Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Doing What You Want to Do

So many of us go into business to do what we want to do. We work long hours happily to be our own boss. But if you are like me, your business can easily take a shape that takes you away from that inner impulse...if you, like me, suffer from a need to look successful at all times.

Doing what you want to do is tender stuff. Often it is covered over with discouragement, cynicism, fear, or just plain forgetfulness. If we probe deeply enough, we find the roots of these emotions that stand between us and doing what we want to do.

Often they are simple enough. I writer friend of mine had a severe attack of fear after finishing the first draft of her first book. She shook with fear. Upon probing (how old are you now? where are you? who else is there?) she recounted a scene in which she was tormented by her older brother because she had written something....she had talent and her brother did not, so he set out to destroyed that of which he was jealous.

Her brother wasn't evil. These are the things that afflict all humans. The trick is, if you want to do what you want to do, you have to be ready to get whacked by these old fears. If you just had a job and followed a script already laid out for you, you wouldn't have to bother. But as a freelancer, solopreneur, whatever, who you are shapes what you do in a very significant way.

You need to grow stronger so you can endure these torments, bat them away, and get at that deep talent within that wants expression through your business. And to be prepared to do this again, and again, and again. It's the price of admission to this creative, wonderful world.

5 comments:

Evelyn said...

You speak the truth here. Excellent post.

Elizabeth (Beth) LaMie said...

Susan,
Great blog on a subject near & dear to my heart. I love the universal appeal of conquering our fear, especially when tackling a new challenge.

Your blogs are a treat to read.

Rachel Cornell said...

...ooooyah....I had that older brother too! Great post.

ParentPreneur said...

Having recently come back from training really SMART women in South Africa to be entrepreneurs, I am more convinced that we are our own worst enemy. FEAR had previously been the number one issue with these ladies and the first thing we addressed and put aside. Fear of failure, fear of rejection - it is a huge barrier! My favorite quote that hands above my desk is: FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

Susan Kuhn Frost said...

Fear is a huge barrier, Julie, thanks for your comment. That place where our soft inner selves meet the world -- which does not revolve around us -- is full of emotion, longing, risk, pulling back, and as you write, fear. I think one of the hardest lessons in business -- and one of the most liberating -- is to learn to put yourself out there and not be wounded by life, to let the pain just wash over you. If we stay inside that cocoon of self, if we hide who we are from the world, we miss truly living, and the world truly has wasted all that was put inside us from birth if we don't give it back in the form of using our talents.