I’ve just got back from my third ProBlogger conference in Brisbane. It’s my favourite time of the year – I’ve been to every single one since we arrived in Australia (before we moved I used to lust after the event on Twitter from afar). ProBlogger is about going professional with your online ventures but, more importantly, it’s about helping you to serve your audience and community with authentic content that will help them move forward on their journey.
It inspires me so much every year, gives me a place to hang out with other people who understand my obsession with all things digital and gives me so many new ideas about ways that I can help people to get where they want to go. I’m still buzzing from the energy of it all and from meeting some of my online idols (like Pat Flynn, above) in person!
There was one stand-out concept at the event for me that I wanted to share with you because it matters even more to you guys than it does to those of us running a digital business. Watch this little video below where I explain it all:
If you haven’t got time to watch the video, here is the basic concept: Fear always comes before something important.
I can look back at my life and see so many examples of it. Relocating from Sheffield to Hampshire to move in with my boyfriend (now husband) and leaving behind a job and friends and family that I loved to move somewhere I had no job or work contacts. Setting up as self-employed a few years later and not knowing where work was going to come from but doing it anyway as it felt like the right thing to do. Deciding to write my first book even though I had no idea where to begin. Launching this website from scratch knowing there were already lots of other really useful online resources that had years more content behind them and wondering whether anyone would bother to stop to read mine. Then there are travel experiences – climbing Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand (I am definitely no climber and the idea was terrifying to me!) Going up in a tiny plane to see Fraser Island from the air (I’m not the biggest fan of flying as it is, let alone going up in a tiny, rickety plane that takes off from the beach!) But each of these moments had something in common: I felt the fear and did it anyway, and the results EVERY TIME were incredible.
By making myself face these fears and just getting on with it, I have learnt so much. And every fear that I pushed through gave me even more confidence than I had before. Looking back now, I can see it was a chain reaction – had I not left Sheffield to move to Hampshire, I probably would never have started up freelance as I’d have stayed in the job that I loved at the film festival I used to work on. I’d have stayed surrounded by the same people (many of whom who I adore so that part wouldn’t have been a bad thing) but I wouldn’t have added many new friends to my life and my new friends have helped shape me over the last couple of decades. Maybe if I’d stayed in Sheffield, I wouldn’t have gone off travelling around the world, and maybe we wouldn’t have visited Australia and fallen in love with it. If I’d stayed living close to my family, I’d have probably found it harder to ever break away later and see the big wide world out there. If I hadn’t travelled, I wouldn’t have spent the last few years writing travel content for magazines and websites. I wouldn’t have discovered my love of running my own websites or taken all of the courses I’ve done…
One decision can change everything in your life. But fear can stop you from taking that step.
I’m showing off my wobbly courage today by doing more video content. I don’t enjoy being in front of the camera – I much prefer hiding behind a computer screen and typing, or editing clips of other people. But it’s a different way to share my message and I know it’s important that I reach more people because encouraging people to face their fear and take a big leap feels like what I’m supposed to do. It sounds woo woo but it was at Problogger two years ago when I had the spark of an idea to create this website and Facebook community. And I needed this year’s Problogger to give me the kick to take things up another level. I hope I can encourage people to take that first foot forward.
Just remember, no path is fixed, and no path is the wrong path. You can hop on one path and then take a different turn when you feel like it. But you just need to get on the path!
So, who is going to show off their wobbly courage and take some positive steps towards creating a life that you love?
Want to do some further reading about facing your fear and taking action?
One of my all-time favourite books is Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action. If you haven’t read it, you must get it now because I think it is lifechanging!
Another book worth a read is The Celestine Prophecy. It’s not so much about facing your fear, but the story shows you that you need to recognise co-incidences and act upon them to move forward in your journey. I read it many years ago and it had a lasting impact on me.