The Fresh Exchange Blog

Lessons #1

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Do what frightens you  |  The Fresh Exchange

Remember when I posted on my birthday and I said I had written down the lessons I had learned? Well I felt today as I leave for Alt Summit I should begin sharing some of these little gems. It felt right, you know?

Last year when I was packing my bags I was so frightened to get on that plane alone. It was my first time seeing some of my blogger friends and it was my first time being in a room of women I so greatly admired. What is not frightening about that? I was so introverted and insecure then. It felt exciting but also like the scariest thing I could imagine.

I spent most of 25 learning to challenge myself with things that frightened me from writing my first proposal to a brand I love, to being more honest with you all, and to even taking a cab for the first time in NYC. What I found was every time no matter how high my anxiety was the accomplishment of doing that small or very big thing felt amazing. It meant I could do it again and do it even better the next time. I learned to trust myself better. I found myself more confident when it came to new things and more open.

As a designer I have found that facing fears have been what have pushed my career and style the furthest. When I began I took some design projects for free because they were the kind of clients I wanted in my portfolio. That was scary when you have bills to pay and student loans to pay. But those risks paid off in the long run as now I have some of the best clients I could imagine. I allowed myself creative freedom and sent comps to clients that I knew they would love or hate. When you create as a service to people you constantly are placing your soul on the line because your work no matter how hard to try to separate it from who you are is who you are.

Many times we so easily cave to things that seem frightening whether they are big or small. We give in to the fear, which ends up holding us back from doing what needs to be done and what is within our journey. Every time something scary comes around the corner I have a moment of “Oh don’t even think about it Megan” but the more things I conquer the more quickly I flip that statement around to “let’s do that again.”

There were nights this year I would price things and wake up with a gut wrenching fear I asked too much and I wouldn’t get a project I really wanted, but those moments made me check myself if I was worth it and I came up realizing not only did my client think I was but I was as well.

Being fearful as a creative is the greatest deterrent of reaching your potential and making a livelihood for yourself so the more you allow yourself to let go of the fear and just embrace the challenges the more you will see growth and success. Find a way to take things head on and not let them stand in your way. No one else can give you that motivation but yourself.

Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday. I will see some of you tomorrow or Thursday, right?!?! So excited to hug all you that I get to meet!!! xo

13 Comments

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  1. Yes! I love this. There is a great quote by Jack Cheng:

    “If it excites you and scares the crap out of you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.”

    I wish I was headed to ALT summit. Maybe next year. Would love to meet you along with Kathleen, with whom I’ve Skyped but not yet met in person. Cheers to a brave new year, Megan!

  2. Megan – Great post! Love the simple reminder that sometimes you just have to have faith and take plunge to pursue your passion! Have a great time at ALT!

  3. Megan, thanks for sharing this! My husband is a designer and it is good to hear that other young designers go through similar things. Hearing your perspective helps me understand what he is going through a bit more, too!

  4. Jenny B

    Ms. Megan, this was exactly what I needed to read at this very moment. Thank you for your brave example and good words.

  5. just what i needed to read this afternoon. seriously.

  6. Samantha Elise

    I will reiterate what Jenny B said in that this was phenomenal timing to find this post.

    The feeling of fear can really be a great push. However, the overbearing fear of failure can be so distracting.

    And for this, I can’t wait to write more today.

    Thank you for this. Best to you and hugs from the Bay Area!

  7. Timed just right…per usual. I’ve been extremely frightened to take certain steps and let certain things go in my career and life. At times, I wish someone would literally just push me forward….this is a good start.

    Thanks for your wonderful words!

  8. thank you Megan for being so inspiring and thank you for sharing this.

    Sometimes we just need a real life person reminder. Not those cheesy memes that float around the internet so much that it has lost its meaning.

    but someone who speaks from the heart about it like you.

  9. I have not been to any blogger events because of fear and intimidation. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has these fears. I can’t wait to read your stories from AltSummit, enjoy your trip.

    Thanks for sharing.
    XX-Myrna
    mybeatoutique.blogspot.com

  10. Kercia

    This post is wonderful, Megan. Just want I needed to hear!

  11. Shaleesa Mize

    Thank you for the words of wisdom! I am an interior design student and I can agree that separating yourself from your creative work is difficult to do. At the end of each project that has taken months of blood sweat and tears we pin up our work and have critiques. There have been times I have been left tearing up I was so hurt, and others that I was left jumping up and down with happiness. There is too much of an emotional connection to your creativity, it is your soul’s work! Anyway, thanks for being real! I can’t wait for you to share your experiences at Alt!

  12. i just stumbled upon your blog… and i’m not even sure how i found it now that i’m here! anyways, this is exactly what i needed to hear right now, this very moment.
    today was one of those days when i just felt like i wasn’t good enough to paint anything, or call myself an artist…. your words just picked me right back up. thanks so much for sharing your heart, letting us connect. :)

  13. Thanks so much for this little push in the form of encouraging words. I recently decided that I’m going to take my writing more seriously and try to make something “real” of it…but looking at all the other successes out there can be such a deterrent. But you’re so right…you just have to DO it, whatever it is.

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