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Wednesday Wisdom: Fearless Decisions

May 19, 2021

When the sun shines over the eastern hills, breaking dawn on our backyard, a daily summer tradition has played out since 2000 when our beautiful pool was installed. The tradition doesn’t involve me but rather the men in my family. Slowly they walk down the glistening grassed hill to the wooden deck, around the pool corners until they get to the filter, then they raise the cover to ensure there aren’t any amphibians inside. Most people think its odd to have a fear of frogs but it is the only thing I’ve been petrified of since I was two years old, according to my mother. It’s never left me.

As much as I love to swim and sit near my pool, if there is any sign of what I’m scared of, I simply can’t and won’t go there. Fear is irrational, not logical. I hear this from women entrepreneurs who have difficulty standing up to introduce themselves during their 15second pitches or when they turn down public speaking opportunities. Fear of public speaking is real to those women. Flying is another popular fear which may prevent them from doing workshops across the country opening up new business opportunities.

The theme of overcoming fear as women entrepreneurs came up at the Rochester Women’s Network program last week. Here were a few wise quotes from some of their female speakers:

I was bored where I was so I decided to move and leave my two-decade career behind to start a new one. If you are too bored doing what you have been doing, take up a new challenge. Jump off!” Norma

Don’t be afraid people. Do it.” Elaine

“Believe in having better experiences with ‘experimentation’. Use the word experimentation instead of failure. Reframe your language and try.” Amanda

By now we all know the straight and narrow path of leading our own companies does not stay that way. We change, the environment changes, opportunities are presented, setbacks take us off track, and all along we try so hard to stay on course. What I heard from the speakers was the idea that acknowledging the need to follow a different path is perfectly normal and actually welcomed.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to ask yourself what new challenge are you afraid of taking on? What would you do if fear wasn’t a factor? Can you check and see if emotions, more than logic, are stopping you from moving forward on something new. How could you look at what you are facing with a different mindset to eliminate the fear and focus on the positive?

I know when I’ve looked back on my career decisions, like starting Women TIES, when no one understood the concept of regional and statewide networking and feminist-only business “tie” building, that I was slightly fearful but more excited to try it. If it didn’t work, I’d try again at something else. If I hadn’t faced any fear, I would never walked through the door to new women, opportunities, or writing 16 years of Wednesday Wisdoms hopefully touching the minds and hearts of hundreds each week. Embrace the unknown.

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