(This post was originally shared on NatrulyCourtney.com on Dec. 27, 2014, and has been repurposed for use here.)
Dr. Cheryl Grayson: Perhaps you’re not really putting yourself out there.
Carrie: No, she’s out there.
Grayson: l mean emotionally and physically. Maybe you’re not looking for love in a real way. Maybe you’re not really trying. Maybe you’re not really out there.
Carrie: Believe me. She’s out there.
If you’re a recovering Sex & the City addict like I am, you’ll recognize the above scene and conversation in a heartbeat. If you aren’t, I hope the quotes and illustration provide you with a good understanding of where I’m going with today’s post – there. Where’s there? It’s the arena, or more specifically, your arena. Your niche, your network… Are you really out there?
Last week I attended a media-only networking event hosted by one of the fastest-growing PR agencies in the country, The Garner Circle. I had a great time, scored some awesome freebies, made a few meaningful connections and met some cool people. I can talk candidly about it now, BUT that kindred experience almost didn’t happen. In fact, if I had let fear win, if it hadn’t been for a few nudges from my husband and blogger friend (and the promise of food and drinks), I probably wouldn’t have gone. I wouldn’t have put myself out there.
Well, somehow I felt under prepared. Since launching this site seven months ago, my brand and blog have changed a bit, and my current business cards are (in my opinion) outdated. I thought I needed prettier ones. And, despite my participation in a healthy hair growth/protective styling challenge, I assumed my hair needed to be…prettier. I really believed I needed to prepare for an event dedicated to rejuvenating and relaxing, folks.
I bet you’re sitting at your desk or holding your phone and laughing at me because I sound like a mad woman, and I don’t blame you. What I’ve learned about fear is that it’s almost always irrational. It makes no sense, does us no greater disservice, than to fear what we do not know – or worse, what we do know. If we can conceive it, we can conquer it.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.” – John Lennon
So, I brushed aside my anxiety and unnerving thoughts, dressed up and showed up with my networking basics – a smile, no defenses, a DSLR camera and business cards. I put myself out there.
But maybe you’re going through a similar situation now. Despite having all the resources and brainy quotes about conquering fear, you can’t seem to muster up the courage it takes to make the first step in a fearless pursuit of your dreams. What do you do?
Use my real-life examples as encouragement and affirmations that YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU PUT YOUR MIND – and body – TO!
1. I resolved to (once again) become a published author.
When I learned about a new online destination/magazine for women with content written only by women, I reached out to a contributor I knew and asked her if she could speak with the editor for me. Then, I contacted the editor myself and provided some writing samples. She agreed to bring me on board. When the first contributor deadline approached, I froze and told myself that I wasn’t cut out for the job, albeit non-paid. Again, I pushed past my self-doubt and negative speak, and churned out the articles as assigned. Now, I’m a main writer for FromAWildFlower.com.
2. I wanted to become a paid graphic designer.
In my author and about.me bios, I include that I am an aspiring web designer. Every chance I get to offer my input or opinion on graphic design matters, I do. So, when a blogging buddy asked if I knew anything about switching her blog from a free, WordPress.com account to a self-hosted WordPress.org one, I said I did, and that I could offer my services for a small fee. She accepted. Things went well, and now I present to you ICanRepeatIt.com.
In both situations, I asked someone for help. My good friend GG Renee and site editor Lianne M. helped me search inside myself for stories worth sharing. They motivated me to write because I love to, not because I had to, and told me what I needed to hear. My husband helped me with a few things on the technical side of transferring La Janee’s website, so that I could focus on putting together a functional, attractive design. I did not do everything on my own, but I put myself out there – in the groups, at the events and around the people – to yield the results of my heart’s desires.