At Blogging While Brown this past weekend, I met comedian and political commentator Baratunde Thurston. Along with beauty blogger Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik and cultural blogger Anil Dash, Bartunde was a participant on the “Breakthrough Bloggers” panel. He shared many valuable tips for ‘breaking through” with your blog, but the most memorable part of the entire presentation for me was a quote about fear.
The topic came up when an audience member requested tips to overcome her fear of “putting herself out there” as a personal finance blogger. She was afraid that she would not look right or sound right, and she questioned how she could speak with authority when there are so many other well known personal financial bloggers. Baratunde answered her with the Bene Gesserit “Litany Against Fear”:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Fear and small business success go hand in hand, yes. But what's most important is how you deal with your fears. I fear many things about being in the public arena. What will people say if my hair does not look right? What if I make a mistake and forget “my lines?” What if my video doesn't play properly? What if someone disagrees with me? What if I'm wrong about something, and I am corrected in public?
But playing that reel in my head would only kill my mind, squash my dreams, and render non-existent my contribution to the world.
Fear is the mind-killer. Overcoming fear is what helps me push through the paralysis I sometimes experience when I contemplate things like making a video for Queen Oprah, for example, or even simpler things like speaking to an unknown audience at a conference or trying a new hair style.
Question: I plan to remember that this week. How about you?