Last year, Sheryl Sandberg asked women one simple thing: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” What a loaded question, right?
Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook. Before that, she was vice president of global online sales and operations at Google. Before that, she served as chief of staff for the United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton. She also published Lean In and founded an organization by the same name encouraging women to pursue their dreams. That’s a pretty impressive resume. Next to all those accolades, my life feels awfully simple, as does my would-be response to Sandberg’s question.
I don’t know about you, but thinking about what I’d be doing with my life if I wasn’t afraid makes me a little panicky. It’s basically the most terrifying and all-encompassing undertaking in my world at this particular time. Sharing what I’d do if I wasn’t afraid means first facing the painful, all-too-true reality that I am afraid, every day, of my dreams and my authentic self. For years, I’ve been hiding from the answer(s) to Sandberg’s seemingly simple question - so why should that change now? Why shouldn’t I ignore it and go running back to the safety of my day job and my daily distractions?
Still, somewhere deep down inside me, beneath my hate-brain and my self-doubt, I know that I’m just as worthy of achieving my dreams as the next person, so...you wanna know what I’d do if I wasn’t afraid?
I’d write a book. Then I’d show that book to a bunch of people and let them help me make it better. After that, I’d launch a proper website and try to have that book published. And while I was working on that, I’d start writing another book.
That wasn’t so hard to confess, was it?
Turns out at the time of Sandberg’s question, I was well under way on a lot of those things. The biggest hurdle was writing the book in the first place. Showing it to people was fairly terrifying, but I survived. I’ve even started work on another project. Now comes the last stage in my fear-be-damned swan dive into the life of my dreams: putting it all out there in the universe.
Welcome, readers. Let’s face our fears together, shall we?