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I’ve been thinking lately about the concept of fear- and how it shows up in my life. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday, and we got onto the subject of how everyone is looking for role models. Everyone wants someone who shows them what is possible; what they could achieve if they were just no longer afraid.

And here’s the actual truth.

The people who you admire and respect and wish you could be like?

They are afraid too.

They wake up, wondering if their stuff is any good. They wonder if people like them. They don’t know if their ideas are really amazing, or simply really stupid.

The only difference is that those people that you admire?

They feel the fear- and the do whatever they are going to do, anyway.

If you spend your life trying to stop being afraid, you miss out on a lot of life.

The key is to know you are afraid, but then realize that you have to do whatever you plan to do anyway.

I know, for me, I often take refuge in the things I know how to do or the things I do best.

That is, until I started learning photography and silver-smithing.

You see, neither of these are within my usual skillsets- and they both require dedication and focus and practice to get any good at.

I spend a lot of time learning about both- reading photography magazines, heading out regularly to take pictures, and spending multiple hours in the jewelry studio. The question is not if I’m really good. The question is only about if I’m getting better.

I ask myself everyday – “Am I better today than I was yesterday?”

I do this in photography and silversmithing and in life and business too.

Too often we keep doing the same old things, the same old way, expecting a different result. And yet what happens is- yes- the same old thing.

As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to keep yourself motivated and passionate and on-fire to bring your ideas and skills to the world.

Yet, for each of us, when we feel afraid or worried, we only have two choices- to step out and do it anyway, or step back, and wait.

This is not to say that stepping out is always the right answer- I can’t know if that’s always the right choice for you.

But I can tell you that, as a person who keeps trying to step forward, even when I’m scared (which is a lot of the time), I can see that my opportunities and results are in direct proportion to my courage.

Does everything always turn out exactly as I planned? No.

Do I always get exactly what I want? No.

But do I get more of what I try for? Yes.

And do I learn a lot about myself- and my capacities- along the way? Yes.

The more courageous I am, the closer I get to the results I really want. 

So the question, again, is not how to get rid of fear- not even when it feels like you’re choking on it.

The question is how can you feel the fear and take action anyway?

Stepping out or stepping back, it doesn’t matter.

Just do something.