“Fear of failure” quote

“What if everything we truly want for ourselves is on the other side of fear?

–That’s the phrase I woke up with repeating over and over again in my head this morning. An awareness that perhaps all of the resistance I’ve been feeling around certain concepts is perhaps information that I need to be looking there for self-growth. Which is enough to induce a fear-based response in most of us (myself included).

I feel my shoulders tense up and I feel “all the reasons in the world” come flooding in to remind me why not to do it. I step back from that fear long enough to be able to feel a new narrative coming in; one I credit to a good nights sleep and a brief discussion with a couple of my mentors and friends last night. That –“why I won’t enjoy it; why I won’t do it or why I have refused to do it up until now in my life”– narrative is one that serves the version of me I am today: it’s not good or bad, it’s just simply a self defined belief system that has helped sculpt my reality and the way I show up in the world.

What if it was different though?

What if I was able to recognize all that resistance to the idea of something as objective information and simply a clear indicator of something I have not yet tried. If I stopped applying judgement to it and simply surrendered my “hard fasted beliefs” and re-examined what else is possible when I’m not judging this idea (or my ability to execute it?).

The notion I’m talking about today happens to be around “speaking up” in a public way and simply starting to share my narrative as one of many in a particular space. It is nothing unfounded, original or “life changing” (perhaps). It’s simply getting over myself and recognizing that maybe there are more (or ‘bigger’) reasons to share what I know rather than to continue to be comfortable and ‘play small’.

Big changes take one small step at time.

This article is my one small step towards the unknown and away from what is comfortable. For years I have been a ghost online –and rather than fill you in on the reasons why I’ve been a ghost (which has been my narrative for over 6 years now) –what if I shifted the narrative and spoke instead about my reasons why I’d like to show up and be the person who got over her fear? [Note: fear helps me build an awareness though. It helps me recognize where my energy is being drawn, so I can remedy that area]

The reason I’d like to show up and be the person who got over her fear is so that I can help be a voice that helps guide others out of theirs. When I take the time to “tune in” and recognize who I might very easily be without these gnawing fears ‘holding me back’ I see the potential for myself to be an active contributor. All those stacks of paper that are sitting by my bedside with introspective and learned experiences might’ve been stacks of articles, content and videos that others (as few or as many) might’ve been learning from, relating to and growing from if I’d had the courage to simply write here instead of on paper for all these years.

That is why I am willing to show up right now: on behalf of everyone I know with learned experiences to share and find their voice through. Just like you, I am one of billions of people on this planet. It’s easy to feel insignificant, like I (or my experiences) don’t matter; and in today’s day and age of incessant social media it’s even easier to feel like my point of view and self-expression is “narcissistic” and bothersome to the world at large.

All of these things are possible, and potentially valid. And that awareness was enough to keep me from even bothering to try to overcome my fear before. Why would I want to be “just another voice” online, sharing content for the sake of getting views?

What if it wasn’t about that outside-looking-in perspective though? What if it was more about focusing on the genuine human interactions that happen when we share intimate experiences with each other? What if I could move past the fear of people thinking “I wanted attention” and the fear of feeling overloaded by feedback/attention and re-identified myself as someone who could handle that?

People are making a difference in my life everyday; I want to support more of that.

There are people around me who have, in a single conversation, completely shifted how I saw the world, this life and ourselves within it. They have shown me depth, ‘rawness’ and incredible feats of compassion, forgiveness, ambition and learned experiences.

Often these conversations took place in person or over the phone; ‘rarely’ have I found them over social media… which is something that used to make me think “social media is superficial” (just pictures of dogs, babies and trending memes) –but lately I’ve been thinking: what if that’s my experience because that’s what I’m expecting? I’m expecting people online to be superficial, and I’m showing up online with that same level of superficialness?

What if I’m just completely, downright wrong and I’ve been so far removed from the truth (while reinforcing my reasons why not to show up on social media) that I myself have created a toxic version of reality that’s contributing to feeling more isolated and ‘seperate’ from others than anything?

What if I just got over myself and stop building up walls and reasons not to contribute so that I could contribute to those meaningful conversations too? What if me being willing to share my experiences helped shift someone else’s view of themselves, or the world around them, just as others have done for me?

In a flash ‘a million reasons’ come flooding in that tell me ego-based stories about being self-inflated, fanciful, and overly invested in something that nobody else ‘probably cares’ about. A flurry of reasons why this entire article is self-serving and ‘doesn’t really say much’. Oi. That’s the nature of being self-reflective and conscientious; we often feel that we are “the only ones” or are jarringly aware of all the reasons somebody else might think that what we are doing is ‘annoying, not good enough, not interesting enough, etc.”

{And this is where I decided to end the article}; I went back to re-read this article, and partway through recognized it might be valuable to record myself speaking it out loud (one more way for people to engage/learn from; I know that I myself don’t often leave much time to read but have time to listen while I am in the car). If you’re interested in hearing the end of this, you can listen to the audio I uploaded at Soundcloud: (link here).

Closing words

“Well, I showed up”. Far from perfect, far from ideal and far from what I think I’m capable of… it’s exactly what I know I need to be right now. These past couple years of my life has shown that success is a practice not a single act. And getting started in one of the most crucial parts.

So here I am, “Getting Started” (again) and being open to being the kind of person who moves through her fear, on behalf of something bigger than herself.

I have admittedly started to write this article on behalf of the people I feel called to serve professionally. An awareness of the resistance they are facing, and a willingness to face it with them is exactly why I am so ready to move through my fear right now. If you are someone with a story, a voice or a learned-experience to share I hope this (perhaps awkward and fumbly) article finds it’s way to you as a small means of encouragement and affirmation that “someone out there thinks you have a story to share, and she’s willing to ‘step up’ and ‘stop playing small with you’.

[This article is dedicated/in thanks to Lourdes and Laura, who have recently shared their experiences with me and helped me recognize the
“humanity” behind the everyday feelings of social media and the illusion of separation]. Thank-you.




Loves solving unique problems that exist at the intersection of humans and technology; obsessed with exploring new perspectives and creating beautiful messes.

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Melanie K. Dee

Melanie K. Dee

Loves solving unique problems that exist at the intersection of humans and technology; obsessed with exploring new perspectives and creating beautiful messes.

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