The Fear That Keeps Me Silent

"How is the magazine going?"
"It's going well.  But tell me about you."

That's a normal interaction I have when someone asks me about Holl & Lane in person.  They ask me to tell them about it, I change the subject.  They ask me how it's going, I deflect back to them, with hives creeping up my neck.  I can talk about the magazine on the Internet all day, behind the safety of my screen.  But ask me in person, and I clam up.


I have this fear of being embarrassed, called out, ridiculed for things that I'm passionate about.  I have this fear of public failure that I can't seem to get past.  So the less I talk, the less people will know when I eventually fail, right?

But that's a horrible way to run a business.  You can't grow a business without talking about it.  You can't expect your friends and family to get excited about something they don't know about.  But in my head, it's safer that way.  There are less expectations, less questions, less possibility for negativity.


I'm not sure when or why or how this fear started.  My business coach recently asked me what I'm so afraid of, and asked me what the worst that could happen is in my mind.  It took me a minute to really think about it, but there are two things I'm terrified of.  First, someone saying, "The magazine is awful, why are you wasting your time on it?  What a stupid idea."  Second, it's the fear of talking and talking and talking about it only to have it fail and then to be embarrassed that something I am so passionate about didn't survive.

Her responses to both of these fears were simple:

1) If someone says that, they probably aren't really Team Sarah anyway and I don't need them in my life.

2) The magazine has already succeeded.  I'm nearly two years in and it's still going.  Even if it takes a different form down the road, it's still succeeded.  Even if I've helped one person, it's succeeded.  Even if I had only done one issue and then quit, it still succeeded because I put it out there.


So this year, I have made it a personal mission to talk about it more.  To explain my passion and why I do what I do and what it means to me and why.  To let others see my excitement and get excited with me.  I want to stand up to this fear and know that what I'm doing is enough and that I'm enough.  And those that truly love me and support me will always be standing there with me.


Header image by Genesis Geiger for Holl & Lane Magazine