Here’s Why Taking Risks Is Worth It:
Isn’t it funny sometimes, how taking risks seems like a crazy idea until we actually do it? As soon as “the big, scary thing” is over, we look back and laugh and say “that wasn’t so bad!” Why, then, do we continue to let fear stop us from doing more “big, scary things”?
I knew my whole life that I wanted to work for myself, from my home, doing what I enjoy. I’m there now, doing that – but I wasn’t always. Every step getting me here can be described as “big, scary, things” that I look back at with laughter and said “that wasn’t so bad!” No matter how many scary things I successfully accomplish, there’s always another. Maybe that’s why most people don’t attempt that first big, scary step. Everyone knows, there will just be another… and another… and another. It’s much easier to just sit still and do nothing, right?!
Not for me. One essential, big, scary thing that I had to do, involved quitting my corporate day job for an unstable, unreliable, freelance gig as a graphic artist and production designer. In society’s eyes I was sacrificing health insurance, a steady income, benefits, paid vacations, retirement planning – all of which are imposed on me as important, yet none of which I had any personal attraction to. I just wanted to create! I wanted it so badly, that I was able to step past the big, scary fear and focus on my dream. I didn’t sit in agony, or worry, or fear of what I’d lost, but as soon as I made the decision to make this dream come true, I committed myself fully. I wasn’t successful overnight, but eventually, I made it to where I am today – working for myself, from my home, doing what I enjoy.
A friend of mine was struggling with the same desire. She worked in a societally driven corporate office that stifled all of her creativity. She wanted, instead, to be in her home studio, creating things out of fabric with her new sewing machine. I was supporting her dreams vie email, phone, and skype (we live 2,000 miles apart). I noticed that I was also encouraging a similar lifestyle to my husband. I was telling both of them that they were born to be creative people. They deserved to be utilizing their gifts to their fullest potential! My husband was reading a lot of spiritual guidance and self-help books and suggested that I write a book of my advice that encourages people to believe in their dreams.
At first, I saw this big, scary, thing. A book? Me? Who would read that? Don’t I need an agent? Will I need to find a publisher? How much will that cost me up-front? How can I ever write a book? Oh, big, scary Monster. Go away. These fearful questions I had up front never actualized in my entire process of writing the now self-published book “Live Life For A Living“. The questions came up, and I had to research each one and find ways to make this work that were just right for me. Yet, in their actual existence, they never, ever were looming, or scary, like they were when I originally thought about them. There were just these little steps along the way, as insignificant as doing dishes, or mopping the floor. That wasn’t so bad.
Now, I have a book. I wrote it. Illustrated it. Self-published it and it’s doing pretty well! That wasn’t so bad! Pretty easy, actually. I just had to commit to doing it. Why then, last Friday, did I freak out by a the next new big, scary thing that was presented to me? A friend suggested that I mail a copy of my book to a very influential writer. My husband agreed that I should do this and suggested two other very influential writers to send my book to. My adrenaline rushes at this thought and I blush while wondering “Why would those big-time celebrities want to read my book?”
Forget that, Fear. I sent the books to the influential writers. There. That wasn’t so bad. What’s next?