I am Not Afraid

I just returned from a weekend-long workshop where I learned a bunch of things about myself as a person and a business professional. I won’t get all mushy on you, but one thing stood out and I just have to share it. I wish I could take credit for this profound statement and realization, but in fact, it came from one of the presenters at the conference. His name is Roderick Russell, and I like to say he defies explanation. His profile says “sword swallower/mind-reader/stage hypnotist” and he has this great podcast, but that isn’t who he is – it’s just what he does. He lives life to its fullest and I appreciate that 100%.

Long story short, after Roderick’s show (where he did some fire eating and sword swallowing), he grabbed a chair and joined us for a more intimate discussion about success, failure, goals – anything really. Then he said something that made me stop in my tracks. I’m going to paraphrase here and tell you what I took away from it.

How many times have you said (or thought) “I am afraid”? The reality is YOU ARE NOT afraid. You cannot be afraid as you are not fear. You can feel fear but you cannot BE fear. Feeling fear can be good. Fear can be motivational. It can move you outside your comfort zone. It can help you succeed and reach goals. But the reality is YOU ARE NOT FEAR. So next time you think you are afraid, stop and rephrase it. Embrace the emotion you are feeling and let it empower you.

I am not afraid but I feel fear. And this is what I am going to do about it.

Wow. Deep breath. Ok, so I said I’m not going to get all mushy on you but seriously, as a business person, how many times have you taken a risk and been afraid? If you are like me, this happens all the time! Risk is inherently scary! But it is also empowering. And without risk there is no real reward, right?

So here I am, back at my desk 24 hours later and I’m trying to work on projects: blog posts, SEO, wireframes, a marketing automation campaign…and I keep hearing this message like a broken record going through my mind. I’m sure it also has a lot to do with all the other stuff I learned this weekend but this one little nugget in particular is making me rethink everything. I have this “go for it” attitude right now. I can do…anything.

And do anything I will. An opportunity just presented itself and my heart is racing and my pulse is fast – but I am not afraid. I feel excited. I feel passion. I feel possibility. I feel empowered. I feel fear…but I am not afraid.