Fear is a funny thing. A controlling, paralyzing, rude - but funny - thing. 

I realize that my job description should include “fear warrior” because the truth of it is, often times I’m the first point of contact after someone’s left their safe, cozy (boring) 9-5 to jump head first into that endeavor that they couldn’t stop thinking about. When someone reaches out to build a brand - I often hear the “I just bucked traditonalism, what am I doing?” undercurrent in their voice.

In the same moment that the wave of excitement and bravery hits, fear also floods in.

My role, then, becomes much more integral than a clever lady with a pen and paper. I become the designer, art director, brand maker — combatter of doubts and fears.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too." WH Murray (explorer, mountain climber, committer)

The most important way to move past fear is to simply commit, and let me be your advocate along the way.

1. Nurture your ideas.

Don’t listen to that pesky squirrel in your head telling you it’s a bad idea, or it’s been done, or that you can’t. Foster those unique concepts and dreams that keep you up at night. See them as gifts.

2. Identify your fear. What is that internal dialogue saying?

Do I have what it takes?

Will people buy what I’m creating?

What am I doing?

Will I fail? (And therein lies the real doozy, fear of failure) 

When you’re just getting started, or just about to start your new venture, it’s easy to give into these feelings as if they were the absolute truth. This is war. And unless you identify the way those enemy-fear-lies are attacking you, you can’t truly combat them.

3. Build a tribe.

You cannot do this all on your own. You need emotional support, if nothing else. Find individuals or a group of people who get it and understand what you're trying to create. Seek their feedback and support. Don't worry about the people who don't get it yet.

4. Be the damn unicorn.

Believe that your sparkly dreams are worth chasing. It's scary to give your dreams the respect they deserve. Dressing them up as a 3rd grader's Lisa Frank phantasm lets you off the hook. When you treat your dreams with dignity, not reaching them hurts more… But so does not going for them. I don't want you to spend your life just chasing dreams; I want you do spend it creating dreams. Big difference. A chase is haphazard and out of control. Creation is an awesome balance of control and improvisation. It's intentional. It's enlivening.

Get brave, know that fear will try to enter into your orbit, but let’s give your dreams the respect they deserve, and combat the fear accordingly.

You are uniquely wired. Let's create a brand that turns heads. Because this endeavor you can't stop thinking about isn't going to go away. Your idea is brilliant. And together we will tell that amazing story to the world.


lauren ledbetter