Here are just a few examples of things I did that scared me to death but had really awesome outcomes and helped me grow as a human being.
2. Applying to an Ivy League college. Like I said, late bloomer. Never would have guessed I was Ivy League material, but when my SAT's came back I was encouraged to give it a shot. I labored over countless essays, got recommendations from teachers, and endured challenging interviews with the various college admissions people. I got in and they even gave me grant money and all but begged me to attend, but I decided I liked Penn State and their honors program better. Still it was a major confidence boost.
3. Cold calling a potential customer. I had an engineering degree and sales was the farthest thing from my mind when I started job-hunting, but because I was married and limited geographically my job options were limited. So I took a job in technical sales and my boss coached me. The whole thing was a new experience, visiting customers and encouraging them to buy more, but the hardest was calling someone who had never heard of my company or purchased our products. One such call resulted in a massive sale and again, really boosted my confidence.
4. Speaking in front of a crowd. I remember clearly the very first time I had to do this at a breakfast of nearly one hundred male engineers. I practiced and practiced and practiced in my hotel room. I probably shook like a leaf through the whole thing, but afterwards I had one rep after another come up and tell me what a great job I had done. They were probably just being nice, but I liked it enough to do it again, and again, on higher and higher profile platforms. Now public speaking is one of my favorite things to do and a highly valuable skill that few people really have.
5. Joining my church's praise team. I love music and I love to sing but singing in front of other people still scares the heck out of me. Somehow someone convinced me to join our smallish church's praise team on vocals. I still got nervous every Sunday but once the Associate Pastor said to me how much he enjoyed my work on praise team...because of my smile. He could tell how much I enjoyed worship and it inspired him. Mission accomplished.
6. Childbirth. I know this is kind of a given but doesn't childbirth scare every woman? Well maybe not, but the whole labor and delivery thing freaked me out. I think the positive results here are pretty obvious.
7. Defending myself in federal court. I got sued by my former employer for starting a competing company, more or less. (That's the extremely short explanation.) Just weeks after having my first baby, filled with stress and postpartum hormones, I had to sit up in that chair next to a judge and defend myself with incredible calm and skillfully as I had practiced with my attorneys. I was verbally attacked under cross-examination and even had to admit that I had once lied to my boss under duress. My partners and I won that case and seven years later are still operating a multi-million dollar business.
8. Starting my own photography business. No matter how talented or skilled you are, it's hard the first time you ask someone to pay you for your work. But it's worth it!
|That's me...crow pose.|
10. Running in a four mile race. This hasn't happened yet but takes place in two weeks and I have trained hard for the past three months. I went from huffing and puffing my way through a minute long jog to comfortably running for half an hour. I cannot wait to cross that finish line.
Now I want to hear YOUR story. Tell me one fear you've faced and how it worked out.