Fear Is a Liar: Or How $64K in Credit-Card Debt Changed My Life for the Better
I’m 43 years old, and I’ve been running a web design business for the last 13 years. I actually started as a virtual assistant, but as time progressed, I realized my real talent was in designing and helping women entrepreneurs show up in the online world as an accurate representation of who they really are and the passion that they bring to their business.
But before that, I was a wife and a mom. I got married in 1997 and had my oldest son in 2002. I had my daughter in 2004 and my youngest son in 2006—which makes it sound like I’m a great planner. But the truth is, the second two were accidents, and I actually spent the years between 2002 and 2006 either pregnant or breastfeeding.
I was a stay-at-home-mom, and if you’ve known me for more than five minutes, it will become quite evident that the stay-at-home-mom racket is not for me. I’m very high energy, I like to always be doing something, and I love to interact with grown-ass adults who can keep up with me.
At the time, we were a one-income family. My husband was a teacher (they make squat) and I, quite frankly, was bored. I have this bad habit of wanting things to do, and money to buy the crap I want—and when you have one income and three children, that’s just not a thing you have.
So, I began mystery shopping. And buying things. And claiming I had the money to buy whatever I wanted.
I ended up in quite a bit of debt that my husband didn’t know about and without the means to actually make enough money to pay it off. I wrote a book about it, and you can see me to buy a copy later, if you haven’t already gotten one. 😉
My business was born out of the fact that I had three small children, with the oldest being three—and a deep desire to pay off that debt and keep my husband.
Which leads me to my topic: If you are determined enough, anything is possible.
I am the living embodiment of this idea, for several reasons.
I paid off $64K in credit-card debt in under three years.
I began a business in 2006 (having never done that before) and still pay my bills with that today.
I wrote a freaking book about my journey and got it published.
And now, I’m transitioning to the work I’m really passionate about: working with women on ways to live their lives more boldly.
I am uniquely qualified to do this work because I am a mom, and I’ve been there. I’ve felt lost in caring for my children. I’ve forgotten what it was I love doing. I’ve given up my time and talents in the pursuit of being the best mom—and I’m here to tell you that there is a better way.
This better way of mine starts with recognizing that you are trapped in a pattern of fear.
Fear is the number one thing holding you back. Whether it’s fear of failure, or fear of being judged, or fear of choosing the wrong passion—fear is holding you prisoner in a cage of your own creating.
So, let’s start out by dispelling this notion.
1. Fear is a liar.
Once you realize this, you will understand that there is no such thing as failure. There are only lessons. If you try something and it doesn’t work out well, learn from it and try again.
2. People are going to judge you.
You know what? They probably will. So what? They will talk about you. They will make comments. And they will promptly forget about whatever it was you did. You have to stop worrying so much about what those cowards think. If they weren’t sitting on their asses doing nothing, they’d be too busy to worry about what you were doing. You’ve got cojones. They’ve got an ass groove in their couch.
3. You might choose the wrong passion
Yeah, you might. When I started my business, it wasn’t because I loved helping entrepreneurs manage the online portion of their website. It was because I needed to pay bills. It grew into something that I love doing (when I’m working with the exact right clients), but I didn’t pick it because it lit a fire in my belly.
But it led me to where I am right now—and I am finally, after all these years, completely 100000% positive about what my passion is. I wouldn’t have figured it out if I hadn’t tried and failed at a few things along the way, though.
Back at the beginning of my journey (and certainly before I started down this road), fear was a thing that I used as an excuse for why I couldn’t, or shouldn’t, chase my dreams.
Now I use it as a tool.
I’m scared all the time. Of everything. But I just do it, anyway.
The more scared I am, the more I know that’s the right way.
(Except for hiking Half Dome in Yosemite. Or Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. Because that fear is reminding me that I have shitty depth perception and I might actually die.)