Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
— Arthur Ashe
Just do it scared.

Just do it scared.

Each one of us has a dream in our heart. Don’t deny it. Some are big and obvious, and probably what most people think of when they hear this topic, like becoming president, finding a cure for terminal illnesses or travelling the country. And then some seem smaller, like starting a business, having a family or maybe just finishing that book that’s been brewing in your mind for years. But regardless of the so-called scope of your dream, everyone has something that burns inside of them. No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to let it go. People can discourage you, distract you, or shut you down, you can even try to shut yourself down, but nothing seems to be able to crush that fortified passion that’s branded into your heart.

So why do we have such a hard time pursuing them? What keeps us stuck in our day to day, living in the world of “someday” and never actually getting there? I think it’s safe to say that we’re afraid. We’re afraid of making the wrong move. We’re afraid of what people will think and say. We’re afraid the naysayers might be right. We’re afraid we don’t have what it takes.

Growing up, there were many new things I wanted to try, but low confidence kept me from going after them. But my mom had this phrase she always brought up in these moments, and still says to me to this day.

“Do it scared.”

She would tell me that you can’t always wait until you’re not afraid. Can I be so bold to say that your fears won’t be broken until the moment you confront them? It’s like when you’re a little kid, about to jump into a swimming pool. The only way you wouldn’t be scared was to jump in anyway, ignoring the hesitation and just going for it.

Two years ago, I decided to start pursuing acting again after taking a hiatus for a couple of years. I didn’t think that I was ready. But I stepped out, and I started. I was terrified. I spent so many nights feeling inadequate. But through it I’ve grown. Opportunities popped up because of the work I sowed while feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Had I let fear control my decisions, I would be missing out. This year, I also decided that I was, after years of talking about it, going to start my vlog. It’s a struggle to create and publish content and convince yourself to keep doing it. I have thoughts telling me everyday that it’s pointless, no one cares, and to just stop. But I have to remind myself that I’m not doing it for the accolades. I’m doing it as an outlet for what I love.

Whatever it is that you love, what you go to sleep thinking about, it’s only going to happen when you take that first tangible step to do something about it. Maybe you don’t know what that dream is, but I do know that everyone loves something. So go do something with it. Love puppies? Go walk dogs. Love food? Pinterest the heck out of recipes and try what looks interesting. You don’t have to have a massive dream right now, but step out and do what fills your life with joy. I heard a saying that goes “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough.” I believe that with my whole heart. Go chase after yours. And if it scares you, great. Do it scared.

Photo by Doran Erickson on Unsplash

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