Last week I stood outside a building in midtown, feeling like I was going to throw up. I had a meeting set up with an executive from a large publishing house, and I prayed desperately that he forgot about our meeting and I could go home. Was it too late to run away?
I had only ever felt this overwhelming physical anxiety once before and that was when I was going to meet my now husband for our second date. I knew in my gut that he was exactly the kind of guy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. As I waited for the train to take me to his town, fear swept in and I began to question if I was ready for this next step. I had only ever been in unsatisfying relationships before, but at least that was comfortable and known. I didn’t know what it would be like to date someone who I was wild about.
Sometimes our fear of happiness can be greater than our present discontent. Fortunately, I got over my nerves, got on the train, and we had one of our best dates ever. Thank god I didn’t let fear stop me.
I remembered that train ride as I waited for the publisher, and reminded myself that it was good to feel fear: it means that my life is about to expand into a greater comfort zone. Eventually the executive from the publishing house came down to meet me and we had lunch. It was an incredible meeting. He was so positive and encouraging. He agreed to read 50 pages of my manuscript and if he likes it, he’ll put me in touch with the people who can help me get published!!!
If you ever feel fear before you do something new, embrace it. As Paulo Coelho wrote in The Alchemist, “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”