That Four Letter F Word Got Me Good

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Many of you know that I wrote a book about that Four Letter F Word: Fear. I wrote about how paralyzing fear can be for us. I wrote about the different types of fear we suffer from. I wrote about how to move past some of those fears. And I wrote a book that so many people resonated with and has been my most popular book thus far. So that makes me an expert on fear, right?

Expert or not, Fear kicked my butt this past month. Fear is a dirty little trickster, and it tricked me into silence. Yup, I got fooled, too.

On December 23, 2014, I was notified that one of my press releases was picked up by over 200 news media outlets, including NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, and ABC. Yup, the big guys! But you never heard about it…

You’d think I would shout it out from the rooftops, right? You’d think I would brag about it and let you all know, right? Nope! I totally freaked out and let fear keep me silent… for a whole month!

In my book OMG Do It Now, I talk about the two types of social fears: Fear of Failure and Fear of Success. Guess which one I had… Go on, guess!

As an author who wants to be recognized for the work that I do, I considered this a huge success. It’s every creative entrepreneur’s dream to see their name in big flashy lights, “standing next to Oprah and the Queen” as Bruno Mars would agree. Okay, maybe not every entrepreneur, but most of them for sure. Even us introverts, who cringe at the idea of being in the spotlight, and yet we want it oh so bad. (Haha! Humans are funny!)

Obviously, I let my Fear of Success keep me silent. I was scared about what this great news would mean for me. I was scared that I would now have to accept moving on to the next level, whether or not I was ready. I was scared of all the attention this would create for me. I was scared that people who barely knew me would now want to drop everything and work with me. I was scared that my calendar was going to fill up so quickly before I even had time to prepare. I was scared that Oprah was going to call, and I would have to say “YES” to her invitation to interview me, and then freak the eff out about hair, makeup, and wardrobe… much more important than freaking out about talking points, am I right?

Yes, I know my train of thought is slightly exaggerated, but that’s how fear works. Fear creeps into your mind through the little outlets of hope and desire sometimes, and nails you when you least expect it. Sometimes you don’t even know it’s happening until time passes by, and then you get hit with that big aha moment.

That was me. Last week, I googled myself (yes I’ll admit to that), and on the first page of the search results I saw my article featured on an NBC news website. Holy guacamole I was thrilled! I was so thrilled that my joy outweighed the power of my fear, and I went for it! I posted the screenshot on Facebook letting everyone know about my great big accomplishment. It felt good. Scary, but good. I took a leap of faith (in myself) and was pleased with the support I received from everyone. And nothing ridiculous or crazy happened… just another powerful experience of self-growth to add to my solid foundation of noteworthy wisdom.

Oprah hasn’t called yet, but I’m sure it’ll happen any day now. :)

May you always feel good and make magic…

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Comedian, Author, and Podcaster [ @LenaAnani ]

Lena Anani is a comedy writer, self-help author, and podcast nerd. As a Second City trained comedian she loves to write jokes, perform improv, and produce shows. With her books on Amazon, she empowers readers everywhere to access their inner magic. You can also find her interviewing fellow authors from all over the world with her She Wrote A Book podcast. And she’s been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX. Her obsessions include karaoke, her furbaby, and everything Disney.