I’ve heard it said that courage is forging ahead despite the fear. There will always be fear, but fear is the antidote to growth. For many years my clients would ask me to add additional services to my photography. They were pretty clear about what they needed, but because I was terrified of stepping out of my comfort zone, I shrunk back and allowed the fear to get the better of me. Fear of failure kept me small. A small mindset cannot produce growth, and not making a decision is as big a decision as making the wrong one. Clients wanted me to do writing for them. I said I don’t do that. Clients wanted me to produce videos for them. I said I don’t do that. It was a prison of my own making, and this realisation came slowly and painfully. In fact, it took many, many years. Then gradually I realised, as I was dipping my toes in the waters of unchartered territory, that I quite enjoy broadening the scope of my work. The world didn’t end when I wrote an article. Nothing came crashing down when I produced a video. The crowd didn’t ‘boo’ me when I stood up to tell them a story. To the contrary, I learned new skills and discovered that I really enjoy being able to express myself in more than one way. If growth equals life, then choosing not to grow has to equal death. A decidedly undesirable outcome.
Come to think of it, facing your fears seems to be a mindset that carries through to all areas of life. This is a photo of me doing rock climbing outdoors this past Sunday. Outdoor climbing is terrifying, but so much more rewarding than climbing indoors. Despite this, I chose to stick to indoor climbing year after year. Having broken through that mental barrier has helped me to find new enjoyment in an activity that had the potential to become just another form of exercise.
I implore you to go ahead and do that thing that you know you have to do. Do it despite the fear. Push through even when it’s difficult, even when everything inside you yearns to hold onto that which is familiar. Because at the other end of that decision is growth, and that, my friend, is priceless.
Until next time,