I spoke to a few people who inspire me about their dreams and fears. Aaah, and all I can say is that the fear before bringing dreams to reality is REAL for all, irrespective of age or experience. What is different is the way some people navigate through these fears and convert their dreams into reality at a pace that works for them.
GWENDA SCHOBERT | Founder of Dreamers & Creators
In Gwenda's words: "I recently read a quote which said something like "if you aren't scared, you are not living up to your potential". I absolutely love this thought because it reminds me of pushing myself out of my comfort zone and to do whatever it takes to make my dreams come true.
I founded my first company as a 20-something, foreign woman in India. I didn't have any business partner nor did I have a formal education in the field that I was starting the business in. I always tell people running my own business is the most scary and the most fulfilling thing in the world. Looking back, I am glad I was naive enough to just start my company without thinking too much about the nitty-gritties of how-where-when-what-why-what if. Otherwise I would have probably come up with 100 reasons why I shouldn't start my business.
But whenever, I get stuck or hold myself back, I ask myself two questions:
1. What is the worst thing that could happen? This really helps me to put my fears into relation. Being a very passionate and creative person, I tend to overthink and dramatize my fears. Answering this question (either by writing it down on paper or by recording a voice message for myself), I distance myself from the fear and I realize the worst case scenario is not as bad as I imagined it to be.
2. What are the first 3 things I need to do to get started? This question often results in me writing a detailed list in my Asana project management app or brainstorming all the different things I need to do on a piece of paper. I love making lists. And making a list of things you need to do in order to achieve your goal is the first small steps to getting started (but it doesn't feel overwhelming because technically you are just writing a list and not doing anything).
Currently, I am struggling with starting a Youtube Channel. I want to show behind-the-scenes of running my business and share all the things I have learned over the last couple of years (and continue to learn every single day). I have been talking about this to my friends and even on my Instagram for more than a year now but I am stuck because I don't know how to edit videos, I feel shy of putting myself out there and I question whether anyone would be interested in watching such videos.
So what am I doing to take small steps towards this goal? I started posting more videos on Instagram in the form of stories and IGTV videos to get used to being in front of the camera and to get feedback from my followers. I have also created a channel banner, description, etc on my Youtube channel and I created an excel sheet with topics and ideas that I want to talk about.
And last but not least: one of my favorite things to do when I feel stuck because I don't know how to go about achieving a goal or starting a project: I watch endless Youtube videos of people talking about the exact same thing that I want to do. We are lucky to have the internet and we can find almost everything on it: if you don't know something: google it. If you want feedback on an idea: connect with people on social media and ask them questions.
The older I get, the more I realize that most of us don't know a lot of things. The easiest way to learn something is to get started and not to be afraid!"
POOJA GANDHI SHAH | Founder of Align Studio
In Pooja's words:
"Passion. A word that always scared me. It made feel unequipped, like I was falling short or missing out.
You grow up with bumper stickers and Pinterest telling you that finding your passion is key to success. However no one really tells you much about this passion. No one tells you that passion comes from actually showing up to something that interests you and then sucking at it a little less everyday till someday, someone looks at you and wonders when they will find this passion you seem to have found.
But deep down you know that this isn’t just passion it’s actually showing up. Coming to that desk when you feel like a failure or sharing that first piece of writing and art that seems unfit in your eyes. Showing up is what I have replaced passion with.
I wanted to do something. That’s all I knew. I wasn’t particularly very skilled at my field of work or at anything really. But I understood that about myself. I was good at understanding people and struggle. This is all I knew when I started my page and company called align.
My art wasn’t good enough, my writing had a million errors, my editing was questionable and my peers always intermediated me (this was self imposed) but that’s all I knew.
What I know now is because I was okay not knowing much but showing up anyway. And in your process of starting something knew this is literally all I have to tell you.
Turn up. It’s tough and there will be terrifying days. On such days be kind to yourself and take time to understand who you are. Each time you do, a new door of passion and connection will open up and you will do something. Something that changes the world one tiny cell at a time. What that something is? Don’t try to figure that out but definitely be sure that turning up will unfold magic."
Reach out to Pooja on Instagram.
