I talk a lot about overcoming your fears and doing what you love. But I’m not perfect, and I struggle with that sometimes myself. My new project, PassionBlueprint, is a great example of that. I’m really happy to have launched it, but to be honest, it’s taken much longer than I wanted. The whole project itself has probably been years in the making. I’ve been wanting to share stories of people doing what they love and do something in that space since 2011.
Why did it take me 5 years to actually get to this point? In a word: fear.
For the longest time, I’ve felt like I wasn’t good enough to do something like this. I told myself that there were plenty of other people in that space, who all had more worthwhile value to contribute than I did. I was held back by fear.
So how did I finally get over those fears? It wasn’t easy, and it took a long time. But here are 3 things I did that really helped me – and which can help you overcome your fears too.
1) Get the right support
One of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to get to this point is Ishita Gupta. A couple of years ago, I made the decision to hire her as a coach, and it’s been one of the best choices I’ve made. She’s helped me learn how to get over not feeling like I’m good enough. She’s provided great support throughout the whole journey. She’s helped me figure out the right direction for me when I wasn’t sure where I should head. In short, I couldn’t have done this without her.
It’s not just her. I’ve been really lucky to have awesome friends and family around who support me. I’ve also connected with fellow entrepreneurs who are going through similar stages in their business.
All that has been hugely important. And that’s one of the most important parts of doing what you love: having the right people around you. People who will support you and inspire you and push you. As Lisa Howe said in the first PassionBlueprint episode, “it’d be a mistake to think you can do everything yourself.” Doing what you love is a risky and difficult journey, and having the right support system will make a world of a difference. So if you’re wanting to take that step out, that’s one of my biggest suggestions: surround yourself with the right people. Join communities of people who will give you the support you need, reach out to people who inspire you, connect with the right friends who will push you towards your goals.
2) Find ways to make the process easier
One of the biggest fears I faced when launching the podcast was the fact that I hated listening to my own voice – I don’t like how I sound. I had recorded a few interviews, but to get them up I needed to have them edited. That required listening to my own voice for 30-40 minutes. And that was a huge mental struggle for me. That issue alone probably set me back by at least 6 months.
I talked to Ishita about it, and she basically told me that it wasn’t worth it to stress out about it – and to just outsource it to someone. So I did, and I got the first episode going within a month.
Doing what you love is often a really scary act in itself. The work means much more to you, which also means there’s much more fear involved. So it’s okay to take the path of least resistance and work around obstacles – by outsourcing, getting help, or even just not worrying/thinking about them if they’re not essential at the moment. You’re already taking a difficult scary path, you don’t need to put additional barriers in your way.
3) Practice doing things that scare you
Courage – being able to push past the fear and do things that scare you – is a skill. You can practice it and get better at it. One thing that really helped me gain courage and get to the point of being willing to launch PassionBlueprint is altMBA. I took the altMBA last year, and it was an intense 30-days of learning to ship and do things that scare you.
3 times a week, I had to publish work – work that involved being vulnerable, and that scared me – and accept that it might not be received well, but that’s okay. I had to learn that it’s okay to do things that might fail. I’m still not the best at this, but I’m learning. And as I continue to ship and put myself out there consistently, I’m getting better at it.
You can too. Start small, and take action regularly. It could be one blog post a week. Or perhaps it’s reaching out to one new person. Take small steps regularly, and your confidence and courage will build. And suddenly, the things that scared you once won’t be so scary anymore.
Get the right support, find simple ways around obstacles, and practice. 3 simple things, but they’ll make your journey to doing what you love so much easier.