How I Stopped Being Embarrassed and Started getting Stuff Done

I’d say the single biggest force in stopping me turning freelance sooner wasn’t the fear of not being able to pay the bills or the worry I wasn’t good enough.  It was embarrassment, embarrassment at admitting to myself or to anyone else that I wanted to write full time and deviate from a career path I had been working at for nearly ten years. I had visions of people simply laughing at my decision or worse at the work I was producing.  My fear of the opinions and criticisms of the people I knew or even the wider world meant that at first I kept my burgeoning freelance career as a closely guarded secret, telling only my partner for months and months.

I realised that my embarrassment reflex had always been pretty high since childhood extending to being incapable of watching people being embarrassed on TV (I still can’t watch X factor!)  But letting embarrassment or perhaps more rightly fear guide my life decision seems like a pretty poor way to get along so I made a conscious decision to factor it out of my choices.  This was tough, remains tough and I still find myself supressing this fearful part of my psyche but eventually my need to be happier and have a more fulfilling (if sometimes less well paid) career won out.

So I left a well-paid but stressful career and embarked on the scary but much more fulfilling path of freelance writing.  I still get worried, I still even get a little embarrassed of telling people what I do for a living (like it’s a pretend job!) but I am doing it, so I guess I partially conquered the fear for the moment.  It got me thinking about how many other people have remained or do remain in a situation that makes them unhappy because there embarrassed of what people may think of them if they make a change.

I guess the question to ask yourself then is ‘Why am I not doing what I want?’ and if the answer is rooted in fear then you should reassess.  Trust me, stop being embarrassed and you will finally start getting the important stuff done.

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