• The Hopefulist

When fear becomes toxic

I've been in a slump. I seem to have lost my motivation. I've looked and looked and I can't find it anywhere. For the past month I haven't been able to bring myself to do all the amazing work I had been doing. I took a week off for Staycation with my husband and haven't been able to get back on track since. I couldn't figure out why. I have been doing my blog and podcast every day but I haven't really been working on anything else. I have my speech coming up in less than two weeks and I've been focusing all my attention on that. Or have I?

I discussed my first public speaking event with the venue back in February. July seemed so far away then. I had so much time to prepare so I kept putting it off. And putting it off. Now, it's almost here and I'm still not preparing for it properly. I have cleared my schedule for only this one thing and therefore....I'm getting nothing done. I discussed it with my husband yesterday. I told him I don't know why I can't seem to get anything done. I literally read all day long. I can't seem to bring myself to do anything else. In fact, I couldn't even bring myself to do the blog and podcast yesterday. And I never do that! After I finally decided I wasn't going to do the podcast, I went right back to bed. Then I got up and still didn't work on my speech. I started reading again. I did that for awhile and went back and then took my regularly scheduled nap. What the hell is wrong with me? This isn't me. I don't seem depressed. In fact, life is good. So what is going on? It finally dawned on me this morning. I'm afraid. I'm afraid of doing this speech. I'm afraid it will suck. I'm afraid I will be a disappointment. I'm afraid no one will come. I'm afraid people will come. And I'm letting it affect my entire business. I'm letting my fear paralyze me. I'm letting my chances go by because I can't overcome this fear.

I met with the venue earlier this week and there are only two people signed up to come (thank you Adele and Megan!). It was a bit disappointing. It's a weird time. I know people are no really going out much. But it's still a big bummer. The woman talked to me about the possibility of canceling it. I said, "oh no, I won't cancel it." But two more days went by and I still have prepared so I thought...maybe I should just cancel it. Then, I asked myself how I would feel the day after the cancelled speech. How disappointed will I be that I gave up my big chance. Because honestly, even if it's only two people (and I know that at least 5 more people are coming that just haven't signed up yet) maybe I can get through to them. If I can make a difference in just two people's lives, I call that a win. It's going to be great practice for me. It's going to be a way to get my speaking skills on camera. It's a win/win all around. If I don't suck.

I can't believe I am letting this fear dictate my entire life. For at least a whole month now. I know better than this. I tell you to not let this happen yet here I am, doing it myself. I'm ashamed of myself. Not only would canceling this event haunt me forever, but I will be a literal fraud. It's a toxic fear. I'm letting it take over my life and crush all my dreams. I realized all of this just in time. Just in time to do something about it. Just in time to prepare properly and kill it. This is my dream so the fear of failure is huge. It's natural. It's expected. But it only affects me if I let it. I am dedicating the next week and a half to doing nothing except working on this speech. Including not starting any new books so I have no excuse. Because I can't let fear stop me from my dreams. I have to get it in line and show it who's boss. Me...I'm the boss and I call the shots. Not my fear. Your first thought is your intuition...your second is your fear. They go hand in hand. Don't let fear stop you from the life you really want. The worst part is supposed to already know this but I've let it affect me for the past month. But I'm still learning and growing so I hope you grant me some grace.

This speech is such a big deal for me. It is what I plan to do to make money in the next few years. And if it sucks...if I fail, I feel like my business will be over. BUT even if it isn't as good as I want it to be. Even if I do forget whole parts of the speech. Even if I do freeze up and fumble and stumble over my words, I will have the experience. I can review what went wrong, what went right and move forward knowing a little bit better. I don't want to disappoint people. That is my biggest fear. People are actually putting money out for this and I want it to be a great experience. And I know it can be. If I prepare properly! I am the only one who can make sure that happens.

Please, please don't be like me. Don't let an overwhelming, paralyzing fear stop you from going after your goals and dreams. I am just grateful I realized it in time. I have a lot of work to do. But I can do it. I can get it done. I have to. My new favorite phrase, I can...I will...I must!

Ask yourself...what is something you gave up on because you may have been too afraid to continue? There will always be fear. Learning how to navigate around it is the only way to move forward for the life you desire.

It's #cocktailfriday y'all! Are you ready for an adult beverage? I know I will have earned one later today. Go have yourself a great weekend. Stay safe in whatever you do and as always, I'm cheering you on!

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