For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
I’m scared a lot of the time.
To be honest, I’m downright terrified pretty much any time I do something new. Even if it’s something I’ve done (literally) 1,000 times before—like writing this blog.
I sit in front of my computer and swear nothing new will come out. Or that whatever comes out will suck.
And I’m scared whenever we launch a new Circle round that no one will sign up, even though we’ve been running them continuously for coming on four years now.
And I’m scared whenever we launch a new Mastermind round that no one will sign up there, either—no matter how many of those we run, year after year.
I’m scared I’ll never accomplish my goals. I’m scared people won’t understand me and see my genius. I’m scared of getting hurt in basically any area of my life.
In general, I’m scared a lot of the time.
I used to think that I’d wake up one day and just not be scared. Like after a few hundred blog posts, they’d feel less scary. Or after publishing a book, I’d never be scared to write one. Or after jumping out of an airplane, I’d never be scared to take chances.
And, personally, I can tell you—that’s not the case. It’s not that I’m less scared. It’s that I do it anyway.
I start. And I finish.
Being a visionary is inherently scary. Because our vision is so much bigger than where we are right now. And it can feel overwhelming and—quite frankly—crippling. To keep stepping into bigger aspects of ourselves.
Fear is a sign of growth. It’s a sign that we’re growing to somewhere new and uncomfortable. And I know that if I’m still scared doing something over 1,000 times, it’s because I’m growing into more aspects of myself every time I do it.
For a long time, I thought my role as a visionary was to overcome my fears. To minimize them. To realize they’re not that scary.
But, over the years, I’ve become less interested in minimizing my fear, and more interested in maximizing my courage.
I’m not pretending it’s easier. It’s hard and scary. Our visions bring up everything. They pull us to our limits.
I’m not pretending it’s easier. I’m choosing to grow with the adversity.
I think there was always a part of me that wanted to be saved. That wished for this magic wand to make all my challenges and fears go away. And not have to grow or change at all.
I wanted money to magically appear in my bank account. I wanted clients to magically find my website and sign up without any marketing efforts. I wanted my relationships and friendships to all be perfectly resolved without any work.
I wanted the external to just change. So I didn’t have to deal with the internal.
Because I really, really didn’t want to have to take action when I was afraid. I wanted the fear and challenges to just dissipate. And then get on with my merry way.
I think about the process of marrying Garrett. It started with a secret trip down to Pennsylvania alone to ask for his parents’ blessing. Then somehow sneaking together enough money without him noticing to plan a trip to Italy. Then actually getting him there. Then battling every challenge I could imagine to propose.
I was filled with fear. Every step of it was terrifying. Especially when things didn’t go as planned.
And, so, at our wedding, we both walked down the aisle to a song about the “Hell and paradise here on Earth.” We wanted to make it clear that we weren’t choosing each other when it was easy—on a beautiful sunny day in Aruba. We were choosing all of the challenges, all of the fears—a real life together.
I’m still just as scared as I was back then whenever I try to surprise Garrett with anything. And I’m still scared when I open myself up more vulnerably to him.
But I do it anyway.
It can be easy to assume that those people we see around us who are taking action on their visions are less scared than we are. And maybe that’s true for some of them.
But I’m here to say with pretty good conviction that I’m not one of those people. I’m scared pretty much all the time. I get anxiety every time I start anything new.
But I trust that I am a genius. And, no matter how scared I am, all I have to do is start. Then finish.
Start writing that sentence. Then finish it. Start writing that chapter. Then finish it. Start marketing that program. Then finish it. Start saying the vulnerable thing. Then finish it.
It’s especially hard for us visionaries—those of us who’ve been told we’re “too much” and “not enough.” Because we’ve been told we’re wrong so much that we’ve started to internalize it.
We start to doubt ourselves and switch plans before we ever even finish the first one. Or, worse, we never even start at all.
Our vision will take us to scary heights. Always. Because visions are bigger than the tiny, little boxes the world currently has. Visions are possibilities yet to come.
So it makes sense we’ll be scared. Every time we step into something bigger. Every time we’re called toward a possibility that we’ve never pursued or that the world has never seen.
A long time ago, I gave up on hoping to be less scared one day. And I just decided that my vision is worth it. That I’m worth it.
I started remembering why I’m doing this. Remembering my vision. Remembering the world that I believe is possible. And then committing. To just start. And finish. And then having faith. In myself. In my genius. In my vision. In a greater purpose.
I’m just as scared as I’ve ever been these days. But the difference is I remember why I’m doing this, I commit, and I have faith. In short, I start and I finish from a place of my vision.
Because being a visionary is never about being fearless. It’s about choosing the vision over fear. It’s about choosing love, always.
It’s about getting up every day and asking ourselves, “What’s one step I can take—no matter how small—to share my vision with the world?”
And then starting. And finishing.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Do you think visionaries are fearless?
— Have you always thought of successful and great visionaries of the world as fearless? Have you felt like you just need to overcome your fears or realize they’re not a big deal so you can start taking action?
— Do you start projects but either abandon them or switch course when things aren’t working out and fear takes over? Do you ever start things without finishing them?
— What if you may never be fearless? What if you might always be a little bit afraid, but you choose to take action anyway? What if all you have to do is continue to ask yourself what’s one step you can take toward that vision every day—and then start and finish that step?