being fired from her job. (I talked about this on the Why I Social podcast with Chris Barrows. Give it a listen).
I still feel as if I’m scrambling, as if I constantly have to prove myself.
There are moments I habitually click on a bookmarked job board, even though I no longer need to write for pennies.
I’ve had personal revelations about this before. I’ve written about how I’m going to stop competing with everyone else, how I’m going to stop the comparison game, how I’m going to actually feel proud of my accomplishments.
And I do feel proud – when I let myself stop long enough to recognize them. I worry about being conceited.
What if I’m not accomplished enough in the eyes of others, even when those eyes are blind to what it is I actually do?
I’m staring at the projects I’ve outlined for the remainder of 2016, the waves I want to make in 2017, and feeling crippled by this fear of making a difference.
Ain’t that a kick in the head?
I don’t really have an elegant conclusion to this post, so I’ll leave you with a favorite quote and reminder.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson