I was standing on a rail looking down into the water. It looked very, very far away. Fear of heights, my old friend, was trying to pull me back off the ledge. My heart was racing, palms sweating, not from the warmth of a summer day in Northern Wisconsin, but from the anxiety gripping me.
Gulp. Am I seriously going to do this?
Have you ever had that experience where what seems like a million thoughts rush through your head in a split second?
“This is NOT a good idea.”
“Mom would be so freaking out right now.”
“Dad would never allow this.”
“I wonder if this is going to hurt.”
“People do this all the time. They survived.”
It’s funny how similar thoughts come to you when you’re about to make a big decision that regards life, work, or leadership.
“What if this doesn’t work?”
“What if this DOES work, and I really have to deliver what I’m promising?”
“How am I going to explain what I do to others? Family, friends, my spouse?”
For me, right now, in starting a new business, every day seems like jumping off a ledge into the unknown. Blog posts, emails, newsletters, affiliate programs, internet marketing, WordPress. Most of these are quite new experiences, and each requires a bit of a learning curve.
I’ve been going through an online business course, Internet Business Mastery Academy, and I seriously don’t know what to tell people at times. Not because they wouldn’t be supportive, but I just don’t know if they would understand what I’m trying to do.
Maybe it’s my fear speaking again, but until I get this going, I’m not sure I want to deal with the hassle of questions or looks of bewilderment.
It’s true of any new adventure, though, isn’t it? The doubts. The fears. The oncoming questions coming at you. People are mostly curious and want to be supportive with the best intentions. Only, it doesn’t always come across that way.
For a moment, you feel like you’re just hanging in the air. Then, the water comes screaming up at you like a madman.
“Way to go, Will!”
I must have surfaced with a huge grin on my face. My friends were smiling and yelling. I did it. It was my first time to jump off a bridge, and it was quite the rush. It definitely wouldn’t be the last time, either. As quickly as I could, I swam to shore, ran up the road, back to the bridge and jumped again.
I find myself on the rail once again looking down into the water which seems so far below.
I’m writing an eBook, and I don’t want to release it.
Here comes a million thoughts and questions again.
I’m developing a new course, and I’m afraid to put it on my site. What if no one subscribes?
I don’t think this guest post is good enough to send. What if I get rejected (again)?
What if I advertise for a workshop and no one shows up?
The flood of doubts and fears comes rushing back. Will I let my old friend fear pull me back down off the railing? Back to safety and security?
Or will I leap off the rail, hang in the air for the briefest of moments, and plunge into the cool water below, feeling the rush of adrenaline surge through me?
When I’m standing on the ledge, and I’m looking at the water below, I ask myself some questions:
What’s the worst that could happen? No one ever died from a rejected blog post!
If I advertise for a workshop and no one shows up, I will have learned how NOT to market it.
If I publish that eBook, and no one buys it, I can give it away on my site. It’s not a wasted effort.
No one succeeds without some form of failure. The confidence you gain from failing and pushing through will be worth it in the end. And, that rush of adrenaline, or the feeling of satisfaction is quite contagious. It might just keep you going back to that rail over and over again.
The first newsletter subscriber (besides your mom).
100 and then 1000 likes on your Facebook page.
Your first money made online.
The sale of your very first eBook.
The income you’ve made that just replaced your day job.
Ok, I’ve made up my mind. Will you join me?