There is a well-known book ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ (Jeffers, 2017), about how to
turn fear and indecision into confidence and action. Looking back, I was held back by fear
and uncertainty from my early teens. I grew up in a home with a mother who worked three
jobs to feed three growing mouths, so barely had time to offer support and encouragement
and a father who was absent both emotionally and financially. I was a bright child
academically, in all the top classes, yet failed college. In hindsight, I did know the subject
that led to the failure but did not have the confidence to seek help.
I became lucky in employment that led to a career in retail management, that I loved and
excelled. Sadly, this led to redundancy in my early twenties that accelerated my fears until
my mid-thirties. I don’t know what happened, but one day, I decided enough was enough. I
enlisted back at college and gained a qualification to study for a degree. I remember feeling
terrified on my first day at college, but nowhere near as scared as my first day at university. I
can visualise it still, walking into that lecture theatre of 200 people, most of them young,
myself aged 37, I was terrified. I recall sitting there, for the first few weeks, waiting for
someone to shout, ‘oi you, get out, you don’t belong here’.
The self-doubt and fear almost caused me to quit many times throughout that degree, but I
felt the fear and did it anyway and graduated. My confidence increased a little and led me to
undertake a master’s degree. The fear and indecision throughout that course were as evident
as the feelings throughout both college courses and my undergrad degree. However, I felt the
fear and did it anyway and graduated with merit!
So, there I was, still in a part-time job, struggling to find employment due to ageism (yes, it
exists) and lack of relevant experience, wondering if a PhD is achievable (I may do one yet)
when I got back into a bit of social media promotion, a role I had done previously and
enjoyed. Business owners started asking me for advice, which led me to wonder if I could
launch a business offering my services and knowledge. I felt the fear and did it anyway and
have now been running my business for three months, have advised several business owners
and currently in talks with two potential clients. The company requires me to network, which
as with college and university, brings out the fear and indecision, but I am feeling the fear
and doing it anyway. I am making new, amazing friends and establishing myself in the
This story may be about me, but I’ve shared it to tell all ladies out there with the ambition of
launching a business or are struggling with a new venture. Please don’t be held back by fear
or confidence, just ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. What have you got to lose?