Tuesday 30 May 2023
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Dancing with fear

Rayanne Thorn is a regular contributor to the intrepidNOW Media Network.

Rayanne Thorn, intrepidNOW“I am afraid.”

I have said these words to myself. I have prayed them to a God. I have whispered them to my mother. I have quietly and not so quietly shared these words with my children. I have cried them in the dark while curled up in a ball. And I have stood defiant, while baring my soul and screamed them at the sun.

I have bowed in utter humiliation at admitting my fears. For, if I am afraid, how will I succeed? And if I allow fear in, how can I conquer it?

Seth Godin recently asked, “How do I get rid of fear?” the answer was found in the gist of his blog – stop taking risks if you want to stop feeling fear.

Stop Taking Risks

Some say I must love fear because I seem to seek out risk. Or I attract it. For some reason, I am drawn to something, anything different. Doing work differently, trying something new, breaking old habits – or gaining new view points.

So if I am drawn to risks, if they are drawn to me – why do I dread fear, isn’t that part of it? Shouldn’t it be understood that fear is part of taking risks? Godin’s post poses instead, an alternative question, “How do I dance with fear?”

A favorite new question and quest

How do I dance with fear?
How do I move with fear in synchronicity to produce the best possible offering – product or service? Or me? How do I produce the best me by learning to dance with fear?

Fear is my new-found friend. Why? Because I can count on it! I know it will be there, always. Baring its nasty teeth, rearing its ugly head, coming after me, full force in an attempt to take me down, to keep me from getting there, which is where I want/need to get to – from here, where I am.

Turn and Face it!

Pivot, shift, turn, and face it. Fear will always be there, coming after you, pursuing you, attempting to conquer and squelch.

Where does your fear lie? Where does it stand?

Perhaps it is in a new relationship. If past loves have been less than kind, there may be residual fear that a new relationship will end the same way. Love is a risk, too.

Perhaps it is in a new job. If past work relationships have been less than healthy or carried a level of ruthlessness you found unfamiliar or unkind, fear of a new and unknown work environment can be very real.

Perhaps it is a new beginning marked by an ending:

  • Children moving out and on with their own lives
  • The death of a loved one or pet
  • Retirement
  • The sale of your home or business
  • Divorce or break up
  • The loss of a friendship

These are each typically thought of as an ending, but should they be? They can and should be thought of as new beginnings, a change of course, new direction.

So, I stand – I will continue to rise to risk, but now instead of cowering away from fear, which inevitably comes with it, I will turn – look fear straight in the eyes and ask, “Care to dance?”


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Rayanne Thorn
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Rayanne Thorn works in hiring, strategy, marketing, and business development with technology companies and has held several high-level positions in the HR and recruiting technology space. She is the VP of Marketing at Dovetail Software and has been responsible for employment branding, hiring, employee engagement, employee retention, branding, marketing, sales, and partnership strategies in the past with TalentBrowser, Technomedia, Evenbase,, Broadbean Technology, and Select University Technologies, Inc. Earlier in her career, Thorn served as a business and search consultant, as well as an executive third-party and corporate recruiter. She has a Bachelor’s in Business – Organizational Development and Strategic Marketing from Vanguard University of Southern California.

2 thoughts on “Dancing with fear

  1. Stephen O'Donnell

    Great post Rayanne. I imagine every one of us has our own way of thinking about the same set of risks, and the concomitant fear or jeopardy in each of these situations.

    I think I feel the fear as much as anyone, but I learned in my earliest sales jobs that avoiding or running away from a problem merely delays the inevitable, and by the time an issue cannot be avoided any longer, it has grown in size greatly. Conversely, I found that walking directly towards a problem is the very best way to nip it in the bud. This may seem counter-intuitive but, when done often enough, can become your instinctive reaction to traumatic events.

    When viewed from a safe distance, it is clear that this almost always prevents a drama from becoming a crisis, and the feeling of being brave can become addictive in itself. That old book title “Feel the fear, and do it anyway” has become a modern day cliche, and perhaps a little trite too. However, I have personally felt the benefit of setting aside, or embracing, fear enough times to know that it is well worth the initial discomfort.

    1. Rayanne Thorn

      Stephen —

      Thanks so much for commenting and yes, I agree — feel the fear for it is necessary.
      Thus, the dance.
      Not only will I feel, I plan on taking the lead.


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