As I embark upon this new venture, I know that I will have to overcome many of my fears, so today I start by tackling the first one, fear of writing. Writing is one of my own personal fears; I say ‘one’ because like most of us, I have many fears. This is the first article I have written for public reading, apart from documents I have written for work.
Why do I fear writing? I’ve always avoided writing anything that is likely to be read by people other than myself for fear of criticism, whether that be poor quality of English or not being able to get my point across succinctly. I spent most of my life allowing this fear to stop me from progressing and avoided taking up opportunities that would involve having to deal with this fear. I understand that if I am to be successful in pursuing my career as a Coach and fulfilling my objective of reaching out to people, I have to confront this fear head-on. So here I am confronting my fear in a very public way, my first blog post.
Fear stifles us, even in the most basic of ways. We use it as an excuse not to do something, and it takes control of us and our actions, whether this is in our professional life or personal life. The trouble is that it doesn’t just affect us; it affects the people around us. Fear of speaking out in a meeting or presenting to an audience or applying for your next promotion stops not only you progressing, but also it stops everyone from benefiting from what you have to offer. Your idea, if spoken out could be the solution to an unresolved problem. In a personal environment it could be fear of telling a family member that they upset or annoy you with something they repeatedly do or say. This results in the relationship becoming strained and you not wanting to be in the company of the person and this could, in turn, affect other family members and have an impact on family events.
Even success can be fearful. Fear that if you succeed you will lose your friends and colleagues.
There is nothing wrong with being fearful, in fact its healthy to be fearful. It illustrates that you have passion and you care. The problem comes when you allow that fear to take control of you and stop you fulfilling your dreams and desires.
So my key message to you is that it is okay to feel fear, but don’t let it stop you, feel it, accept it but also confront it. Consider the consequences and the impact that fear is having on you, your life and the people around you. Picture how different things would be if your fear wasn’t there. As Susan Jeffers said, “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.
I would like to dedicate this article to my 15-year-old son, Benedict, who insists on being called Ben. Ben is talented at writing, he gave me his top tips for writing, he coached me through writing this article and agreed to review it for me. “Thank you for your patience and support. You helped me overcome my fear and you have been instrumental in giving me the confidence to start doing this, you make me very proud, I love you”.