5 Inspiring Women On What Scares Them And How They Deal With It

Because even the wisest of women get scared and that's OK.Photo by Laurence Philomene

5 Inspiring Women On What Scares Them And How They Deal With It

by Chemmie Squier |
Published on

Different things are scary to different people. You might hate the dentist, perhaps job interviews scare the shit out of you, public speaking is your worse nightmare or maybe buttons fill you with dread (this is a thing). Whatever it is, it's legitimate and it's OK, because even the wisest of women get scared and the main thing is working out how to deal with it e.g. buy only clothes with zips.

We spoke to five inspiring and worldy wise women to find out what it is that scares them and how they get through it.

1. Alix Fox, journalist, presenter and sex educator, who works as a Sex & Relationships Expert for Durex

'I’m an ambitious lass, and a real people pleaser. I work my tittybiscuits off in an attempt to give 116.68% to everything I do (so it’s both impressively thorough, and memorably quirky), and always aim to leave everyone I encounter feeling buoyed and uplifted by my conversation; my business cards even say that I’m "chirpier than a gargantuan aviary, with a composure brighter than a 1000 watt bulb". What scares me is the inevitable times when – because LIFE – I’m unable to hit the superpowered standards I set for myself.

'Recently I’ve started recording a podcast series, and it’s a completely new experience for me; I’m enjoying learning fresh skills, but I’m also finding it excruciating every time I make a mistake. I fret that when it airs, people will think it’s the square root of shit and write me off as an amateur. Like so many people, I also get bouts of depression sometimes, and I fear that if people interact with me when I’m down, they’ll no longer see me as an upbeat, positive, capable individual, so I have a tendency to hibernate and hide away until I’m "better"… even though I know that loneliness can make the blues even darker. My solution? I’m trying to view and treat myself more as I would other people. If someone I admire or love cocks up, I don’t think ‘They’re crap’; I think "They faltered there, but they’re still great, and how cool to see them evolving – and hey, maybe I can help or reassure them". If a friend or colleague tells me they’re struggling with sadness or anxiety, I don’t ever think "They’re unprofessional and pathetic" – I think they’re human and I offer my wholehearted support. In everything I do, from the way I look at my body to my attitude to my work, I’m trying to be as kind to myself as I am to others. Being a nice person includes being nice to you.'

2. Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism and author of Girl Up

**'I used to find public speaking really scary, and was terrified I'd make a huge mistake, or get asked a question I didn't know the answer to. It was only by doing it a little bit at a time that I slowly found it got easier - starting with baby steps - even raising your hand and asking a question at an event is great practice if you're nervous about speaking in front of people.

'But I would also say that sometimes fear is a natural and important thing to feel - if you're experiencing harassment, being followed or verbally abused on a bus or tube, for example, or being made to feel unsafe in a relationship, then fear is a completely rational response. In these sort of situations you don't have to just 'push through' or 'get on with it'. It's important to recognise that your feelings and reactions are completely valid and it's OK to report what is happening, or reach out for help if you feel able to.'

3. Persia Lawson and Joey Bradford, founders of Addictive Daughter and authors of The Inner Fix: Be Stronger, Happier and Braver

**'Our fears are almost the antithesis to one another! Persia's fear is self-sabotaging the good things that she's created in her life - as she struggles with not feeling deserving of happiness. Joey's fear is being rejected or let down by people she loves - after having a few unfaithful partners in the past, being able to trust people is something she has to work on constantly.

'For both of us, the antidote to these fears has been learning to live one day at a time, and keeping the focus on ourselves. You can't enjoy your life if you're living in a state of anxiety - so ensuring we look after ourselves and maintain a balanced headspace is really important to us.'

4. Nimco Ali, co-founder of Daughters of Eve

'For me on a personal level, I think it’s starting a family and relationships and doing those really grown up things which really scare the hell out of me and the way that I get through it is that, I say, "Do I wanna move forward in life or do I just want to constantly stay in a moment of security and confidence, living a ground hog day?" Because I’ve done a lot of other things whether it’s speaking in front of people or challenging the status quo in society but it's the simple things. I think it's the vulnerability which scares me and I constantly have to tell myself that there’s a lot of strength in that and just to keep going.'

5. Janice Turner, columnnist for The Times

'Obviously my biggest fears are awful things happening to those I love. But I am also very prone to free-floating anxiety. I find the best way to deal with this is exercise. Either something horrible and strenuous like a bootcamp I do outside in all weathers, with a big group who always make me laugh. Or just swimming half a mile, my mind wandering, my spirits lifting with every length. I guess I am an endorphin addict, but no one ever got happier just sitting inside alone being gloomy. Go for a long walk. Things won’t seem so bad.'

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Older Women Share Their Advice On How To Deal With Heartbreak In Your 20s

Older Women Share What They Wish They Had Known Before Graduating

Older Women Share What They Wish They Had Known In Their Mid-20s

Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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