Do What Scares You

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

Thanks, Henry David Thoreau, but what if I don’t have the confidence yet?

Here’s what I propose, “Go in the direction of your dreams….one shaky step at a time.”

“I’ve been afraid every single day of my life, but I’ve gone ahead and done it anyway.” – Georgia O’Keefe

When I was twenty-three, my dream was in the form of a blue-eyed boy named Nick in my real estate class.

He was gorgeous, and I mean the kind of piercing blue eyes that make a woman’s palms sweat and cheeks blush at the sight of him.

I can’t believe I learned anything in class but he was a damn good excuse to show up everyday (and to apply an extra layer of lip gloss every 20 minutes).

We didn’t exchange words for the whole three weeks, just a lot of stalking looks on my part and he threw a few casual glances my way.

At the end of week three, we took our final exams and I turned mine in. I looked around and noticed he wasn’t there.

Nick, where art thou Nick?

I booked it out of the lecture room and took off  down the hall, frantically looking around. It turned out that he was finishing the test in a nearby room, free of distractions.

I walked by, saw him alone, and fear struck my heart.

The universe had thrown me a bone…it was now or never.

My familiar inner critic voice reared her head but I did not listen. Instead, I reined in the huge surge of fear-fueled adrenaline and took action.

“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

I nervously walked into the room. Dreamy blue eyes looked up from his test and he did not smile.

Oh shit, what was I doing?

I smiled like a crazy woman and scampered over to the desk where he was sitting. Voice shaking, I blurted out “Hi, I’m Devon.”

He said hi and that his name was Nick. I already knew his name but I didn’t tell him that.

“Don’t mean to bother you, but, ummm, I don’t know if you’re spoken for or not but, ummmm, would you ever want to get coffee sometime?”

Then I shut my mouth and stopped stammering.

He grinned a little, put his pen down, and sat back in his chair. “Umm, haha, no I’m not spoken for and yeah, that sounds cool.”

I almost passed out, I was holding my breath at this point.

“Great!!! What’s the best way to get in touch with you?” OMG, I sounded like I was at a networking event.

“Here, I’ll give you my number.”

He wrote down his number and I tried to control myself. I walked backward right into a chair and almost fell over.

Blushing like wildfire, I sheepishly grinned and said, “Awesome, I’ll text you!” I spun around like I’d just won the lottery.

Walking outside, I spotted my car, got in, and started fist pumping. I was so PROUD of myself for going for it.

Nick and I ended up dating for two years.

The point is, I was a nervous wreck. If I had waited until confidence came, I would have been dead in the water because it never came.

Fear was pulsing through me but I took action. Instead of letting fear paralyze me, I used it for fuel.

I took one small step for womankind and one huge step for Devon.

My confidence muscles were weak and flabby at the time but they got their first real workout that day.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

And I’ve been building the confidence muscles ever since. One day and one step at a time, in different areas of my life.

How do you build yours?

Is it saying “NO” to something you really don’t want to do?

Is it saying “YES” to something you normally never would do?

What’s something you could take action on that’s a complete 180 degree difference of what you’d normally do?

Instead of letting fear paralyze you, take advantage of the enormous energy it has behind it.

Channel it into action. Act on it and confidence will follow, I guarantee it.

So go talk to that person. Or leave a conversation that doesn’t feel good to you.

Email the person who has the amazing career you want to have someday, and ask to take them out to coffee.

Or ask the guy you’ve been crushing on to go out for coffee.

Sign up for the class at the nearby community college. Speak up in class, in the boardroom, or in the bedroom.

“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” – Anonymous

Here’s what I suggest:  Just GO in the direction of your dreams; trembling in your boots, or high heels, or tennis shoes.

Take action WITH a shaky voice, sweaty palms, and your heart pounding with fear of failure, being judged, looking stupid, the unknown.

If you’re scared to try something, that’s a good sign. That means it’s a risk worth taking and you are headed in the right direction.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” – Joseph Campbell

So what do YOU think? Can you relate? Is fear keeping you from moving forward?

Your confidence will build over time but FIRST you gotta take action.

What’s one thing you can do this week to move forward toward your dream, in spite of fear?

I’d love to hear in the comments below so that I may support you!

Giddy up, and let’s do this,


7 replies
  1. Loree Eliot
    Loree Eliot says:

    Oh Devon, you had me laughing out loud with that description! So what I’ve been practicing as of late is this: If I have something coming up that I’m kind of afraid about doing, I totally put it out of my mind until I’m actually doing it. In the past, I could spend days feeling scared about this upcoming event, when in truth, the event was only going to last a short time. Don’t know if that’s a real strategy or not, but it sure cuts down the time I spend feeling anxious!

    • Devon
      Devon says:

      Hi Loree,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I love your practice of putting fear out of your mind until you take action…it sounds like that’s helping you do things that fear used to stop you from! Awesome tactic and thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Kasey Dugan
    Kasey Dugan says:

    I came across a quote that is similar to this and also resonated with me. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something along the lines of “If you can’t do it confidently, then do it scared”. Profound. Sometimes you might not be as confident as you would like or think you should be in your skills or abilities, but if you can muster up the confidence or even fake it just a tiny bit, then you are one step ahead. I think the most important take away is that confidence isn’t always there and it’s important to just take the first few steps, even if you are completely terrified the entire time. Forward is forward and sometimes the confidence comes after the first few steps. It might be the action of doing that gives you confidence, not necessarily having the confidence to inspire the action.


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