(Don't) Be Afraid to Try


When we first had the idea of creating an app for mamas I was ecstatic. To be able to build something for my friends that give them a daily encouragement was an exciting idea. Plus, I got to make something that was going to benefit my own self-practice - and I would be forced to start practicing what I preach.

But then we started talking about what it takes, and since neither Sahra nor I had $20,000 lying around to build an app, we would have to make it ourselves. Tell me to build something and I am all in. But ask me to market it, promote it, and share it with my people and I basically crumble into a ball of fear on the floor.

There is something about showing my work to others, work that is most likely not perfect, has glitches, and will continually need to be updated, that causes me to have twitchy eyelids, a nervous tummy, and just general anxiety in my body. All of a sudden I feel like I need to take a nap… far far away. So when I hear “don’t be afraid to try” I laugh at first - because it sounds so simple. But damn it’s hard.

Trying involves a lot of imperfection, probably some failing, and messy vulnerability. When I am afraid to try something it’s usually because it triggers something deep within me that wants to be birthed, but it opens up a Pandora's box of history, fear, and worry. Old voices that say you aren’t enough, stay quiet, you have nothing to say, just do enough to get by, flood my mind.

I do hard things every day - like remaining calm 50% of the time when my children throw toys at each other, cleaning the yogurt off the walls from breakfast gone wild, bedtime (need I say more?), having a hard call with a client about a deadline that’s not going to be met - all in one day. But when it comes to something I am deeply passionate about, a personal project, something that has me imprinted all over it, trying means I have the potential to be a big fat failure. And that’s just not pretty.

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So here’s what I’ve started doing to curb those feelings (after I’ve picked myself back up off the floor of fear). I get curious and ask them questions.  I ask myself - what's the worst that can happen if I fail? And when I give my answer, I ask, and then what? And then what? Until I’ve realized that a lot of my fear is probably wrapped up in either not feeling like I’m good enough or that I will make a fool of myself. Once I get down the path of what's the worst that can happen, and I realize that my most important people (my partner, my kids, my best friends) won’t abandon me or shun me, I turn it around. What could happen if I try and succeed? (Maybe there's fear in that direction as well! I mean, people will SEE a part of the real me - am I ready for that?)

Take a little time to audit why you aren't trying and then give yourself a little push to try. As hard as it is, I’d rather live a messy vulnerable life trying to birth projects and creating a world that I am passionate about than never try. Wouldn’t you?

Christy McConnell