I am inspired by J.K. Rowling’s own experience and path to success which can be summed up by this famous quote by her:
I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so, rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
The way that I understand this quote, and J.K. Rowling’s life experience, is that once she had hit rock bottom and realized that she was still okay, she was still alive, the people that she loves were still in her life, she recognized that her world and life had not come to an end. She survived her biggest fear. Once this happened for her, she was not afraid anymore. It was because she was no longer afraid that she was able to execute her big idea.
Fear is the feeling and experience that holds many of us back from pursuing our dreams or making choices that we know are right for us, but may be different from what everyone else is doing. Fear might be what is holding us back from fulfilling what we know deep down inside is our true purpose. Exactly what we are afraid of may be different for each of us.
Are you feeling afraid at this time in your life? Are you at a point in your life when you are making what feels like a huge decision about your future, your studies, your career, or your intimate relationships? Are you afraid of making the wrong decision, of making a fool of yourself, or failing? If so, you are not alone. J.K. Rowling was afraid, and so are many others in similar positions as yourself. I experience this fear at times, as well.
Here are some ways for you to ‘push through’ your fear(s):
- Recognize that it is the feeling of fear that is holding you back. Fear is a feeling that is not necessarily based in reality.
- Discuss your fear(s) with your trusted friends or mentors. Saying your fears out loud will help you start clearing out your mind where this fear is likely being exaggerated.
- Ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Really play this out. What you will likely recognize is that ‘the worst’ is not as scary as your mind is telling you it is. What you will likely realize is that you will be able to handle ‘the worst’ just fine.
- Once you ‘play out’ the worst that can happen, come up with a plan for how you will handle it. Coming up with a plan will help you feel more in control which will allow you to more easily let go of your fear(s).
Once you let go of and clear out your fear(s) you will be in a much better position to take action.
My closing message to you (and to myself) is: Don’t allow fear to hold you back from pursuing your big idea. If you have an idea that feels right to you now, go for it! As my own mentor once told me,
There is no failure, only feedback.
Whatever it is that you choose to do, you will receive the information and feedback of whether or not it was a ‘good idea’ from your experience with actually doing it. You will not know until you do it. And once you do and get your ‘feedback’, use that feedback as an opportunity to either celebrate and keep going, or as an opportunity to learn and grow…and keep going. Approaching your choices and what you do in this way will help keep you moving forward, and will never hold you back.
In support and admiration,