“Don’t put so much pressure on me!”
It was right before I quit my job at the advertising agency, and my husband and I were discussing our options. I knew I couldn’t work 40+ hours a week in an office with a 1-year-old and a baby on the way. But I was also petrified by what that choice would mean for our growing family (and bank account).
He was rationally trying to talk me through my fears, which I just spat out in a jumble of worry and self-doubt: “What if I don’t get any clients? What if I can’t make any money? What if I’m not as good at my job as I think I am? What if I can’t do this alone?”
At each outburst, my husband made me pause. He answered every worry with a real-world response, not some fearful fancy. But I didn’t want to hear it.
So when he said, “I mean, you only have to make about $500 – $1,000 a month for us to be fine,” my fears knocked my sense out of me.
“So if I can’t make that, we’re not fine?! I don’t even know if I CAN make that! Don’t put so much pressure on me.”
He was unfazed. He smiled. He let me know he had no doubt in his mind that I could make that (and much more), that I could do it, that I was as smart as I thought as I was.
After I finally let my fears subside, I did end up talking through each one of those worries, letting the worst-case-scenario situation play out. And it turns out, even if the worst DID happen, if even every single one of my fears came true, we would still be ok. We would survive. We would adjust. We would keep going.
Truth be told, even as I was inventing all those fears, I didn’t *reaaaaaallllly* believe that they were all bound to come true. It was almost as if I had to give my fear some attention in order to shut it up. I had to think through the outcomes in order to let fear give way to excitement.
While it did give me comfort to know that not one of my fears was a life-ruining situation, I also did give my fears too much attention in those early days of my business.
When I had lots of work, I was worried about what would happen once the projects were done. When I wrote something awesome, I was sure I would never write anything as awesome ever again in my life. When I landed a new client, I was afraid they would find me out as a fraud.
But sometimes, by recognizing our fears and giving them the floor in a rational way, it allows us to walk past them and move on.
So. Mamas. This month, we’re giving fear the floor for a bit. We’re going to be talking all about fear in motherhood and in business.
Some things we will be exploring:
We want to hear from you, mama. We want to know if you think fear has a place in motherhood and in business. So join in on Facebook, or Instagram — or email me to chat about it — and let’s face this fear together.
She adores being mom to her two little ladies and drinking obscene amounts of coffee from mugs with pithy sayings. Find her on Instagram, and learn more about ways you can collaborate with MotherHustle.
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