Feel the Fear

Every day I do something that scares the crap out of me.  My worst fear is looking stupid in front of someone.  And when you are entering a new field and learning a new skill, you are going to be "stupid" a lot.  I used to avoid actual conversations with people when I didn't know what I was talking about.  Can't I just find the information on the internet?  No, I'm going to have to actually talk to a person.

Now I schedule appointments for meetings and phone calls so I won't back out.  On Monday, I called a book printer to talk about creating a hard copy of the book I am writing.  As she was asking me if I wanted to use "2 over 2" or "4 over 4" color and to remember to select page numbers in a "signature of 16", I could feel the fear rising in my body.  I didn't understand anything she was talking about and was starting to feel like an idiot.  My former self would have quickly ended the call with - "Ok, thanks for your help.  I'll call you back in a few weeks."  But, because I've been practicing, I actually sat there "feeling the fear".  When I saw it as something separate from myself, I started to feel really strong.

The fear never gets smaller.  Every time it's just as big as it was last time.  But my reaction to it has changed.  When I stand and look at it, I realize it's just a feeling.  It's not going to bite me.