Personal Growth

What fear is holding you back?

I had coffee with my long-time crime partner today, and we were talking about just random things happening in our lives, and my writing came up.  She told me she thought I should get published.  Hmmm, “Publish what?” I asked politely (because that’s how we chat with each other, is politely – ah-hem).  I told her that I lack focus and just write about random life moments, perhaps sharing about a vulnerable moment or a fear I’m facing.

“So what’s the point?” I asked her, rather dramatically.  To which she replied (politely, of course…), “Maybe you have something there.”

No, she was not being snarky, although she may, might-sorta-kinda, rival me on the snark-scale.  She was sincerely saying to me that, simply put, people want to know they’re not alone in what they’re thinking and feeling.  (Did I mention that she really does “get me”?)  That has essentially been the theme of most of what I write.  If I can drop a bit of laughter in someone’s lap by sharing a funny moment or give a bit of hope by exposing a vulnerability that maybe someone can relate to, then I’m all in.

What IS the point?

So, we’re back to my original question – what’s the point?  Well, I have come a long way, baby, in the way of diving in head first.  As my ever-so-hilarious friend says, “Look at you, unpuckering and whatnot!”

I have experienced a tremendous amount of personal growth in the last year, and it’s because I’m exposing my vulnerability and learning to face my fears.  One of my greatest fears is standing out in a crowd.  I sure haven’t conquered it, but I’m no longer allowing it to hold me back.  (Although, maybe I should reconsider that word, “tremendous.”  I’m not certain my growth should really be described as tremendous, necessarily, but considering where I started, I’m feeling pretty good about where I am #inthismoment.)

One of the most common phrases I’ve heard while working on building a new business foundation is the much over-used “accidental” paycheck comment.  Yeah, I’ve seen firsthand and experienced what they’re talking about.  But what is NOT talked about, and really should be, is far more important – it’s the “accidental” personal growth.  Looking back at what I’ve learned, if I could only keep one thing, it would be that oops-what-happened-here change I’ve undergone mentally and emotionally.

Most of what I write about now I would not have dreamed sharing a few years ago.  As I’ve said before, I was about as private of a person you would ever find (about as far from “unpuckered” as a person could get…).  I have actually learned to loosen up and be more open as a person because of the people I’ve met as I’ve begun to collaborate online.  I have learned more about myself than I really cared to know some days because of this entire experience.  I’ve learned that I am not the only one who fears exposing vulnerability.

Accidental personal growth

A lot of my personal growth resulted from working with women who are not my usual “peeps.”  I’m accustomed to being with a bit of a coarser, more blunt crowd, and due to the nature of my court reporting career, I’m also accustomed to the seedier side of life jading me just.a.tiny.bit.  These ladies have opened my eyes to vegan and gluten-free diets, the dangers of coffee (horrifying, that, but I’m sure I’ll get past it!), cloth diapering, missionary work, and so much more.  They are about as flip-side me as you can get, and they’re awesome, amazing hashtag-boss-people.

It’s unlikely that my lifestyle will ever meet up with theirs, although there are some parallels, obviously, but I have found comfort in my own skin just through my association with them.  No, I’m not going vegan, although I did have one vegan meal with them (not awful), and I’m not on a gluten-free diet, although I know who to call if I find myself in the position where it becomes a necessity.  No, I’ll never quit drinking coffee – duh.  I haven’t gone off the deep end, yet.  Despite our lifestyle differences, they have helped me find a peace I’ve never had before.

Why do we fear being vulnerable?

That brings me to back to my earlier conversation over coffee when I asked, “What’s the point?”  Well, the point is, there is so much out there to experience, yet we allow ourselves to be held back out of fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of what society will think.  Fear of failure.  Fear of exposing our vulnerability for the world to see.  Had I allowed fear to hold me back that very first time I shared my new business with a friend, I would not have met any of the people that have since cascaded into my life.

That oops-what-happened-here change made me a better person.  Do yourself a favor and punch fear in the face today.  It doesn’t have to be your biggest fear – just pick something and own it … and #beaboss.

This post can also be found as a guest blog on She Hustles Inc.  


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From columnist to blogger, Tina began writing in 2015. She blends the various bits of her life — professional, entrepreneurial, and personal — and shares her experiences with you. Tina's Coffee Break became the means for her to express herself on seemingly random subjects, but subjects that are on her mind and in her heart at the moment — things we can all relate to many times. Simply put, Tina writes about life’s moments. Tina has managed her court reporting business for over 20 years. She owned her community newspaper for several years where she first discovered her love for writing through her weekly newspaper column, "Tina's Coffee Break." She was a member of her community's town council for six years, the last three presiding over it as president. Drawing from all facets of her life experience, Tina now provides business strategy guidance to others working to build their own success story. A mother of two, wife for 32 years, and businesswoman of 25 years, a piece of Tina is in everything she writes.

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