Before we jump in: This article was originally shared with my email community in October 2017. I'm sharing it with you on the blog today in the hope that it may be of some encouragement and insight to you in your creative journey right now, and also give you a little sneak peak of what you can expect from Weekly Letters too. If you'd like to receive letters like this one straight to your inbox every Sunday, you can sign up below. You'll also have access to over 100 past Weekly Letters too!
It’s a topic I explore over and over again with my clients. How to cultivate it, how to be brave even when we’re crippled with fear, how to move forward in our creative work and lives even when we’re so so afraid that we will fail, that we will be judged, and that we’re not good enough.
I’m almost certain you will be able to relate to some of these conversations.
The freelancer who is ready to truly claim her expertise and build the business she’s aching for, even though her imposter syndrome and self-doubt can feel overwhelming and lead to resistance and inaction when she starts to take those big leaps forward with her business.
The coach who is ready to increase her prices, honour her boundaries, and take up more space in the world with her work but is so afraid that her dream clients won’t be able to afford her, that she doesn’t have permission to set those boundaries, and that her work isn’t as meaningful as she hopes it can be.
The blogger who is ready to break out of the feast and famine cycle of waiting for brands to decide to work with her, and instead build her own income streams that she has complete control of - even though she feels wildly out of her comfort zone and afraid that she’s not capable of being the business owner she wants to be.
The writer who is oh so ready to live her truth out loud and tell her story, but is overwhelmed by the fear that nobody will want to read her work, that she’ll never be able to make a living doing what she truly loves, and that she’ll be judged for the more vulnerable parts of her story that she wants to share.
I always tell me clients that I would be lying to them if I said that there’s a quick and easy way to overcome our fears and take brave and bold steps forward in our creative work and life. But what I do know is this - courage is a muscle. We have the ability to cultivate it ourselves, to nurture it every step of the way, and to strengthen it with each step we take. And with every brave and bold step we take, it becomes easier to dig deep and find the courage we need to keep going. Just like any muscle, the more we use it, the more it grows.
I encourage them to start by asking themselves each morning:
How can I be the bravest version of myself today in my creative work and life?
Maybe it’s just by showing up to your laptop, sitting down and doing the work, and sticking with it even when it feels scary and tough.
Maybe it’s by saying no to the things that will distract you from building the impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable creative life that you’re aching for.
Maybe it’s by finally getting started on that new project, podcast, book, or product you’ve been dreaming of but been too afraid to pursue.
Maybe it’s by replying to that email, returning that phone call, or saying yes to that coffee date that may lead to an exciting new opportunity.
Maybe it’s by reaching out to a friend, coach, or mentor, asking them for help, and giving yourself permission to not have to do this journey on your own anymore.
Your fears aren’t going to disappear overnight. You’re a living, breathing, human being - fear will always be a part of this journey. The challenge isn’t to become fearless - it’s to become able to live wholeheartedly and take action towards our goals and dreams even when fear is along for the ride.
So here’s my challenge to you today: ask yourself every morning how you can be the bravest version of yourself today. And in those moments where fear, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome feel overwhelming, ask yourself - how can I be the bravest version of myself in this moment? What small courageous step can I take in the direction of the creative work and life that I’m aching for?
As always, I’m rooting for you!
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