Redefining Fear: My New ‘F’ Word

redefining fear

The Unseen Battle Behind Success

I've often been asked about the secrets behind running a successful small business, and while many expect a story filled with only triumph and confidence, the truth involves a more complex, unseen battle. It's the struggle with the 'F' word – and no, not failure, but fear.

The Journey of a Thousand Kilometres

Fear is the quiet voice that whispers caution when excitement beckons us to take a leap. It's there when we pick up a pen to write, as hit 'send' on a manuscript, and even as we consider the idea of publishing our work.

Let's get personal for a moment. At 21, I was the Ann who jumped on a plane to London in pursuit of adventure and a dream. From the outside, I was fearless. But what you didn't see was the multitude of fears whispering in my ear, trying to convince me I wasn't good enough, that I was an imposter in my own life story.

The Mask of Success

Behind every success, there is a person who has doubted themselves. I've battled self-doubt, hesitancy, and the ever-present imposter syndrome. But here's the thing: it's not the absence of fear that defines us; it's what we do despite it.

Fear in the Shadows

It lurks in the shadows of our ambitions, masking itself as rational caution or sensible hesitation. But make no mistake, it's fear alright, and it's potent enough to derail dreams.

The Power of Belief

On the flip side, belief is the light that scatters the shadows. It's the antidote to fear's paralysing poison. Belief in one's self is not about cockiness; it's about recognising that the voice telling you 'you can't' isn't the truth. It's just fear talking.

Fear Versus Dreams

In the world of publishing, I've seen fear take on many forms:

  • The Fear of Rejection: It tells you your work isn't worthy of being read, much less published.
  • The Fear of Criticism: It convinces you that every critique is a personal attack rather than an opportunity to grow.
  • The Fear of Failure: It paralyses, keeps you from even trying, because not trying means not failing, right?

But here's the kicker: when we push past fear, we open up a world of possibilities. We give our stories a chance to inspire, to entertain, and to touch lives.

Real Stories of Courage

I've witnessed authors who trembled at the thought of someone else reading their words. (I get this, I was terrified when I sent my draft off to the editor. All I could hear was my English teacher telling me it wasn’t good enough.) But they published anyway. And you know what? Their books didn't just sell; they resonated with readers who saw parts of their own lives written on the pages.

The Blueprint for Overcoming Fear

So, how do you do it? How do you push past the fear and towards your goals?

Acknowledge the Fear

The first step is to acknowledge it. Yes, I am scared. But why? Understand your fear, and you take away its power.

Reframe the Narrative

Then, reframe the narrative. Fear is not a stop sign; it's a caution sign that asks you to proceed with awareness, not to turn back.

Small Steps Forward

Take small steps. Fear grows when faced with the entirety of our dreams. Break it down—write a page, then a chapter. Focus on a daily word count not the final number.

Support Systems

And don't go it alone. Surround yourself with people who believe in you when you struggle to believe in yourself.

The Invitation

This blog isn't about me. It's about you—the author with a story to tell, the dreamer with a vision to share. It's about all of us who have let fear dictate our narrative at one point or another.

I'm extending an invitation to you: if you're ready to redefine fear and take the next step in your publishing journey, let's talk. Your story deserves to be heard, your dreams deserve to be pursued, and your voice deserves to be shared.

Fear will always be a part of the equation, but it doesn't have to be the result. From personal experience and many conversations with fellow midlife female entrepreneurs we are very good at one thing, and that is devaluing our expertise and knowledge. We allow fear to keep us in the shadows. My mission is to redefine fear, not as a barrier, but as a challenge to rise above. It's a challenge I accept daily, and I hope you'll join me.

Let's redefine fear together. Your stories are waiting to be told, and the world is waiting to hear them. Fear is my new F word and it is time to say F off to Fear…