Spanish bullfighter standing in front of a coliseum

Personal Growth Comes from Facing Your Fears

“If you don’t do the things that you’re afraid of, you never learn anything.” — Leo Babauta

Leo Babauta’s post on overcoming the fear of sharing your writing in public really spoke to me in a way that gave me pause.

It felt like he was writing directly to me, like he knew I was going through this period of great personal growth.

I love pieces like these. It’s this kind of writing that really sets the standard for the type of I writer I aspire to be. It’s this feeling of inspiration and motivation that I want to share with my readers too.

What gave me pause was the fact that I deleted the very blog that pretty much helped launch my growing writing career. I deleted my original “Dating is a Payne” blog, where I used to share my indiscretions with anyone willing to read, out of a fear of constant ridicule, scrutiny and judgement. The thick skin I used to have back in college quickly wore off when I entered the “real” world, at which point I had to worry about my career prospects and future employers.

In retrospect, that silly little dating blog I started back in college, as part of an online journalism assignment, became the starting point of soooo many learning experiences with every single piece I’ve ever written. I never thought that trivializing sex and relationships would lead me to an actual writing career.

You know what belief I’ve always held in my heart that continues to guide my personal growth like a compass?

It’s the stubborn belief that if you can’t find a job that’s right for you, then you have to create it for yourself before it even exists. I have no idea who or where I learned this from, but it’s an idea that always stuck with me ever since I graduated college. You can wait to live your life, or you can start creating it.

And then I’m reminded of my bracelet memoir from the Matt Hussey retreat I attended at the end of August that really validates this belief. The rubber bracelet has the words Wait? and Create etched into it.

It’s moments like these when I know in my heart that I’m headed in the right direction despite what anyone says. I don’t really know where I’m going, but at least I have a general direction and moments like these serve as my guiding signposts from a higher power urging me to keep going.

Today, I want to express my gratitude for an enduring perseverance that continues leading me to more and more of the life and career I want for myself.

It’s not always easy pushing through the daily pains of life, but you know what makes it all worth it? Human connection. Relationships. Love.

I love it when I can share my hopes, dreams and even my fears with someone, and they send me a private message sharing their own stories of facing their fears. It reminds me that no matter how alone I might feel, I’m not. And neither are you.

No matter what you’re going through at this moment in time, or will go through later in the future, take comfort in knowing that there is always someone out there who can relate, especially in the age of the Internet and social media.

You just have to have the courage to look and be willing to face your fears head on so you can make those meaningful connections.