Why You SHOULD Do Things That Really Scare You

Why You SHOULD Do Things That Really Scare You

Oh, what a week…! Currently I’m having a major panic about an important event I’m speaking at next week, and there’s nothing worse than feeling unprepared.

Now I’ve always really rather enjoyed public speaking. I know that’s strange – most people would probably rather stab themselves in the eye with a fork than get up in front of a group of people and deliver a talk.

I used to be a teacher so was used to talking to a group of about 30 young adults.

I was also a staff trainer at a London store where I sometimes trained the whole team, about 50 at a time.

I’ve also given a couple of blogging talks, one where I talked for an hour and a half. #SomebodyStopMe

I even insisted on giving a speech at my first wedding (unlike my wedding to Keith, that was a more traditional affair) – I think I spoke after my father and before the best man? My dad may correct me.

Anyway you get the idea – I like public speaking.

So when I was asked earlier this year to give a talk at the eRetail Europe conference in Amsterdam in October, I initially thought, Yes!

Aaaaand then promptly thought more about it, and wanted to say no. Talking to a room full of bloggers (most of whom I know) is one thing, but talking to a room full of industry professionals… That’s something else altogether. But still, I said yes, because as they always say: It’s good to do things that scare us, isn’t it?

Isn’t it…?!


A very busy summer

Blog-wise I’ve had the busiest summer imaginable. I don’t know whether it’s as a result of my win at the UK Blog Awards, or whether getting myself an agent had started to pay off, but a HUGE amount of work started flooding in. For which I am, of course, very happy about and grateful for.

I’d have a crazy-busy couple of weeks, then a slightly easier few days, then it was all guns blazing for another two or three weeks. With lots of trips for work here and there, taking a couple of days out of my working week about twice a month (or more).

Thank goodness we took a week off in Cornwall for nothing but some R&R at the beginning of this month, because oh boy I needed it.


When the panic set in

Panic set in about two weeks ago, when I realised that my talk, which I’d very diligently started a couple of months ago, still wasn’t finished. (I was one of those teenagers that had to be nagged to finish her homework else I’d end up doing it on the bus on the way to school.)

At the same time I had about three deadlines brought forward dramatically, just after I’d agreed to do two or three smaller jobs that I knew I could squeeze in.

It was all starting to look less and less likely that I could do all that as well as keep on top of regular posting on my blog and complete other work I’d already agreed to do, thinking my schedule wouldn’t be that crazy busy.

And last night, I had a meltdown. The stress got far too much and I ended up sitting in tears on the kitchen floor because there was just no way I was going to get it all done as well as finish and practice my talk for the conference. The more upset I got about it, the harder it was to get back to the computer and write the talk.

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You just can’t concentrate when you’re sleep deprived, have five-day unwashed hair and are just plain panicking.


The turnaround

To cut a long story short (heck, I’m good at wittering on…), Keith came home in the nick of time, made a cup of tea and sat down with me to talk it over. I told him everything that needed doing. He asked what he could do for me blog-wise to help. We discussed everything, and I felt a lot calmer.

I managed to get back to my desk and steam through the talk. I finished it earlier today, PowerPoint presentation and all.

Whilst I’m still worried about finishing everything that needs to be done (plus I have two assignments that are now required this weekend/urgently today but will only get done if I can get them done), I’m in a better place.

We made a decision: I’m not taking on any more paid work this year. Unless Gucci come banging down my door, I’m only working on projects I’ve already agreed to.

Once I have this post published, I’ll work on Monday and Wednesday’s posts and then hopefully have as much of the weekend as possible to practice my talk, do my nails and get my eyelashes done.

Plus pack a bag.

Plus do those other projects I said I’d try and squeeze in.

But imagine if I’d just said no? Who knows what good or exciting things could possibly happen as a result of me going to do this talk? It’s the old FOMO rearing its (not all that) ugly head again. Plus if I didn’t go I’d be missing out on my day with the wonderful Greetje of No Fear of Fashion who is going to show me Amsterdam, but until the talk is over I can’t look forward to that.

I NEED to do this. I should do this.

I’ll report back soon with how it all went. I’m just hoping that I won’t regret believing in doing things that scare you, because right now I am PETRIFIED…!

Enjoy your weekend, my lovelies πŸ™‚


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Why You SHOULD Do Things That Really Scare You

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  1. 2 October 2017 / 4:22 am

    Amen on that. Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week.

  2. 2 October 2017 / 2:39 am

    I am a giant scaredy cat and have literally never done anything I'm scared of without failing miserably in the attempt, so sadly I have no stories to share on this topic! But, I loved this post nonetheless! Hope things calm down for you a little bit and yes, lots of business is always great news! xo, Trina http://www.petitestylestudio.com

  3. 1 October 2017 / 10:27 am

    Good luck Catherine, you'll be fab! And yes, doing scary things and leaving our comfort zone is a great idea – you're always happy to have done them. And once you have you'll be ready to do more public speaking gigs, and who knows where that'll take you next?

