Today I have been thinking about fear, sometimes it paralyses us, sometimes it is the thing that drives us forward.
Flash back to a 23 year old girl with a successful job in a Japanese bank, a boyfriend, mortgage on a canal side flat in Surrey, nice car and a dog. Sound good? Some might say that I was successful, but was I happy? Fulfilled? The answer is no on both counts.
So, was I scared when I left it all behind to become a flight attendant in Bahrain, the year after the first Gulf War? Not at all, I was excited but I can tell you that FEAR was the reason I did it! I could see a future mapped out for me that left me cold, marriage, babies, and then what? I was terrified of the prospect of a life without adventure, of being stifled by other people’s expectations. So I left.
Fast forward thirteen years. I am on my way to Saudi Arabia to live, and to work for someone I have never met, was I scared? No. The fear was to come 13 months later, when the novelty of having a frank flight attendant as an employee wore off for my boss. I hatched a plan, with a little help, to run away in the middle of the night (I kid you not, but that is another story). Was I scared? You bet, no final exit visa, no “no-objection” letter from my employer, it could all go horribly wrong. I was scared all right, but once again, the idea of staying put scared me more. So I ran.
Wanting to celebrate my 40th birthday in style, I took myself (alone) off to South America for six months. Was I scared? for a moment, just before boarding, I did ask myself, "what are you doing? you don't know anyone there", and then I boarded the flight and set off for new adventures.
When I set up Travel Magellan, I had no job (the travel management company that I worked for had gone bankrupt), no money and we were in the midst of a recession. Again, fear of the alternative (and a passion for travel of course), drove me forward, once again I would shape my own destiny, and here we are, with Travel Magellan in its fifth year of business..
As you read this, you can be forgiven for thinking that I am fearless, far from it, it is just that sometimes my fear is what drives me.
And now I shall make a confession, stupid as it sounds after all that I have done (and I have missed out quite a bit). I am terrified of public speaking! and I know that I am not the only one, but today I thought about fear, and on all that I have done as a result of it and I conclude, I am going to face this one, full on and conquer it.
So now I wonder, what fears do you have, and will you face them?
Let me know if I can help, as a head full of fears has no room for dreams.