I recently read a quote from the legendary Babe Ruth “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way” I know he meant it in the baseball sense of the phrase-striking out-but I actually read that differently the first time I read it. I read it as striking out on your own. Leaving your comfort zone. Expanding your horizons. Letting go of that which is familiar and embracing the unfamiliar. I am well acquainted with this fear. For quite some time I knew my professional life was heading in a different direction from what I’d been doing since graduating from college. While I was very good at my job, it wasn’t exciting me anymore and it looked to me like that aspect of media sales was starting to implode. Yet I stayed put, for well over a year after I started talking the big talk about leaving. Oh I was a really good talker. Yup, I was going to leave this place and follow my dream. I even had a date all picked out but changed my mind at the last minute. In truth I was scared to death to leave the security of benefits and a steady paycheck. I think it was the hysterical tears that clued me in.
Fate has a way of intervening when we least expect it. 4 weeks after I was going to quit, my employer of 11 years closed. Kaput! No mas. So there I was faced with what I’d been putting out to the universe all those weeks. It was put up or shut up time. Time to walk the talk. Crap. Now what?
You know what? It’s not so bad! I still have my days of paralyzing, and I mean paralyzing fear. But I think I’m going to be ok. I might actually succeed. How’s that for overcoming fear? As far as the corporate world is concerned, I may be out but I’ll be back for another round of at bats with my new team. And yeah, I’m pointing to center field. Step aside Babe.