KRITI SHASTRY | Founder of Bawse Business Academy and podcast
In Kriti's words:
"4 years ago, I was a computer science graduate working in an IT company who was frustrated, unhappy & confused. I was very passionate about fitness & the only part of the day that I truly enjoyed was the time at the gym. I knew I could be “great” at it because of my desire to learn & do something in the field, but the only difference was, I looked in the mirror & I didn’t see a fitness model, which made me undermine myself of what I could possibly do.
If you wake up with the same thought for more than a month, you must understand that it’s something that you truly need to do to be the best version of yourself. And I was waking up to the thought of quitting my job & switching career paths just a month into working for the company. It wasn’t before long that I chose myself over “what I’m supposed to do” & I realised that doing just about anything in the field that I really want to be in would make me happier than continuing to punish myself doing something I hated.
Starting from 0, without any certifications or much knowledge, but a burning passion & hunger to learn & grow, I gave my all for the next 2 years. I had no idea if I’d make it & it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I was living alone in a new city, figuring out how to run a business, my parents & friends thought I was crazy, and I knew full well that I could fail. The only thing that kept me going was the thought of having to go back to that IT job.
In those 2 years, I grew my coaching business to 6 figures, worked with over 200 women, grew my social media to 10k+ followers, worked with multiple brands as their brand athlete, competed in bikini competitions and became a “successful” online fitness coach.
Was it easy? Absolutely not. Did I know the solution to all the obstacles before I started? Not in the slightest way. But I knew one thing. That I could figure it out. And that I did, taking it one day at a time & choosing my passion over any problem along the way.
Once I took this massive risk, it became easier to take other risks. Within the next year, I launched a clothing brand which I never thought that I would. I was scared that no one will buy but we sold out in 3 months. I decided that I wanted to help other fitness coaches who were struggling to find their path like I did, so I started doing business coaching for fitness coaches & have been building that ever since.
If you ask me, why I choose to make the difficult choice of change when I know I could live a “comfortable good enough life”, I truly believe that we are here on this planet to serve a specific cause. Each one of us is great at something, and our goal must be to align ourselves with who we truly are & continually work on ourselves to be able to reach our truest potential. If you choose not to, ofcourse you can still live a happy comfortable life, but will that give you the fulfilment & satisfaction that your soul desires?
I am on a path to live a life that I will not regret when I’m 80, if I ever get there. And fear & self doubt are too insignificant emotions as compared to regret. That’s what drives me to choose to do the things that I do & always work on getting better than I was yesterday."
ESHA BAHAL | Law Student, Content Creator
In Esha's words:
"Educating people through content isn’t new but it is complex. I’m a liberal person and what I believe in doesn’t gel well with conservative people.
Some friends have told me that things I believe in won’t ever be normalised in our society and that I must ‘go to USA.’ It was disheartening to hear this because at the time, my friend and I were discussing how rape apologists are toxic people. He was defending rape apologists as ‘people with good intentions.’ He was implying that I must give up space in our society because I was too ‘forward looking’ and ‘too idealistic.’ This infuriated me a lot. I didn’t like the idea of living in a world which takes rape apologists lightly and which doesn’t hold them accountable. I decided to educate people about the things I believed in which is why I started make videos and story highlights on Instagram. Initially I thought that there would be many people who would disagree with me but I was pleasantly surprised to receive a positive response from people. My message resonated with many. This encouraged me to talk more about the things I really believed in. I am lucky to have a great support system that encourages me to continue to do what I do. I think it’s really important to have people around you who believe in you and it’s important to keep your distance from those who don’t because they might feed an already existing imposter syndrome or may help fuel it. I only tell my supportive friends about things I want to do in life because I know that seed ideas may grow into a tree and I don’t want anybody to plant insecurity or sef doubt in my mind. That’s why I mostly share my ambitions and goals with my near and dear ones and keep haters away.
Reach out to Esha on Instagram
What is that dream you have been wanting to work on? What is stopping you? What is your fear? How can you take a small step a little within your comfort zone and a little outside, than not starting at all? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below or you can write to me. I am a sucker for letters! On that note, have you subscribed to my weekly newsletter? Love,