*Slightly tenuous sports metaphor alert*
Two weeks ago, as I sat there about to hit 'publish' on the launch of my new website, I was suddenly struck by 'the fear'. Despite having worked on Answers On A Postcard for much of the last 6 months, at that very last moment a little voice of doubt crept in!
What if people think it's a stupid idea?! What if people laugh at me!? Maybe this is a mistake ...
I messaged my sister (a.k.a personal life coach) and her reply very simply said:
'DO IT! Remember 'people only tackle the man with the ball'.
And so I pressed 'publish' and proverbially got on the pitch. Let me explain... (and sorry no pics of me playing rugby!)
As the daughter of a PE teacher and mildly obsessive rugby fan, I've spent more than a few weekends in my lifetime watching rugby, while my dad appeared to risk minor injury jumping around in front of the TV cheering on the England team or wincing when one of our players got floored by the opposition!
And those guys get HIT HARD... REPEATEDLY! But two things are important:
1) They're getting tackled because they're out there playing the game and have hold of what everyone wants. Even if fully aware that they might be about to get clattered, they are not sat on the bench watching the action happen.
2) When 100kg of muscle from the other side comes along to take it off them, they run faster, they fight harder, and even if they temporarily lose the ball, they get straight back up, no whinging, and carry on playing.
Be more like the man with the ball.
Whether we like it or not, we live a world where much of what we do is judged in terms of relative success or failure. Shorthand: success = yay; failure = nay :( Only this isn't necessarily how it should be.
Remember how different it was when you were a kid and you would try anything just for the hell of it. You'd climb trees and get stuck; you'd fall off your bike; you'd lose at sports day, but it didn't matter; because you just wanted to have a go! We learned by doing, by making mistakes, by picking ourselves up to try again and we didn't care about what other people thought!
But then as we grow up, we learn that failure hurts. It's potentially embarrassing. People can be mean. Success is safer right!?
So often then we avoid failure AT ALL COSTS! We stay within the comfort zone of a particular job or lifestyle, even if they aren't making us happy because of the worry of making that leap to do something different and screwing it up! We don't get on the pitch for the fear of being tackled.
For years before leaving the UK, I knew I was pretty fed up with life. I wanted to live life differently, but was so scared of getting it wrong and what others might think, that I did nothing about it. I never felt I was quite ready to take the plunge, so of course I put up with feeling s**t on the sidelines.
Better to be safe than sorry right?
But we've got this all wrong!
The best way to get where you want to be is to start doing it! It's just not going to happen if you sit around waiting for the right time or trying to second guess every eventuality.
Whilst it's really scary to put yourself out there to change careers, move abroad, start your business or whatever else, one thing's for sure ... it's definitely not going to happen if you don't give it a go! That might mean feeling vulnerable, being uncomfortable and risking failure. The voice of doubt might list a whole of bunch of things that can go wrong... and realistically some of them might! But so what?!
Does it really matter if it doesn't work out exactly as planned and some people don't agree with what you want to do!? Of course not!
Just imagine how awesome it will feel to start living without fear and being able to unapologetically take that first step towards your goals.
Of course it's not quite that simple ... yes you need to have the balls to make a change, but you also need to plan, plan, and plan some more to make sure it's achievable and doesn't go tits up! It took me a long, long time to start from nowhere and create the life I was dreaming about! But for sure the biggest first step was just saying yes!
I didn't have a master-plan in the beginning ... but by being willing to be flexible and forgiving, I knew that I was on the right track and my ideas began to take shape. Opportunities manifested themselves and despite taking some time, I began to see differences.
Pick up the ball...
So now ask yourself what is really stopping you in your plans? Is it the fear of 'what ifs' and worst case scenarios? Is there any real reason to be bothered by what others think?
The short answer is 'no' and I'm guessing that if you ask yourself really honestly, you might find that you don't agree with how those people want to live their life either ... it works both ways!
Then remind yourself that as a little kid, despite falling off, you learned to ride your bike. And remember that the rugby player that got tackled time and time again, scored the winning try in the match.
Neither of them let fear stop them ... that can be you too.
Besides, to quote Sliding Doors, a film that has nothing to do with rugby at all:
"Hey, what's the worst that could possibly happen?
I could fail miserably and look like a complete tosser.
Exactly, so what is there to worry about?"
It's time to get on the pitch and start playing. Go get tackled!