Fight Fear With Faith (And A Lil’ Patrick Swayze)

Awesomepreneur confession: I am afraid.

Popular philosophy says fear is a bad thing, mostly because it is such a hungry little monster it can consume your whole life if you let it. I know. Because I am afraid.

This morning I had a heart-to-heart with a fellow awesomepreneur, Javier, a foreign language teacher living in Germany, and I spilled my guts all over him (it was messy) about my daily battle with stress and balance. (Nope, not out of the woods yet.) I gushed. Javier nodded. And then he told me this:

“It’s scary. When you work for yourself, no, you don’t have a contract and, in that way, you have less ‘security.’ I’m always wondering how many classes I’ll have next term, if my students are coming to class. And when they don’t come, I’m afraid it’s about me. But I do it because I am a teacher. When I wake up in the morning, when I’m interacting with people all day, I am a teacher. And I’m a better person when I’m teaching.

I am afraid. Javier, too. And so, I imagine, are many awesomepreneurs who have shifted from the steady pulse of a boss, a schedule, and a weekly paycheck to the erratic, unpredictable jazz rythyms of freelance work and small business ownership. When it comes to being my own boss, I often feel like Baby in Dirty Dancing before she got her sea legs on the dance floor, stiff, awkward, and flailing like a fool in front of all the cool kids. But here’s the thing–Baby danced anyway.

And that was Javier’s message to me. Baby believed that if she just kept dancing, she’d eventually get the swing of things. She fought her fears with faith in herself (and Patrick Swayze) and as this unforgettable movie moment shows, she ended up having the time of her life (and was a better person for it).


See, I don’t think fear is always a bad thing. It keeps us on our toes (literally, in Baby’s case) and pushes us to be better. When Javier feels afraid, he dances with purpose–dedicating himself to lesson plans, bilingual Facebook chats with his students, and networking with language schools. And with each step, he gets better and better. So, I’ve decided that when fear pays me a visit, I’m not going to slam the door in its face, but I’m also not going to fix it a sandwich. I’m going to dance with it–and I have faith that, with a little footwork, I’ll be giving Jennifer Grey a run for her money in no time.

Rachael Kay Albers

Rachael Kay Albers is a creative director, business comedian, and brand strategist gone wild. She writes and performs about branding, pop culture, tech, and identity. When she’s not muckraking about marketing, Rachael runs RKA ink, a reinvention studio and branding agency for businesses that burn the rulebook. She's also on Instagram a lot.