When I was 15, I developed a strong desire to become a fashion entrepreneur. I dreamed of establishing an online store filled with chic and timeless designs. I collected and dog-eared a set of business-related books. I even invested in a small stock using savings from my retail job. At one point, I strongly considered postponing my A-Levels.
Yet, those dreams never materialized. Looking back, I realize that this was not just because I grew out of the idea, but it was the process that I took to convince myself of the impracticality of starting a business. My initial enthusiasm waned after a few months, and looking at the formalities of starting a business, I became intimidated. I doubted myself. I eventually buried that fantasy which I could have realised.
Much of this was down to fear, and I was once again reminded of my buried aspirations when listening to this inspiring TED talk from rocket scientist and professor, Olympia LePoint.
After deciding, aged six, that she wanted to become a rocket scientist, over the course of her school life LePoint encountered several obstacles: almost losing her an eye in an incident, facing poverty, and failing the subjects she needed to succeed in to realise her dream.
Through overcoming these difficulties and recognising her value, LePoint devised a three-step method to overcoming fear which involves the following:
Rejecting your fear
Reprogramming your brain with different thoughts
Rebuilding the neurons in your brain by taking action
Timeless advice for any career girl, this process is detailed further by LePoint: “Any time someone has fear, problem-solving [capabilities] are completely turned off. When we take action in direct opposition, something interesting happens. Neuron transmitters are created and built within our brains, killing off fear and creating pathways to fire off our frontal lobes, which enables us to do great things.”
As the new week begins, if you’re finding yourself riddled with self-doubt or fear, set aside 15 minutes to listen. It’ll motivate you to start your week feeling empowered.