Itemize Your Fear to Help You Embrace Risk

Last night I went to a panel at the 92nd Street Y with my Flash Friday partner and 20-something bounty of perspective, Molly Ford of Smart, Pretty and Awkward. Always a fun 20:40 exchange! The panel touched on the “risks and rewards that we face when forging new paths” from women who pioneered in the blogging world. Look for more on that in one of our Flash Friday posts!

The panel was moderated by Elisa Camahort Page, the co-founder and COO of BlogHer.  She talked a little about her own perspective on risk.

Her advice is to itemize your fear. Often we relate to our fear in the abstract…fear of quitting a job, fear of moving, fear of breaking up – is really fear of change. Inherent in all change is a intangible fear of uncertainty and the unknown.

She spoke of the fear involved when she left a 13-year career in marketing and technology to start BlogHer. She had about $25K in savings, was living with but not married to her boyfriend at the time and over the period of 2 years took a loan out on her house and went through another $25K in credit. Scary. Yes. But she asked herself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?”

So she broke it down. She admitted to being privileged in that she has a family who has a home. Her parents still had a room in their house for her. So at worst…she loses her own home and her boyfriend and her startup doesn’t work out. The worst outcome would be that she would have to move home to her parents in her 40s and get a job. Would it be hard? Maybe. But did she think she could get a job again. Yes.

When you break down the abstract to the specific and define the “worst thing”  it can help break apart the fear, make it easier to identify what is holding you back or not!

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