Does fear stop you from achieving something that you really want?

Let me share my story….

Growing up in India, as girls, we were not allowed to express our opinions on a lot of things. Why? Because we were girls, we had to be obedient and good girls never spoke up. My parents were open minded, but I still remember many times when I had to keep quiet. Eventually, I learnt to keep my thoughts to myself.

I grew up as an introvert and an academically good student. When in grade 11, I believed I will be chosen as the school pupil leader because I was one of the students performing well both in studies and co-curricular activities.

I still remember the day when they read out the names of the leaders for the home groups and the school pupil leader. I waited with bated breath. So much anticipation, butterflies in my tummy. First, they read the name of the school pupil leader. Oh, not my name. I tell myself – that’s ok, there are four house teams. Perhaps, I will be the leader of one of them. One by one, they call out the names. Finally, when my name wasn’t called out, I was so disappointed.

That day after school, when I went home, I told my mom about what happened at school. She realised I was upset and asked if I wanted her to come to school and speak to my teacher about it. I said yes (because I was scared to approach my homeroom teacher).

The next day my mom came to school. My teacher and she had a conversation as I waited outside the room. Then my teacher called me inside and said I was too quiet to be a leader. But if I really wanted, she could put in my name to be a house leader. She also said that it required me talking to people and being ‘out there’. After some thought, I realised I was not ready and let it go.

It was not for me then.

Over the years and even now, I sometimes struggle vocalising what I want. But I have learnt that communication is the only way the other person will know what’s on my mind. I have gotten better.

Once I arrived in Melbourne, I started changing, ever so slowly. Mainly, because I did not have my extended family here and I realised that it was up to me to communicate – even to make friends (note: I only had 3 friends at school). And when I started my business, the butterfly slowly emerged from the cocoon.

I faced many fears – talking to strangers aka clients (I chuckle now, but used to be mortified then), learning new things (running a business, raising children), to even going on stage as a speaker.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve overcome my limiting belief and now embrace life to its fullest. When I am afraid, I make sure I seek help – either my family, a trusted friend or business advisor. Instead of being paralysed, this approach has helped me go onwards and upwards.

What is one fear that is holding you back and how can you move forward? Reach out to me if I can help you.