The Other Side of Fear

We spend a lot of time talking about the power of vulnerability, of being real, but are we really being honest?

I see a lot of content that glosses over how difficult things can really be, that still puts the sheen of social media on people's experiences. We see the success stories about six-figure businesses built seemingly overnight, effortless five-figure months, and inspirational rallying calls to action.

We don't see the crippling self-doubt, the fear and uncertainty, the days spent paralyzed, comparing yourself to everyone else, and the nights spent crying as your mind races towards the worst possible outcome.

These experiences are edited. A version of the truth.

I know, because I do it too. We all do. As genuine as we may be in our desire to be vulnerable and raw and uncensored with our audiences, it's terrifying. No one wants to appear weak, imperfect, or ugly, particularly not on the internet. We all remember the Kim Kardashian crying meme. We laugh, but none of us wants to wind up the object of ridicule.

We're self-conscious; we fear judgment and rejection. It's human nature, and it's inevitable now that we live in a world where our every thought and action can be recorded, flattering or not.

That's a huge amount of pressure.

It's why I want to share something that I've found to be profoundly true in my journey as an entrepreneur and as a human being:

Sometimes, it's fucking hard and scary.

I've spent the better part of a week running away from a panic attack that finally caught up with me yesterday.

As I was doing my mindset work and trying to be present in my body, I began to sob, then laugh, simultaneously and uncontrollably. My world cracked open. I started hyperventilating. I couldn't breathe; I was choking on my own tears.

This went on for almost an hour. My mother held me in her arms like I was still a small child, and I sobbed with a desperation I didn't know I felt.

I wept with grief for all those years I hadn't taken care of myself, for abandoning my inner child and her wisdom. I wept because I was overcome by the depth of my own fear, insecurity, and a panic that threatened to send me tumbling down into the abyss.

What if this never works?

What if my life never looks the way I want it to?

What if I can't take care of myself?

What if I wind up all alone, broke, and miserable?

When the storm had subsided, I looked at myself in the mirror, puffy and exhausted.

I never thought healing would involve as much snot as it does. Oprah lied.

Staring deep into my bloodshot eyes, I reached for the steel within. I called to my fiery, ferocious core; battle-worn and scarred, but never extinguished.

I sought out the strength that had helped me survive years of chronic depression, and the resolve that had helped me finish university while recovering from emotional abuse and a head injury.

Don't you dare give up.

My darling, fear is not a wall. It's a door.

Everything you want is on the other side.

Keep going.

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Jennifer McLean Creative. All rights reserved.