The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. -- Joseph Campbell

When I was very young, if I was I was learning something new and didn't catch on right away, I always pronounced my dislike for that thing right away. If it didn't come easily, I wasn't interested. I was a pretty bright kid, and I enjoyed the praise of adults when I did something competently. But struggling to learn, failing at first attempts, making newbie mistakes were events that I just couldn't tolerate. I'm not sure why, but trust me when I say I just was so, so afraid of looking, well, dumb. I guess that's what really scared me. Looking dumb.

Suffice it to say, I spent a lot of my young adult life overcoming silly fears (Ever hear of someone afraid to use a business phone with multiple lines? Me. That was me.) and trying to get out of my own way so I could accomplish something, anything. Slowly but surely I found my way, enjoyed some successes in the business world, even led and managed an incredibly hardworking and can-do-determined customer service team. But like lots of folks, I wanted more. Isn't that just the way?! For some of us, conquering the next mountain is what gets us out of bed each morning!

So does starting something new, learning something new cause you fear? Learning medical transcription was no walk in the park, let me tell you, but I was encouraged every day by the posts I read on my school's student and graduate forums. Other men and women, just like me, who had been out of school for years, who had no medical background whatsoever, and were making progress in the course, step by step, lesson by lesson!

In the spirit of getting out of our comfort zones in order to embrace a challenging yet promising commitment, here are three powerful ideas I'd like to have you think on a bit:

  • If fear of the unknown is preventing you from moving forward, then take steps to research and learn all you can about your new opportunity. Those MT student chat forums had been inspirational, certainly, but the information I gathered there helped me gain perspective and prepare me for the challenging coursework ahead. Learn more! Knowledge is power!
  • Is fear of failure immobilizing you? Welcome to the club; this was always my big obstacle! A co-worker once confided to me her mantra: "Feel the fear and do it anyway!" This is my favorite tool for overcoming a fear of failure. Remember failure is only an important and critical step in learning. Everyone fails, and then you try again. Whether learning to write your name, drive a car, pass a test, or deliver a speech, making errors is just part of the process. I've learned to let my failure inform me, guide me. Try it! Now repeat after me...feel the fear and do it anyway, feel the fear and do it anyway...
  • Is it the subconscious insidious fear of success that's holding you back from doing something new? I'll have to admit, I cannot relate to that one! As the incomparable writer, Dorothy Parker, said, "I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be darling at it!" One of the best ways to overcome a fear of success (probably born out of a low self-esteem) is through positive self-talk. Remember, you ARE good enough. You DO deserve the fruits of your labors. We are all amazing and remarkable creatures.

Now go out and do something amazing and remarkable!

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Perry is a blogger and happy medical transcriptionist, busy wife, mom, and grandmother pursuing goals and dreams -- including the one about living a balanced life (check!), going back to college (check!), and helping others find a way to work at home and experience their own happy results! Visit her at