Back in October, I wrote a piece called “Do Something That Scares You” that discussed how fear-inducing experiences can help you grow in your career and in your life. And now I can actually say, I did something that scared me. What follows is not only my experience with finding something that gave me goosebumps, but also a firsthand account from another Shoptologist who was inspired by the article – and who went out to scare herself. Let’s start with that story from Amy Pedid.

VOLUNTEERING CAN BE SCARY

Last summer I moved to Arkansas to work in Shoptology’s Fayetteville office. Although moving to another state is scary enough, I wanted to challenge myself to do something even more scary by investing my time into an activity I’ve never done before – volunteer as a designer.

So, I found out about GiveCamp, an event where local designers and web developers partner with local non-profits for a weekend to help solve their branding or process problems for free. In less than 72 hours I teamed up with a few coders and solved UX and UI website problems for the Arkansas Crisis Center, a non-profit that aids local needs for suicide prevention. I am very glad I gave GiveCamp a chance.

The biggest takeaway for me was realizing that not knowing how an event will go should not scare me. Sometimes the end result is something way better than you could ever think of! So this year, I challenge you to use your free time and skills to help a non-profit near you. Believe me, it’s not that scary.

HOW I SCARED MYSELF

This is exactly the kind of thing my creative director challenged me with. So here’s my I-just-did-something-that-scared-me story:

I recently wrote a children’s book for my four-year-old daughter. I had been toying around with the idea since she was born and then finally took it more seriously – writing and finishing it all in 2018. I’m my own worst client, so this book took a lot of editing and a good bit of time to get it to a point where I could actually read it out loud to someone.

The first real audience to hear my completed children’s book was my family over Thanksgiving. My daughter had only heard bits and pieces, so watching her light up – even without pictures – was approval enough for me. I’ve since had a few more small audiences to share the book with and I’ve even started the long ladder-climb in the publishing process. Hitting the 'Send' button on my first children’s book query came with goosebumps, a little imposter syndrome and a lot of re-reading to make sure I didn’t have any errors in my email, but it felt great. Now the real scary part is waiting for email responses to hit my inbox.

What’s your scary story?

Are you scaring yourself into finishing a personal project, volunteering somewhere with your career skillset or just doing something way out of your comfort zone? If you can think of a recent one, just take it one day at a time and do something that helps you grow. FebruScary is almost over after all…