Many times in my life, obstacles, challenges, adversity, and fear have risen up on my path towards success. They have often been the catalysts that have sparked me toward redefining who I really am, shining light on what I really can accomplish and to test the boundaries of my own limitations. With each unfolding, life polishes a facet of the diamond that I am, showing the world the unearthed brilliance that is uniquely mine, just as it is for each of us.
I have encountered fear in one guise or another, especially when facing profound transitions. One such transition occurred when I decided that it was time for me to take control of my professional destiny and blaze my own trail. After many years of working for others, I left the corporate world to start my own business, first as an independent contractor, then later establishing my own marketing, publicity, social media, sales and leadership coaching business. I was met with fear and uncertainty that was only overshadowed by my unyielding passion, faith, and determination in my ability to succeed, to transcend that fear.
During the 12 years I’ve been self-employed, I have been told many times that I couldn’t obtain a particular client, get my client on a certain show, or accomplish an ambitious task. Rather than let such responses create doubt in me, I use them as fuel for motivation. When someone expresses skepticism, I say to myself, “Just watch me!” then set my sights and goals beyond what anyone would think is possible, following my heart and accomplishing those dreams. I have always expected results, and I get them!
Often I have heard questions of doubt clients who are striking out on their own for the first time: How will I handle the responsibility of running my own business? How can I be successful when nothing is guaranteed? Am I going to make it? Will I fail? When you become your own boss, your success or failure falls entirely on one person – you. The lead horse sets the pace. You have to be more passionate about your dreams than anyone else. There is no safety net of mediocre paychecks that keeps you from reaching your highest potential.
By teaching others to channeling their energy into positive, productive actions, they have learned to meet these challenges, gained greater faith in who they are, stood solid in their abilities, and have been catapulted to the next level.
By jumping into the unknown, even when I’ve felt doubt, I have come to realize that fear itself is the doorway to a greater plateau of my personal and professional development. Challenges are a catalyst for growth, and I question the lessons to be learned at each new plateau. Every time I have overcome a challenge in a new endeavor, I have found that I was stronger and more capable than I ever believed I could be.
As I moved forward in my successful independent career, one thing I realized was that if I want a different result, I have to do things differently. It’s like the quote about insanity, often attributed to Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” We may know this to be true, yet many of us engage in repetitive behaviors and expect the outcomes to change.
Moving beyond these comfort zones we have neatly created for ourselves allows new and wonderful experiences to come into our lives. Make a promise to yourself to constantly aspire for innovation and to do things differently than others, so you get different results.
Saying “yes” without certainty has opened doors to experiences that I never imagined were possible. Jumping into the unknown has allowed me to meet life more boldly and be fully present to the gifts that I currently have, and to gifts that I’m receiving. Transcending my fears has given me greater understanding of who I really am.
I challenge you to show up in a bigger way, get out of your fear box, break the routines and patterns that have kept you feeling safe to expand your horizons. One way of doing this is to say yes more often, especially when you feel like saying no!
I’m not suggesting that you be a doormat; rather, make a conscious effort to transcend your fear to reach that plateau in the sun. Making a simple list of pros and cons is helpful to gain clarity surrounding a specific challenge.
Above all else, don’t let anyone tell you what you are capable of creating for yourself. Ignore the naysayers and move passionately toward your dreams. It’s your time to shine.