I had a shocking realisation an hour ago.
I was soaking in a bubble bath listening to a podcast – attempting to snap myself out of a week-long funk – when it hit me.
I have become crippled by fear. Paralysed. Unable to function beyond the basics. In other words, I eat, sleep, talk to those closest to me, and do enough of my work that I don’t upset one of my only remaining clients.
I don’t know when it started. I can see that it’s been trickling in slowly. And it caught me off guard, because only a few months ago I was on top of the world. Feeling “in flow”, grateful for my ability to chase my dreams and all the opportunities come my way.
…And then it dried up.
I woke up one day and realised that I felt scared, sad, dejected, frustrated… but mostly scared.
What if everything I’m working on comes crashing down?
What if my dreams are based upon a lie — the lie I tell myself that I’m talented and unique?
What if my idea for a business is a complete flop and I can’t make any money?
Those were the big ones. But it also got smaller and sneakier than that.
I got more and more scared of posting to Instagram, worried that I couldn’t create a perfect feed (aka be liked by all my followers) AND be authentic with what I’m sharing.
I stopped filming & shooting videos on YouTube because I couldn’t face my subscribers feeling like a total fraud.
I couldn’t bring myself to do any Facebook Lives because I was worried that if I committed to my mission and my “niche”, the content would mean that I lose too many followers.
Now I should mention that I have some bigger stuff going on at the moment too. My partner and I have to leave Canada next week to fly to the US and back in again in the hopes they renew his visa. Well, give him visitor status, anyway.
While there’s no logical reason for them to turn him down, we have no idea how it’s going to go since it’s our first time doing this. And the worst case scenario? Him being told he can’t re-enter the country, and us trying to figure out how to sell the car, get out of our place, pack up our stuff and head to Italy (where he’s from) to re-group for an unknown amount of time.
Now THAT scares the crap out of me.
But it was the podcast that made me realise that the visa situation isn’t
The real problem is that I’m living with a mindset of powerlessness. A mindset of conditional happiness that says I’ll be happy if and when [blank]. Which means all the joy I was feeling last year about finally being in the right location to chase my dreams would be gone in a puff of smoke if we had to leave the country.
It’s why I’ve become so obsessed with being liked (in every sense of the word), that I’m too scared to post anything in the fear that it won’t appeal to anyone.
I’ve become so fixated on what I need to achieve to become happier that I completely lost sight of why I chose to do it in the first place.
There was a time when changing one life was enough of a reason for me to do something.
And yet despite receiving messages of thanks every single week from my YouTube subscribers (and hitting the 1000 sub mark just the other day), I’ve never felt more unmotivated to create.
Despite having already received feedback from a number of women I adore saying that my makeup course has helped changed their life in a small but significant way, I’m terrified about the lead-up to launching my course and whether anyone will even care. Let alone sign-up.
Oh and let’s not even start on the mindf*ck that is my acting career right now.
I spend more energy stalking other actresses IMDB profiles and IG accounts, obsessing over their opportunities and successes, than putting any effort into focusing on my own. I’ve already created a self-fulfilling prophecy for myself that says I’m not talented, beautiful or thin enough to be a successful actor.
Yep, my mind is a messy place.
Let’s get back to the podcast
It was an interview with James Wedmore, creator of the Mind Your Business P
A little sheepish that I let my mind spend so long in that dark place, but mostly just re-energised and excited about my life and business.
Reminded that I’m writing my own story and I’ll be as successful as I choose to be and the mind is so incredibly powerful that we need to be SO careful about thinking negative thoughts. Because they WILL come to fruition.
That you don’t need to please the masses to be an influencer — you need to stand for something unique and even if it changes one person’s life, you’ve done good.
And most of all, it’s given me the courage to start to trust my instincts and unique value with what I’m doing. Getting my eyes off the list of “should-dos” for my business, my acting, even my lifestyle, and instead doing what excites me — the things my gut tells me to do. Even though not everyone will like them.
I’m making a public commitment to run my business from a place of love and not fear.
To embrace the vulnerability of knowing I’m not perfect and I’m not right for every customer or every acting job.
And owning the stuff that makes me ME and using that to guide my choices moving forward.
What about you?
I don’t think these kinds of podcasts (or books, courses, coaches etc) would exist if there weren’t a hell of a lot of us struggling with this fear. It might rear it’s ugly head in a different way for you than it does for me, but I encourage you to spend some time listening to your thoughts in the weeks ahead and keeping an ear out for the dialogue that fear is putting in there.
And I seriously recommend listing to this podcast! I’m currently in the middle of 3 audiobooks, 4 kindle books, 1 paperback and have been binge-watching Mel Robbins content on YouTube. And you know what’s crazy? They’re all basically telling me the same thing. That our mind is more powerful than we’ll ever understand, and once we learn to use it for good and not for evil (aka fear), we’ll start to live the lives we’ve been too scared to even dream about.
But this podcast managed to whittle that down to 60 minutes AND got me straight out of the bath to write this article, where none of the other things above did. So I reckon it’s a pretty good place to start.
Kat is an actor and personal branding coach as well as the host of The Personal Branding Project Podcast and her self-titled YouTube channel. She started her career off by playing Marilyn at Warner Bros Movie World, went on to perform in the original Australian casts of Jersey Boys & Hairspray and eventually found herself writing/producing her own work before becoming a self-employed copywriter and marketing strategist. She now offers 1:1 Coaching and Online Courses for entrepreneurs, freelancers + multi-passionate creatives.