This phrase attributed to the remarkable Eleanor Roosevelt is perhaps a little overused. It’s has become the preserve of a particular type of leadership conference, and a particular type of motivational sign – both of which are rather irritating. What of the phrase itself though? Is this useful practice? Does scaring myself benefit me?
I think it does. One of the bonuses of living with anxiety, and being the queen of catastrophising means that pretty much everything scares me – some days it takes all my courage to take out the bins. I’m also a big believer that fear exists to protect us, and that there are some things that are do not need to be done (bungee jumpers I’m looking at you). I’ve done scary things that I will never do again, like being on the back of a moped in Saigon, and others that have given me courage to repeat the experience, like being brave enough to read my column at the launch of issue two of Spelt magazine, or simply to submit my work for publication.
With this in mind, I’m about to embark on a new venture – I’m hoping to record a collection of poetry readings. It’s something that feels essential if I want to help my work reach a wider audience. It also scares the living daylights out of me. Nonetheless, I have a little camera, I’ve figured out the software and I’m almost ready to roll . My first recording will be on Sunday morning, and I hope to upload shortly afterwards so watch this space!