Learning to Soar While Afraid


"Do you realize that in your imperfection you're perfect for the job?"

- Lisa Nichols

While perusing Facebook I came across this very inspiring video clip of Lisa Nichols, a motivational speaker and Founder / CEO of Motivating the Masses. It was my first time hearing of her and she struck a chord so spot on that I had to share it.  

It took me about a year and a half to quit my job.

I'd made the decision to leave, but was too afraid to do it.

A perfectionist at heart, I was so afraid to be left with nothing -- to fail -- that I remained still. I convinced myself that the right moment would come and then I'd be out. In the meantime I stood at the edge making excuses as to why I wasn't ready yet. 

"First" I had to fix up my website. "First" I had to network some more. "First" I had to like my logo enough. "First" I had to map out a plan. "First" I had to save "enough" money.

In order to leap I had to be "perfect".

But really: first, I had to believe. I had to be willing to trust myself and continuously learn along the way. 

Deep down I was afraid to trust my talents. I wanted to start blogging, travel the world, and become a freelance consultant and was 75% sure I would fail. My friends questioned my risky dreams and their fears piled on top of mine, convincing me I wasn't ready. 

Organization became a way to procrastinate. Empty goals became ways to push back ... until I found the confidence I needed. 

I am a serial organizational procrastinator.

Say that three times fast. I have charts on charts on charts; excel sheets on excel sheets; calendars on calendars; and to-do lists on to-do lists on to-do lists. But every time it's time to just "DO" and "BE", my stomach gets a little twisted, breathing gets a little more difficult, and my perfectionism swoops in to tell me "maybe if I did this first, it would be much better."

Fear is natural. Nerves are natural. But why not embrace our fear and nerves while we soar? 

During the last six months at my job I became a different Olivia and instead of procrastinating by fear, I finally started moving. I started using all of the unfinished tools and goals I laid out for myself and put them to work. 

Saving "enough" money to quit my job and travel wasn't an action oriented goal. It was vague. It was led by fear. Saving a set amount of money in a specific timeframe to quit my job and subsidize a year of travel was a REAL PLAN. 

Making a good enough website worthy of showing people was also a vague goal. Realizing that my website, logo, and custom domain was good enough and actually beginning to write on the blog was a real move FORWARD. 

Those real plans were leaps. They were scary for me. And they still are, to this day. 

For example: this week I was accepted to a sponsored campaign on a network I've been a part of for a year. I had never submitted my blog to a campaign on this network because I didn't think it was "good enough". Despite having an audience, brand partnerships, and traveling the world while managing it all, I somehow felt like my blog wasn't ready. 

I caught myself in the same predicament I was in at my corporate job: stalling because of fear.

Missing out on big opportunities because I convinced myself they wouldn't want me. 

The moment I realized what I was doing I got up, took 20 minutes to submit an application and moved on with my day. I'd love to say it was easy but it wasn't. The whole day I sat embarrassed thinking I'd made a fool of myself for applying. But I did it. I jumped afraid and maybe I was going to fall ... but I did it. And if I got the chance to follow through, I would show them my worth.

What will be will be -- including success -- unless you never try.  

Within days, the campaign emailed me back and immediately accepted my brand as a perfect fit. I felt silly. There I was doubting myself for a year and all I had to do was trust that I'd put in enough work into my craft to take the leap. 

Share this Pinterest-friendly image & encourage someone you love to leap 

Share this Pinterest-friendly image & encourage someone you love to leap 

Why not soar while afraid?  

If you never take the leap you will never know if you will fly.  

The most successful people are the ones that take chances. The ones that take the ultimate leap. Don't let your fears convince you otherwise.

We will never be perfect. Not you. Not me. Not them. But your craft will be good enough if you believe in it, trust the hard work you've put into it, and take the first step forward. Otherwise opportunities will pass you by while you convince yourself you need more time. 

What are you afraid of? 

Is it travel? Quitting your job? Starting a new business? Moving? Going back to school? Falling in love? 

Today, try to leap while afraid -- even if it is small.