    I teach English to foreign students to keep the wolf from the door and I remember how nervous I was when I first did it as part of my (Celta) course. But it wasn't the students I was thinking of, it was the trainers marking me, hence being observed.

  4. 30 September 2017 / 10:14 pm

    good luck Catherine. I think you'll be brilliant. Pen x

  5. 30 September 2017 / 6:39 pm

    I am a coward, I prefer not to do things that scare me. Looking forward to seeing you lovely Catherine.

  6. 30 September 2017 / 5:22 pm

    Oh Catherine, this is like a double whammy, sweet and sour, good and a little bit not so good. Im so pleased you're doing the talk though, you are marvellous! I wish i could hear it in fact, but i know you'll be fantastic. And yes to doing things out of your comfort zone, this has been the year i have definitely pushed myself a lot more and i am going to keep trying too! As always you're an inspiration xx

  7. 30 September 2017 / 1:57 pm

    Yet another insightful and helpful post, written from your heart and filled with survival tips. I am ever so grateful for the kindness you show other bloggers by allowing us a peek into your busy, successful blogging experiences. Xo Jonet

  8. 30 September 2017 / 1:23 pm

    I'm sure you will be fabulous! I look forward to hearing how it went!

  9. 30 September 2017 / 12:51 pm

    Sometimes the only amazing thing that happens is that you can say, "I did it!" And that is a good enough reason to do it. I am rather an introvert, but I actually do enjoy speaking and "acting" in front of people. The acting (I haven't had an opportunity to do that in years) is a little easier, because you don't have to be yourself. Ha, ha. You will do marvelous, Catherine, now chill out and have a good rest of your weekend. Hugs!! – Amy

  10. 30 September 2017 / 10:29 am

    Catherine! I love this post – being brave and pushing boundaries is where the growth is. I've shared my blog on my most scary attempt (I failed – so will try again) in the link up. Just remember, you will be speaking fully clothed – and your amazing tribe have totally got your back (even me in all my awkwardness!)

  11. 30 September 2017 / 8:56 am

    You go girl! My mum always says do something that frightens you every day! Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't but it's nice to have her voice in the back of my head willing me on xxx

  12. 30 September 2017 / 8:12 am

    Great post! I feel sure you will be well prepared and do great with your speech!! Happy weekend!

  13. 29 September 2017 / 10:03 pm

    Nancy thank you – and yes I will! x

  14. 29 September 2017 / 9:45 pm

    It sounds like you've got this under control Catherine, despite your wobble. I really hope it all goes well for you! I agree that it is very important to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones, otherwise how can we grow as a person? I have done loads of things in the past few years that I didn't want to do, but I'm glad I did them all the same – including getting on stage and singing a song in public?! Yup. It was terrifying. Now when I have to do public speaking I just remind myself at least I don't have to sing to them πŸ˜‰ I look forward to hearing all about your conference xx

    • 29 September 2017 / 10:05 pm

      OMG that is something you'll NEVER get me doing, P – but that's probably because I can't sing for toffee!! Well done you though… and thank you sweetie x

  15. 29 September 2017 / 9:33 pm

    I'll cross my fingers for you Catherine, and wish you and the lovely Greetje a really great time in Amsterdam! I'm already looking forward to hear about it. And remember, the people you're speaking to are only professionals in their own field. You're a professional too, in your field! I'm sure you'll give them a great time!

    • 29 September 2017 / 10:04 pm

      Kaffe that means so much – thank you hon!! x

  16. 29 September 2017 / 9:29 pm

    Okay, I'm crushing on your husband. I love the image of him coming home to you weeping on the kitchen floor and then quietly making a cup of tea and sitting down next to you. What an image of love and support.

    Peace to you as you stretch in uncomfortable ways. Stretching creates room for us to move in ways we didn't know were possible.

    • 29 September 2017 / 10:04 pm

      Aww bless you Karen, thank you – I hadn't thought of it like that…! To be honest he did pick me up off the floor first, hehe πŸ˜‰

  17. 29 September 2017 / 8:01 pm

    Dear Catherine, you are very lucky to have a husband who understand and support you so much, but I do agree that sometimes we bite more than we can chew, and life should always come first.
    All the best of luck. You will be brilliant, I am sure

    • 29 September 2017 / 10:02 pm

      You're absolutely right, Sacramento – hence the decision to not take on any more paid work! The money isn't worth it…! xx

  18. 29 September 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Ah yes, I, too, have been agreeing to projects that scare the heck out of me! First the article I had published in Resilientista Magazine..talking in detail about my sex life and the sexual drought we had experienced for 6 years and how we overcame it. That's some scary stuff to put out there…let me tell you! And next weekend I agreed to be a model for the Forever Fierce Meet up at Chico's in New York City. And I'm shaking in my ever so trendy boots! But I'm going to face the fear as gracefully as I can! And you, too, have got this, my friend. And you will rock it for sure.


    • 29 September 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Shelbee all of that sounds amazing!! I'm sure you'll ROCK it all… and thank you my lovely xx

    • 30 September 2017 / 7:36 pm

      I'll see you next Saturday Shelbee!!!! I'll be there!!!

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