Embrace Fear, Celebrate Failure

Thomas Edison understood that failure is a great teacher. Each time an experiment failed to yield the desired result, he moved one step closer to success.

I personally felt a huge accomplishment after I served as a cantor for the first time at my church. Before and during, I was scared and sweating bullets. But I learned I could do it, and even if I made a mistake, I would survive. After the Mass, the feeling of accomplishment was huge. Now, years later, I have sung at hundreds of Masses, including special diocesan-wide celebrations. It is always an honor and a joy to serve as a cantor. I am able to do it only because, one time, I stepped forward, even though I was petrified.

Freelancing offers writers many opportunities to expand their earnings — writing (blogs, magazine articles, books, etc.), editing (content, line, proofreading, etc.), speaking, and more. Yet most freelancers choose to work within a small domain, mostly because they feel comfortable there.

“I don’t know enough about it to do it” is the normal excuse.

Yes, but you can learn!

“I’m afraid to do it.”

Sounds like an opportunity to grow.

Catholic Writers Guild member Jane Lebak offers the following sage advice she learned from another: “Do one scary thing each day.”

Often, what is holding back our writing careers is that thing we are afraid to confront. By forming a habit of doing one scary thing each day, or even one a week, we begin to eliminate those obstacles in our life.

What are you afraid to do?

Is it sending out a query letter to that top-ranked publisher? Is it tackling a sensitive subject in your writing that you feel called to address? Is it volunteering to work a conference?

We never know what opportunities will present themselves when we step out of our comfort zone.

Go on! Embrace the fear. You may even succeed!

About Dennis McGeehan

Dennis P. McGeehan is a husband, homeschooling Dad of eight, a Martial Artist, Freelance Writer, Author and Speaker. He is a member of the Catholic Writers Guild. His latest book is titled The Diaries of Joseph and Mary.
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