No More Fear

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

I have this journal where I write down quotes, thoughts, things I read or hear that evoke some kind of emotion … all sorts of things I can refer back to for inspiration or new ideas when I’m working on a project.

Well this morning I came across Dale Carnegie’s quote about fear when flipping through it …

I had seen it before (since I wrote it down!), but today it jumped off the page and really resonated with me.

While I agree with Mr. Carnegie that inaction breeds doubt and fear … lately I’ve found that the reverse is true too.

Fear breeds inaction.

Last week I invited AWAI members to sit down and talk to me about the upcoming Web Intensive to decide whether it was a good decision or not for them to attend.

And over that last four days, I’ve spoken to a LOT of people!

Almost every person who needed my help had either allowed a fear to creep in and stop their forward progress, or was on the verge of getting stuck because they feared their next step on their path to living the writer’s life.

There were fears about talking to clients on the phone…
Fears about not finding any clients at all…
Fears about someone saying “no” …
Fears that their writing wouldn’t be good enough …
Fears that they’d never master writing headlines and leads …

With almost all of the fears, they were able to move past them simply by identifying what they were – just fears – and then coming up with an action to move past them.

Like Mr. Carnegie says, “Go out and get busy.”

What about you?

When you think about your own path to the writer’s life, what fears do you have? If you’d like to share them with me, I invite you to post them in the comments section below.

And then check out this article by AWAI’s $10k Challenge Winner, Roy Furr

When you first meet Roy you’d never think he’d be afraid of anything. He comes across quite confident. But he recently admitted he does have fears.

And in that article, he shares with you what he’s learned about overcoming them, and what you can do to ensure they don’t get in your way from living the life you want this year.

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Published: January 18, 2011

17 Responses to “No More Fear”

  1. Funny. I've been a successful freelance copywriter for some time now, but I still get that knot in my stomach whenever I take on a new assignment. I can't help but think that "this will be the one that really bombs." I have to remind myself that even the top copywriters - the guys that make the really big bucks - have laid some eggs. And then I throw myself into the assignment with everything I've got. The client usually loves what I write - and I find my worries were for nothing.

    Guest (Deanna)

  2. Rebecca, do you still plan to talk to web intensive participants about goals etc. for the event?
    Thanks, Ann J-M

    Ann Jordan-Mills

  3. Like most, my biggest fear is that my writing is not good enough. Second, I worry about feeding the creative side. I have a full time job that is technical in nature and I have a family to raise so most of my day is spent doing left brain organizational type activities. It is sometimes hard to not only carve out the time to write but also to get the creative juices flowing.

    Guest (Brenda)

  4. I have a fear of information overload and brain freeze...

    Kathy Daly-Unfricht

  5. I am a bit puzzled!! I have been a public motivational speaker over the years and even in Summer Stock at the Norton Art Gallery in West Palm Beach as well as other public apearances of various sorts. I have written prose and other miscellaneous stuff with success. But now that I am wanting to write for pay as a copywriter I run into a brick wall. I guess once I actually do write something and get paid for it I will always have this lurking fear.


  6. My biggest fear is that in the end, it will all be just a waste of time. That no matter how hard I tried, success or living the 'Writers Life', is simply not meant to be for those things happen to other people, not me.


  7. I'm very new to copywriting after a long career in the medical field helping others, and my fears are of greed and selfishness. Not my own, but other writers.It seem for every question I have about getting started, there IS an answer, for a fee. $50 here $175 there. I got into this line of work to make money from my clients, not my fellow writers. I understand you don't get something for nothing but I work hard at this and sometimes feel taken advantage of. I ask myself if I made a bad choice?

    P D G

  8. Fears? Where do I start? I know that fear can freeze action. Since my day job has been unstable for 3 years, I have felt frozen in place. Without initial resources to "get me started" I have been taking way too long to finish the 6 figure program. Unsure about many things. Fear of rejection, of my work not being good enough, of getting passed over for someone who is just better. Getting to the end of my rope.


  9. As an author I am frustrated. I have tried the DIY method and this has been costly. It is said that an author has to submit his work 75 times before he is successful and finds a traditional publisher. I am sure your's is not the right medium, but who knows?

    Guest (Edward Seyforth)

  10. My mum (who means well but is a lifelong negative thinker) is forever shaking her head, looking at me with a mixture of despair and disappointment, and saying to me "you're wasted". This is partly because, although I was fairly smart, I left school early and have spent my life doing a mind numbing office job that I can't stand and never could. I've made many attempts to follow my skills and passions and transition into a career as a writer but no matter how many courses I do, or self-help programmes I try, or how many goals I set for myself, I never succeed in leaving behind my dead end, soul destroying job and start a new career and life for myself. I think that deep down after all my failures and false starts I've become so scared that mum is right about me that it's turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm afraid that I'll get to the end of my life and have to accept that I am just a waste because I'll have never made the most of my skills or experienced the joy of doi

    Guest (Kareena)

  11. A guy writing a book about Amsterdam was looking for a proofreader/editor. I nearly let it go, then, before I could stop myself, I contacted him, made what I thought was a preposterous offer and...
    got the job!
    Now I'm halfway through the book, the author is very pleased with what I've done so far.
    I've realised that I am really good at what I do, so it's onwards and upwards from now on.
    Dale Carnegie was right. Just get out there and do it!

    David Freed

  12. Thankyou.

    I know I can write what is required of me as I've been doing sales proposals for years. I can do door knocks, cold calling. I've done the Xerox's SPIN sales training course. I'm thick skinned.
    My fear is based around my lack of money. Yes I propably need a web site but why is the one you promote better than SBI's? You have never given an example/sample to look at for my self.
    You people are always upselling and there is a limit to what I can afford.
    I joined AWAI to be a Travel Writer to use my photographic skills. I've just had a trip on the Danube and took 2,000 shots, but what comes next? Write about the trip of get my photos up on the web. I will use something like as they do Order Fullfillment. I'll have a link form my new web site "Heritage On Canvas (& Prints)" So how do you suggest I get some money in?

    Regards Norm Ford

    Guest (Norm)

  13. My biggest fears are: one, that whatever I do or attempt, I'm not accomplishing much in the writing field despite years of work and being an excellent writer.
    Two, I fear time is creeping up on me and I don't have enough left to accomplish all my goals.
    Three, financial instability. I can't write if I don't have an income and if I have an income, then I don't have the time to write. But when I'm broke as I am now, then I freeze and all creativity deserts me.

    Guest (Penelope J)


    Guest (new world)

  15. Fear? Oh, yes. What if I can't keep up with all the new trends? There's so much happening out there. I'm not a "techie" but I can write. So where can I find my niche? How do I get started? Will I get my foot in the door and someone will slam it closed? Your article - and Ron's - have given me hope. So my note card has the words: I am a person who acts in face of fear - so I just need to get out there and do it! You see, up until I've allowed my fears to hold me back. Thank you.


  16. Fear is an acronym for: False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear has held me back in relationships, career and life choices. I become afraid when I give my power to someone else. I forget their negative remarks are based in their own fears and have nothing to do with me. I have taken things personally when I should have just let it go. Taking action reclaims my power. My thoughts control the outcome of my life and I am responsible for my thoughts.


  17. My biggest hangup is not knowing quite where to start. The how do I do this? is driving me quite mad. I can write, there is no doubt about that and I have been published a few times, but I can't seem to get to next level. I don't know where to go for clients, I don't know how to go about getting them, and I worry I will spend so much time trying to find clients that I won't have time to write when I do.

    Guest (john)

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