When speaking to Brenda Jones, an Academic Support Coordinator at a university, on my “Empowering Women in Educational Leadership” September 20th episode, she said that through her experiences as a student and in her positions at universities is to “live with the fear.” Although that may sound scary, it is really elevating your anxious energy that feels like fear and may come across as Imposter Syndrome. Let me elaborate a bit more.

There’s an age-old adage that says, “Fortune favors the bold.” However, for countless women, boldness has often been met with intimidation, doubt, or even overt discouragement. Yet, what if we were to reframe our perspective on fear and let it propel us towards opportunities we’d normally shy away from?

Fear: Not an Enemy, But a Companion

Fear has often been cast in a negative light. It’s seen as something to be conquered, defeated, or banished. But what if we looked at fear not as an enemy but as a companion on our journey? Every time we face fear, it means we are stepping out of our comfort zones and into new territories, territories where growth and transformation lie.

Risks: The Doorways to New Horizons

For women, risks can mean anything: asking for a raise, pursuing a career in a male-dominated industry, starting a business, or even just speaking up in a room full of voices. Historically, women have been conditioned to stay “in their place” and not to rock the boat. But taking risks, even when fraught with fear, opens doorways to opportunities, learning, and experiences that can shape us in ways we can’t imagine.

Anxious Anticipation: The Bridge Between Fear and Excitement

When standing on the precipice of a new endeavor, it’s natural to feel a blend of excitement and fear. Instead of pushing fear aside, let’s allow it to mingle with our excitement. This emotion, which we can term “anxious anticipation,” acts as a powerful motivator. It means you’re alive, you’re feeling, and you’re about to embark on something momentous.

Stories of Bold Women

Consider the story of Malala Yousafzai, who despite threats and extreme fear, advocated for girls’ education in Pakistan. Or think of the countless women who ventured into fields of science, art, politics, or business when the world told them they couldn’t or shouldn’t. Each of these women lived with their fear, but they didn’t let it control them. Instead, they transformed it into determination and a force that pushed them forward.

Turn the Tables: Use Fear as Fuel

Next time you’re faced with a daunting opportunity or challenge, remember that it’s okay to feel scared. That fear is proof you’re pushing boundaries and expanding your horizons. Instead of retreating, lean into it. Visualize the potential success on the other side of that fear, and let that vision guide you forward.

In conclusion, as women, let’s not wait for the world to hand us opportunities. Let’s actively seek them out, even if they scare us. After all, on the other side of fear is a world filled with possibilities, achievements, and stories waiting to be written. Live with fear, embrace the anxious anticipation, and watch as your world transforms in ways you’ve never imagined.

I encourage you to embrace the feeling of anxious anticipation that is masking as “fear” or Imposter Syndrome. Being anxious is a positive feeling that can help you step into a unique opportunity before you. For guidance along your journey, reach out to me for a free consultation at www.drstephanieduguid.com. Find the strength in your anxious anticipation!