Friday, June 28, 2013

Don't Succumb to the Fear!

I've started a new career pursuit.  Copywriting.  I still am going to continue blogging, because I love it.  But what I've been learning about being a copywriter is very interesting to me.  So... "Follow the energy!"  (Wayne Dyer) 

So here's what happened last night, that's the motivation for this blog today...

I have been doing this accelerated online program for copywriting.  I love it.  I've been learning a lot.  I feel that excitement of "I can do this!"  Yesterday I spent hours reading the course material and doing the exercises. 

At the end of my "work day," when I felt like I'd done enough and was ready to stop for the day, I decided to head over to the forums for this copywriting program.  It's actually through American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI), and they offer a ton of different programs.

But anyway, what I read in the forums shook me.

It started off alright... with a woman posting a question about a client she'd been working with (she was working!) who was underpaying her.  And another one I read about a guy new to the program, like me, just wanting to connect with fellow copywriters. 

Then I got into some critical, negative posts.  People complaining about the program.  It totally brought me down. 

I wondered, is this how it really is?  Have I just been being too optimistic and naïve?

Of course the course material that I've been reading touts the amazing benefits of the program and working as a copywriter.  Like anything, it's trying to sell you on the program.  And it does an excellent job.  It sold me!

Now, I do realize that any kind of sales material usually contains truth, but the best version of the truth.  It will likely leave out less than favorable things if it can.  It'll tell the success stories...not the failures. 

I'm not that naïve to believe that everyone who goes through this program makes $500,000 a year as a copywriter.  Though I believe some people do.  And that was one of the selling points, saying how you can make between $60,000 - $500,000 or so, per year (I know, wide range). 

There are tons of testimonials from people who've gone through the program who are now doing very well. 

Anyway.... since starting the program about a week ago I've been all charged up about it.  Then the negative forum posts brought me down.  They triggered my inner fear. 

"Am I in over my head?" 
"Is this too good to be true?"
"Can I really do this?"
"Maybe some people can make an excellent living as a copywriter, but maybe I'm not one of those people." 
"Maybe I'm not good enough." 
"Maybe it'll be too hard." 
"What if I don't get any clients?"

You get the idea.


Like I said, this really shook me.  For the next couple of hours I felt the fear coursing through my body.  And, as I'm learning to do (just like my blog post yesterday), I observed the fear as the energy that it is. 

I reminded myself not to attach to it.  Not to place importance on it.  Not to think negative thoughts over and over about it. 

Just notice.  Remain calm.  And let the fear energy move through me. 

And you know what?  This wasn't as easy as my first experience with noticing my fear and letting it move through me... when my boyfriend was on the phone with what could have been his ex-wife (my blog yesterday).

And to be honest, this concerned me.  Why was I so afraid?  Did my heightened fear mean something?  Does it mean copywriting isn't for me after all?  That it won't work for me? 

It concerned me because I'm not usually afraid when it comes to jobs or work.  As I've mentioned lots on here, I'm no stranger to job hopping.  To walking away from one job and jumping into something entirely new and different.  That doesn't scare me.   

But then I remembered this:  I was this afraid when I was learning ASL (American Sign Language).  I remember going to my first Deaf camp (MDO) and being excited, but terrified at the same time.  Would I be good enough?  Would my signing be understood by Deaf people?  Would I understand them?  What if I looked utterly stupid? 

(Notice a theme?)

I was in a new field that I was totally excited about, but also completely new and foreign to me.  I had a lot to learn.  I didn't know if my signing skills were up to par.  I didn't know if I'd be able to understand other, new people signing.  I just didn't know

This is like that.  It's something entirely different from what I'm used to.  It takes skill.  It's a profession, not just a job.

The reason I don't feel afraid to walk into new jobs is because I know the skills involved and I know I can do it... and do it well.  I'm confident in my ability to do that job.  Because even though the job itself is different, the skill set is similar -- and well within my comfort and confidence zone. 

This scares me because it's bigger.  I'll actually be competing against successful copywriters.  I'll actually have to put myself out there and work at it. 

And that's fine.  I still believe I can do it.  I know I can do it.  This "knowing" just relies a lot more on faith than actual "knowing," however.  And that's where the fear creeps in. 

So how did I get out of my fear spiral last night?  I talked positively to myself.  I said affirmations.  I reminded myself that I can do it.  That it doesn't matter if other people had negative experiences or negatives things to say.  I'm not them.  I can do this!   

And if there's something in your life that you're afraid you can't do, remind yourself too, "I can do this!"  Because you can!  (And I'd LOVE to hear any of your own stories... either in the comments below, or on my Facebook page.) 

We wouldn't be given desires if we couldn't fulfill them.  If something piques our interest, that's a sign.  It's our heart and Spirit leading us down the path we need to follow.  Have the courage to go down that path! 

Trust the Universe.  Trust that you will be guided the whole way.  It's ok if you don't know how everything will work out from the very beginning.  Just know that it will work out.

I believe this.  Time to keep walking down my path! 




  1. Sarah,

    I am so glad I found your blog tonight... seriously. I have been dreaming of moving to Manhattan for 15 years and I am finally set to do so Monday. I, too, am a job hopper, and didn't truly find my passion till I went to Cosmetology school, and even then realized I don't want to be behind a chair forever, I want to do photo shoots, and study photography and editing and do makeup and fashion. And I base everything off intuition. Everything. So I am in NYC on a fluke for 4 days as a friend gifted me her apartment for free, and I have no plans, no NY state license, (I just graduated school and got a colorado license) and I'm usually Ms. Prepared but I was like "Let's just see what happens" so I found a Craig's List add for a receptionist, responded, got an interview the following day, and was offered to assist, at basically my DREAM salon, where they offer education, editorial, fashion week in NYC, and an owner trained at London's Videl Sassoon, which is like the Mecca of hair, and they want to start me Tuesday. This was last tuesday. I live in DC. Just moved from Colorado. Haven't even gotten my shipment from Colorado yet. I wasn't planning on moving till Jan. And then boom, these people I know FROM GRADE SCHOOL offer me a FREE place in Brooklyn till Jan. Everything has fallen into place, yet I know where I am in Alexandria is safe and warm and I'm comfortable. I won't be tested or intimidated or be made to feel small and stupid which is really all part of the process of Assisting, that is IF I get the job, I am on a free two week trial period. And I have to pay someone to keep my shipment in storage till I can come back and get it. It's a mess, why I am doubting myself though remains a mystery, because this is what I have ALWAYS wanted.

    Anyway I am SO glad I found your positive optimistic blog that I can relate to so much. I am sure so many can and do. You have a real gift Sarah, keep giving it. And thank you for what you offered for me tonight.

    1. Angela,

      Hi! I apologize for taking so long to respond. It's been a crazy past couple of weeks...
      But anyway, I'm glad you're here! And happy that you enjoy my blog!

      So how did New York go??? I LOVE your story, and thank you for sharing it with me! I'd really like to hear what's happened with you the past almost two weeks since you posted!

      Feel free to reply to this blog, or email me at

      Hope you're doing well!