I have been a member of the Skyword team for a little over a year now, working my way up from an intern to my current position on the marketing team where we work hard to foster content innovation. When there were challenges in my way, I’ve had no problem diving in and finding solutions. But, blogging? For some reason, that eight-letter word renders me incapable of stringing my thoughts together to form even a few straightforward paragraphs.
In addition to owning up to my anxieties, I’ve recognized that fear is actively holding me back from making a valuable contribution to my industry. After all, content innovation thrives on our ability to write and tell emotional and meaningful stories. If I want to succeed in my role, I must transform myself into a better blogger. Being mindful of this need has compelled me to look at the fundamentals of fear and question why fear has such an immense ability to stunt forward momentum.
One definition of fear characterizes it as a distressing emotional reaction to anything that prevents progression and the ability to reach a goal. It is an innate emotion that involves a biochemical reaction to a perceived stimulus. Like all our other emotions, fear is meant to serve as a compass. Its purpose is to offer us information to assess the world around us and exercise our survival instincts. Scientists say we all share five basic fears:
Over time, we have begun to condition ourselves to fear stimuli that were not previously perceived as threats. Each of our manufactured, conditioned fears stems from one of these basic fears.
For me, my fear of blogging stems from the idea that if I don’t persevere, then I will stay in the same spot in my career. I guess that’s a bit of extinction mixed with a dash of separation and ego-death.
But I’m not alone. I hear from my colleagues and friends that their professional progress must start with personal transformation. Whether that means grabbing content innovation by the horns and forcing myself to write every day, or learning how to hack the science of productivity, I know, as do many of my friends, that willpower plays a big role in overcoming fear.
Success at a higher level often requires multiple internal shifts. Digiday recently published a piece where executives from well-known brands detail challenges they are facing in their attempts to adapt to a fast-changing digital environment. Although the challenges may be different, they all share one thing in common: fear of practices that are not completely understood. This fear leads to an unwillingness to adapt, and, therefore, results in an inability to transform.
When you give in to your fear of transformation, you’re only limiting yourself; you’re adding height to barriers and not giving yourself a fair chance to succeed.
Armed with my new ability to recognize unnecessary fears, I am challenging myself to become a better blogger in 2015. You can follow my progress by subscribing to the Content Standard.
Are there any fears you would like to banish this year as you continue on your journey toward personal and professional progress? If so, share them in the comment section below.