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Scared Great

“Always do what you are afraid to do.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have spent most of my life paralyzed by fear, making choices based on what others would think, what I felt I was expected to do, and what I believed I could do perfectly. I rarely challenged myself to go outside of my “box” for fear of failure, criticism, rejection, … you name it. Well, yesterday, as I read my Facebook friend’s status, I realized her month of gratitude had come to a close. For the entire month of November, she posted a status each day of something she was grateful for. I thought it was an awesome idea and a real challenge. I mean, it’s a lot easier to gripe via Facebook than to be positive and find thirty things that you’re happy about, much less to commit to doing it publicly. So I thought to myself, “Hmmm… I wonder what can I commit to for a month.” Then I heard, “do it afraid.” The words of my dear friend—and fellow blogger—Danielle Navonne, rushed back to me from our conversation earlier that night. We had talked about how fear was keeping me from making major advances regarding my new children’s book. So, I decided last night that I will commit to facing my fears every day for one month.

For the entire month of December, I will push myself to do one thing each day that freaks me out, totally terrifies me, and pushes me forward, exposing the greatness within me. I am going to “scare myself great!”

Why don’t you join me? For the entire month of December, do something each day that you’ve been putting off because of fear—something that you know you should be doing, or have wanted to do, that will push you forward (not backwards ;)). This month just started so just do two things today, that terrify you and you’ll be caught up. 😉 Whether it is to join a meetup group for songwriters, sign up for that half marathon, finally say “hi” to the cute chick in your building, or pass out flyers to strangers for your upcoming book signing, do it.

I learned yesterday, as I walked up on strangers handing them flyers, that the stories we tell ourselves about what is going to happen when we put ourselves “out there” are typically far worse than what actually happens. The gas station attendant didn’t yell, “GET OUT OF HERE! NO SOLICITING!” and throw my flyers on the ground. She actually said, “Good for you! I’m glad to help. Put your flyers here on the counter, where people can see them.” Surprisingly, most people were very happy for me. I’m glad I overcame myself and did it.

Publicly outing myself about this on my blog was my challenge for today, although, I may do a few more terrifying things before I go to bed. (It’s a little addictive once you get going.) I think this will be great for you as it is already paying off for me. So, what will be your terrifying thing, today? Tell me below, how will you scare yourself great?

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Just Do It!

Last month I challenged myself to spend all of December scaring myself into my greatness. In short, I made a conscious decision to do things that I normally would avoid because they were “too scary” or just “not me.” So last month I took my introverted self to a huge natural hair event (organized by Rachel O.), the following weekend I hosted my first book signing for my new children’s book (I’m Proud to Be Natural Me!™), and my scariest undertaking of all… drumroll please…. I registered for Fear Experiment 4!

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What is Fear Experiment 4?

FE4 is an amazing opportunity for people like myself to face our fears in an environment of support and … mutual terror. I, for example, am completely terrified of doing anything that I am not great at. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. So every time I find a typo in my blog (I know you’ve already found some), I fight the urge to crawl under a rock and never blog again. I like to be prepared, rehearsed, and virtually incapable of failure at all times so what better class to sign up for than improv? Yeah, I signed up for IE3, which means that on Friday, April 5th, at 8pm, I will be on stage at the Park West intentionally making a fool of myself, in front of seven hundred plus people! I am so excited and completely terrified at the same time that I can hardly wait for Thursday’s rehearsal. I’m looking forward to sharing this awesome experience with 17 of the most amazing people who, like me, dared to scare themselves great.

Fear Experiment 4 - Improv

IE3 – 17 of the most courageous people on Earth!

So, enough about me. What are you going to do to scare yourself into your greatness? What decision will you make today that will push you a little bit closer to your goals? How can you challenge yourself to do the thing that you’ve been telling yourself for years is “too scary” or just not you? I had a dream the other day where I told someone “every decision you make either brings you closer to your dreams or farther away from them.” Stop wasting time thinking of every reason (or excuse) for not doing something challenging. Just do it. My thirty-day journey in December helped me realize that scaring myself great is the way I want to live my life. I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to guide my 2013 by Nike’s signature phrase, “Just do it.” Being afraid is not an excuse anymore. I hesitate each time I tell a new person about my children’s book, and quite frankly, I am terrified about getting up on that stage April 5th. But I am more afraid of living a life that is less than what I want for myself and my family. So the next time a great opportunity comes your way, don’t talk yourself out of it. If it’s going to move you forward, JUST DO IT!

If you’d like to come out and support us in April at the Park West in Chicago. Click the link below for more details! I’d love your support. Maybe it’ll inspire you.

*** TICKETS TO FEAR EXPERIMENT 4 ON SALE NOW! Click here for tickets and information.***

************* UPDATE *************

The show was beyond awesome! We received a standing ovation. The experience shook me so far out of my fears I can barely recognize the person I was before. It has been tremendous for me socially and in networking. Find away to shake off what’s inhibiting to you.

We now join the list of greats who've performed at the Park West!

We now join the list of greats who’ve performed at the Park West!

(Hint: if it doesn’t feel REALLY uncomfortable, it probably won’t do the trick.)

Oh, and we got a standing ovation. :)

Nothing like a standing ovation from 700 people.

Read my previous post “Scared Great” to hear the full story.

 
 

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