I have lived with fears most of my life, from a very young age I have had a paralysing fear of spiders, particularly large hairy ones. I think this fear came from a time when my brother threw a bag of plastic spiders over my head, you know the big, black hairy ones!! This left me screaming and crying in hysterics and it took a long time for my Mother to calm me down.
As I grew up I realised that I had a fear of heights, I was never a child who climbed trees or hung off the monkey bars at school. Going up in a lift or walking out onto a lookout always made me dizzy, but so long as I didn’t look down I was okay even if my heart was pounding. This fear stopped me from riding roller coasters for a long time or if I did I would do the entire ride with my eyes closed so that I couldn’t see the ground.
At some time my fear of heights morphed into a fear of bridges. Even today if I drive across the Anzac Bridge here in Sydney my heart races and I hold onto the steering wheel very tightly. Once I drive off the bridge I take a big deep breath and relax. Given my fear of bridges and heights you can only imagine what happens when I am faced with a suspension bridge, I have been known to freeze and not move.
While I am sharing my fears, wow I seem to have a lot of them, there is my fear off swimming in the open ocean. Not sure where this one came from, maybe watching Jaws in my younger days, but I am afraid of fish (or something) biting or touching my feet while I am in the water. I can remember swimming off the side of a boat, in a river, and something touched my leg I almost drowned as I went into a panic, screaming and trying to get back on the boat. The thing that touch me was a piece of weed!!
I think that’s all of my major fears written down. But over the past couple of years I have confronted most of these fears and while the fear still remains in some cases, they don’t paralyse me anymore. Some of the things I have done are
- I have swam with sharks and stingrays
- I have abseiled off the side of the Story Bridge, that was after climbing to the top
- I have jumped off a perfectly good boat into the Pacific Ocean and snorkelled on the reef (no one told me about the sea snake swimming around me)
- I have eaten bugs and insects including big, black, hairy tarantulas
- I have walked over a suspension bridge that was about 30m above the ground. During the crossing I dropped my Tiffany bracelet and had to stop, let go of the rope and pick it up
So given what I have done to conquer my fears you would think that nothing much would scare me anymore. That is completely wrong!
I have realised that I get scared in my business all of the time. All of the fears above are a fear of something that is outside of me, something that is not part of me. My deepest fear is that I am not enough, or that I won’t be accepted.
For the past 3 years I have wanted to run a retreat. Every year I set a date, I even contact different venues to get prices etc. I get everything planned out in my head but every year I cancel it for different reasons. Last year I cancelled it because my Dad was very sick and he passed away. A good reason to cancel you would say but that’s not the real reason (it’s the reason I told myself), it was a get out excuse for me. I have used many different get out excuses in my business over the years.
This year started out the same. I set the date for my retreat. I contacted some retreat centres and got the pricing. It got to the stage that I had to make a booking, pay a non-refundable deposit and announce this retreat to the world.
All of a sudden the fears started, the voices in my head
- what if I don’t sell any tickets
- I will lose my money
- it is too hard to fill events (this is a recurring one for me)
- what if no one wants what I am offering
Voice after voice, bringing up my fear of not being good enough, of not doing enough, of it all being too hard. Rather than give in to the fear this year I decided to get ‘unstuck’ and sit down and meditate and journal. As I was writing in my journal I realised something, I wasn’t really afraid that no one would buy a ticket.
What I was really afraid of was –
“what if I sold all of the tickets?”
This was a bigger fear than not selling any tickets, if I sold tickets the I would have to turn up and deliver the best value that I have to give.
Okay, this realisation set off a lot of other thoughts which I will not go into in this blog (maybe later).
I remembered the quote from one of my favourite poems by Marianne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
Facing my fear, I have paid the deposit to the retreat centre as well as booking my own room for the retreat (I will go on retreat regardless of what the outcome is). This retreat will happen this year on November 16, 17 and 18.
I don’t know how many tickets that I will sell, at this stage I don’t know all of the content that I will deliver at the retreat. What I do know is that I have faced my fears in the past and I will face them again. I want to create a place of retreat for female entrepreneurs, to give them the space to re-connnect back to themselves and their passion. Right now I am not sure how this will all happen but I am damn sure that it will happen.
I am jumping in the water and not knowing what is below the surface.
I am stepping off the ledge into nothingness.
I am swimming face to face with a shark.
I am facing every fear that I have.
If you want to help me conquer this last fear (there are probably more) then why not have a look at the Entrepreneur’s Playdate Retreat and if it looks like something that you need in your life take the leap of faith and book your spot. Click here to find out more.