Let’s face it- as kids we think we’re ten feet tall and bulletproof.
Fast forward 20 years.
Almost overnight, I became my parents. I’ve settled into a comfortable, predictable routine that governs my days. And for the most part, I like it. I know what to expect. There’s security in that. Sudden change can reduce me to a quivering mass in a millisecond.
But I missed that “Anything is possible, balls to the wall, come hell or high water” mindset of my youth
If I’m completely honest with myself, I probably started getting pretty comfortable in my late 20’s. Throw in a few kids and “balls to the wall” more aptly describes my toddler son than my attitude 😉
So I took a chance and created The Insurance Goddess
I won’t rehash the creation of the character here (read about it), but what I will say is her creation dragged me out of my comfort zone kicking, screaming and pounding my fists like a kid throwing a tantrum at Walmart.
And I don’t think the insurance industry has recovered yet. To which I say, “Good- it needed a swift kick in the ass.” And quite frankly, so did I.
I then presented at a professional industry conference as the Insurance Goddess
I wrote about the experience in a prior post, but here’s the big takeaway- I went before a large room of respected peers and company bigwigs in full regalia. Yes, I was scared STIFF and sweating like a pimply-faced teenager getting ready for a first date. I was intimidated. I took a big chance that I’d be laughed at. Because insurance isn’t exactly known as a fun-loving, laugh-a-minute industry. But I took the challenge for one reason- to show I’m all in when it comes to championing our industry and improving its image.
And that you don’t have to be so serious all the time. Yes, you can have fun in your work. So, lighten up. Please.
I wrote a book
My book is my baby. It’s basically me and my reputation, laid bare for all to see (you can read about it here). You reject it, you reject me. No pressure there ;). And the list of people who have the potential to rip apart your soul is long- your editor, trusted colleagues who are writing testimonials, friends and family who offer their opinions, etc. You’re opening yourself up big time.
And then you’re published and the rest of the world gets its turn to rip you apart.
Talk about a humbling experience. You have to develop a very thick skin. You have to be willing to accept criticism. You have to admit that while you may know your subject matter, you don’t know everything there is to know about getting your manuscript to the finish line. Yeah, totally humbling.
Yet, totally liberating. I decided several months ago that my story had to be told. And I was going to do everything possible to tell it. No matter what. In this case my passion far outweighed my fear. My belief in what I was doing overrode my subconscious who was quite good at putting doubt in my head at every opportunity. And I kicked my subconscious’s ass to the curb every chance I got.
Which leads me to my final point- You are directly responsible for your level of fear
Your level of passion will dictate your level of fear, no question.
Hardcore, scream it from the rooftops passionate? Then fear will take a back seat.
Lukewarm, meh, this is a good idea passionate? Then you’ll be scared shitless.
Your determine the outcome. Get crazy passionate and watch as fear hauls ass out the door. Or stay bland, status quo and stand trembling in a corner. Your choice.