There were two queues to the rollercoaster ride – men and women. The women’s line was shorter. I reached the ride entrance a couple of people ahead of my brother who was still snaking his way up the other line. I decided to go and take a seat in the car while I waited for him. Bad move. I turned around to find that my brother had deserted the line altogether, and I was seated at the first seat of the rollercoaster! Alone.
This is what happens when you say yes to a fear causing situation before you can think through it. Before I knew it – the safety belts were on and I was catapulted up (and down) multiple times on a ride that I will remember for the rest of my life. It is another matter that I have written off riding on any more rollercoasters – but you have my word that I will not be the one to shy off riding on one if I was ever dared.
The rollercoaster experience taught me that sometimes not knowing what you are getting into, or not overthinking about it, is the best policy. Fear feasts on the overactive mind – and the more attention you give to it, the more of your attention it will happily take from you.
When I took my little turn as an entrepreneur I very soon realised that I was saying yes to things before knowing what I was getting into. This may sound foolish but for me it worked wonders. I said yes first and always managed to figure it out later.
I attended a meet-up organised by an online women’s community – women wanted to learn how to blog profitably. I blurted out that I could put up a programme on ‘How to start a profitable blog’ (No matter that I myself did not have a profitable blog!) Within two weeks I had a line up of speakers (who did have a profit making online presence, thank you very much) a venue to host the workshop in, a banner, a videographer and good lord – even a sponsor! That was the first of many such events that I managed to literally pull out of the hat for my first entrepreneurial venture. I kept on committing to doing things that I did not have the faintest clue about.
I just kept on saying yes – and did the fear of not coming through, of failing miserably and hitting the floor flat on my face never come up? I will be lying if I say no. I was afraid. Very afraid. I spent days and nights in fear that everything would fall apart – that everyone would finally see right through my incompetence and lack of experience. The imposter syndrome is one of fear’s best friends.
But like they say – fake it till you make it – I faked knowing it till I actually knew it. And trust me, most things are really not rocket science. One does need to keep the eyes peeled wide open when getting into opportunities. You need to learn things, you need to adapt and grow. And quite honestly, if you do end up failing at the end of something you said yes to without thinking it through – what of it? Sometimes, we even fail at things that we know everything about!