Scared but Doing It Anyway

Aug 30, 2017 by

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This quote hung over my desk for several years.

My friend Marilyn sent it to me when I was about to do something scary. I don’t even remember what the scary thing was, but it most likely involved a book proposal, or a project that required bleeding onto the page then setting myself up for possible rejection by pitching it to an editor or agent.

I remembered this quote last night as I prepared to do something equally as scary: I tried out for a local chorus that several of my friends from the Community Presbyterian Church choir were in.

“Um, Jeanette,” you might be tempted to point out, “Why would this fall into the category of scary for you? You’ve been singing for your entire adult life. You speak and teach writing workshops. Every time you submit a book proposal or sample of your writing you are basically auditioning. Are you just trying to get attention again? There are other ways.”

Let’s just say that there is a reason why death falls after public speaking on the list of Most Common Fears. Anything that requires putting oneself out there is terrifying. I’m still trying to figure out why I can’t apply the above quote to flying and swimming in the ocean, but that’s a discussion for another time.

To those who want to know my secrets to being “so brave,” they are…

  • Lots of acting classes
  • Prayer
  • Applying the quote above

Most of what I do, I do while scared to death.

I came very close to letting fear hold me back from trying out for the Blackhawk Chorus. What if I messed up? What if I didn’t make it? What if everyone else was better than me? My insecurities and anxicties have a terrible habit of tripping me up just when I’m having a good time. What if that happened here too?

Then my friend Carolyn passed away, and I remembered how excited she got when I told her I might try out. Make it or not, I wanted to try in her honor.

So I went, still scared to death.

Most of what I do, I do while scared to death. Click To Tweet

When I left the audition with a stack of music and a performance schedule, I was so glad I’d tried! My audition wasn’t perfect. In fact, I messed up a little. But once I pushed passed that rough patch and focused on the meaning of the words instead of my fear of making another mistake, I got my confidence back.

Now it’s time to learn the challenging music while scared to death.

But isn’t that how the most satisfying experiences start? With a willingness to do something scared?


When has this been true for you? What are you afraid to try right now? Ask God to give you the courage.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

What are you afraid to try right now? Ask God to give you the courage. Click To Tweet
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  1. I’m so excited for you!
    I have to push through my fears every time I write a blog post–which explains why I’ve missed a lot of weeks in what was intended to be a weekly blog. In fact, I have many fears. I’m trying to learn to be more courageous in my life! Baby steps.

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      You are more courageous than you realize, Julie! I owe you a guest blog post, so that should get you started. 🙂

  2. I just got licensed to start a home preschool. I used to do that years ago, but I’m a lot older now. And I’ve spent a lot of money taking classes, buying stuff for the kids, etc., etc. I’m doing this because I need the income, but what if I don’t get any kids?
    However I really believe this is something I’m called to do, so I’m taking the leap of faith.

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      I’m so proud of you, Jan! This IS a scary step. I pray that you will see wonderful rewards come from taking it.

  3. I started my blog and ventured out into the unknown. I immediately did guest posting and signed up for more guest posts with specific topics and due dates. I put my work out there (with sweating hands) and took the risk of rejection. It is paying off so far. I am so relieved! Jeanette, you may not know this but you have been a huge encouragement to me. Someday I hope to attend the writers’ oconference with you and even venture to write a book….yikes! More scary stuff!

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      This note means so much to me, Cherie. Thank you! It has been fun to watch your courage pay off. I’m so proud of you. I can’t wait to see what comes of your writing. One of these days, we WILL attend a writers’ conference together!

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