As I walked over to the car I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. “I don’t want to do this,” I kept repeating in my head.
When my boyfriend, Jeff saw that I was about to unload Niagara Falls, he quickly told me, “You don’t have to do this babe!”
Let me back things up a bit. Since I pretty much live in NASCAR, USA it’s inevitable that I’d find friends in racing. A lot of my friends just can’t get a break from NASCAR, and I often find them playing FanDuel whenever they’re not on the track. And if that’s not enough, do you have any idea what people in racing like to do in their spare time when they have a day off from the 40 or so weekends they spend at the track?
Yeah, my friends have a go-cart league. It sounds totally stupid, but they’re ridiculously organized about it. In addition to weigh-ins, trophies and fire suits, they have these ESPN-style videos where they show the action from the track and conduct interviews. A few months ago they had this brilliant idea to have their girlfriends (or girl friends) qualify for the guys. Basically, wherever we finished, would be the position where our guy would start.
Great idea-if your girlfriend is Dale Earnhardt’s niece or something.
On my first day of practice, I decided to be fearless. Listen to Jeff and go full throttle. Which would have been an awesome plan if it had been a drag race-not an outdoor cart race with 11 tight turns. Immediately after I started racing, I decided I hated go-carting and didn’t want to be doing it anymore. Then I flew around the sharpest turn wayyy too fast, sailed off the track, accelerated for some crazy reason and slammed into and under the barrier made of water-filled plastic. Jeff was convinced I’d snapped my neck. Luckily, I was wearing a neck brace and according to the scuffed paint, my helmet definitely served its purpose. The cart was all scratched up and I’d broken the seatbelt mount.
I wasn’t hurt physically, but I felt traumatized. Fucking traumatized.
When Fear Says Hi
Sure there are things that you’re simply afraid of. Heights, spiders, and revolving doors…these you can avoid at all costs if you want, for the mere fact that they just scare the shit out of you. It’s rare that fear will pop up unannounced, whether it is something you know scares you or not.
Maybe you’re afraid to start a business that could potentially fail. Perhaps you’re scared that guy you bump into at Starbucks every Thursday will reject you. Or you want to learn to scuba dive this year but are terrified of the ocean. Or maybe your dream job is working at a construction site, but because of your fear of heights, you have been putting your dream on hold. It may benefit you to take up safety training to try and beat this fear of heights. If this sounds like something you want to give a go, view site here. This isn’t the way to live and everyone should have the chance at pursuing their goals. But don’t forget, there is always a solution to every problem.
Whatever your fear may be, look it dead in the eye when it waves and says “hi” back.
Break it Down
Now that you’ve acknowledged your fear, write down all the horrible things that could happen if you were to face it. What about it causes that feeling too well up in the pit of your stomach?
In regards to the go-cart, I was essentially afraid of sucking. If there’s something I’m not good at, I’ll teach myself without any witnesses until I’m pretty good. Then I’ll let the world see. Obviously, crashing is pretty fucking scary-but I was more afraid of crushing my pride than the possibility of handicapping or killing myself. Which would definitely happen if I crashed again?
Examine Your Opponent
Now that you’re staring at your list, take a look at each point. Yes, starting a business and possibly getting into debt will suck. That guy telling you no when you ask him out will certainly dent your ego. Getting eaten by a shark would really ruin your vacation. These are all pretty solid reasons to be afraid.
Now examine both the likelihood and the severity of the outcome.
Starting a business doesn’t mean you need to jump off the high dive and quit your day job. Sure, businesses fail all the time, but you aren’t just going to wake up tomorrow, take on a random investor, do everything wrong and then be up to your eyeballs in a sea of debt and ruined dreams. No. You’re going to consider your options, educate yourself, make a plan, stick to the plan and work your ass off until you succeed. You can get help with the difficult parts – for example, you might want to outsource payroll to Cloudpay, because payroll can be notoriously demanding – which will give you more time to focus on the aspects which you are good at. And what if you still fail? Yeah, that sucks, but you’ve gained a ton, of experience and know what to change for next time. Of course, a failed business isn’t what any entrepreneur dreams of, so be sure to put all your efforts into making your business succeed. It’s important to remember though, some businesses are more difficult to start than others. For example, independent contractors can find it difficult to get themselves started in an already crowded market. However, there are online resources that can offer them vital advice to ensure their company becomes a success. Independent contractors might want to click here now to get some valuable advice on how to make a business successful. All businesses will need help at some point, so it’s better to do as much research as possible throughout your entrepreneurial journey.
Consider your options, educate yourself, make a plan, stick to the plan and work your ass off!
Asking that guy out doesn’t have to be scary. So what if he says no? It probably has very little to do with you. He could have a wife or a girlfriend. He could have made a vow to never go on dates with girls he meets at Starbucks. Or it could have something to do with you and that he doesn’t find girls with the color of your hair attractive. Oh well! It’s really no skin off your nose–there’s plenty of other guys.
The odds of you getting eaten by a shark, especially with a company that frequently takes groups out to sea is so far beyond unlikely it’s ridiculous. Car accidents are 100 times more likely to occur and you aren’t afraid of driving right? Listen to the instructors, stay with the group, and block all those Jaws movies out of your mind.
For me, I’d already crashed in probably the worst way possible, so physical injury-wise, I wasn’t all that afraid anymore. I just didn’t want to be terrible. I had to consider the fact that these are my friends and they could care less if I’m not the world’s greatest go-carter and the other people there that I didn’t know? Well, they don’t matter at all. I studied the color-coded map Jeff gave me, listened to his coaching of where to brake, turn and accelerate, went back out there, and managed two more practice runs (and yes, that was when I was ready to burst into tears).
Now Aim for the Face
What if you start that business, work hard and achieve the kind of success you only dreamed about when you had your 9-5?
What if you ask that guy out and he turns out to be your future husband?
What if scuba diving becomes a new passion of yours and you end up traveling to exotic locales to pursue it?
What if you get your ass back in that go-cart, complete the race, hug your boyfriend who’s beaming with pride and feel so accomplished because you kicked fear in the face?
If you don’t take the risk, if you don’t open the door, you seal yourself off from potentially amazing possibilities. You stunt your personal growth and limit your future happiness. Attacking your fears will also make you feel more alive and remind you that yes, you can truly accomplish anything.
How do you kick fear in the face? Tell us your bad ass ways!
*This article was first published in the January 2014 issue of Indie Chick Magazine.*
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