I am sure that most of us have at least one dream or goal. Maybe it’s to get a degree, start a business, make a name for yourself in your chosen career…whatever it is, I bet that at some point it has scared you. Why do our dreams scare us? Why is it that in one moment we can feel crazily excited and motivated, ready to take on the world and do whatever it takes to make the dream a reality, and in another moment feel the doubt creeping in – this probably isn’t going to work, how could I be good enough to to do that? – and see all the hurdles and hoops that you’ll have to get through along the way?
You can picture what it is you want in your mind, you know who you want to be and where you want to go, and you have some idea of how to get there, but sometimes it can feel like you’re standing on the edge of a cliff; you know it’s time to jump but you can’t quite bring yourself to do it.
Fear of failure, fear of not living up to your own (or others’) expectations, fear of ridicule. But what if we stopped focusing on the ‘bad’ possible outcomes and start thinking about the great ones? The amazing possibilities and opportunities that may come your way if you just believe in yourself and take the leap. Yes, maybe it’s a leap of faith – but aren’t most things in life?
So what if you fall down? You’ll get back up and try again.
This is exactly what I have been telling myself for the last few months.
I first had the idea for She on my daily commute to work. Like a lot of women, I have BIG dreams (and possibly a bit of an overactive imagination) which means I am constantly doing whatever I think I need to do to get where I want to be. In this mighty quest, I really derive a lot of inspiration from anecdotal evidence – blog posts, websites, podcasts, interviews – usually by women who seem to be kicking ass and who seem to speak right to my soul. I find that by hearing that other women are going through the same things as I am, having the same doubts and insecurities, it makes me feel like I am not alone.
Another source of inspiration is magazines – or at least they used to be. On a few separate occasions I have found myself in the supermarket staring at the wall of women’s magazines and not one of them had the content that I was looking for. I wanted proper articles I could get my teeth into that talked about the stuff I wanted to hear – how to advance in your career, how to build your reputation, look at this woman’s trajectory and here is how she did it, this woman did it her own way and you can too. I was sick of the endless fluff, the articles about diets and exercise that made me feel like crap and the lack of relatable content. I wanted to know about issues affecting women and what one can do to help, I wanted to feel empowered and proud to be a woman. In short, I wanted more substance. When I need inspiration, I look to Instagram and to the many female bloggers and vloggers I follow who tend to be girls just like me, who I feel I can relate to because we are all going through similar things.
I was on the train and had just finished reading a piece on a well-known website about having the guts to start your own business. But the piece was short, too short to impart any real inspiration or advice, and as I sat there thinking “BUT I WANT MORE“, I thought to myself “why not do it yourself?”. Suddenly, like a lightbulb, I knew that’s what I needed to do. What followed next was a rollercoaster; one minute I was elated, frantically scribbling down ideas and plans, the next I was overcome with a feeling of despair – isn’t this just like what someone else has done? Why would anyone want to get involved? Don’t I need to have loads of money to set something like this up? Why would this even work? What if it doesn’t work? Everyday I would have this battle in my head – on one shoulder was my optimistic dreamer of a cheerleader, on the other was Negative Nelly.
It would have be so easy for me to listen to Nelly (she’s a bit of a regular) but instead, this time, I didn’t. I fought back and told Nelly where she could go – yes this may not work and I may fail. And in putting myself out there on the Internet and on Instagram I cannot do this anonymously so people will know it’s me failing, but what if it does work? What if I can create a platform for women like me who want ‘more’, who could really benefit from having a community of like-minded women to lean on for advice and inspiration?
So I took the leap and here I am. I really hope you’ll join me.