How a pair of sparkly boots helped me overcome fear

Joy boots

I don’t know about you, but where I’m sitting it’s spring – there are green shoots coming up in my garden and the sun seems to be shining for longer than it did last month.

I feel like coming out of hibernation. To celebrate this, I happened upon a pair of boots in a second-hand shop that I just had to have. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to give them away but, as they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

So I wear them around my flat when I’m going on a call that I feel nervous about, doing workshops on Skype or out on the street as I’m heading for a date.

I look down and they fill me with great joy – even better when they reflect all the lights surrounding Piccadilly Circus.

You might wonder what the heck a pair of boots have to do with you.

These boots have become my totem. When I look down at them and all their sparkle I’m reminded to go beyond my own doubts, fears and self-imposed limitations.

Recently, I pushed through many of those negative thoughts about being on camera. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that I needed to do video for my website or online courses and just dismissed these ideas.

I was too unattractive, fat or whatever other negative comment you want to make. Whatever you say to me can’t be as harsh as the judgments I’ve bestowed upon myself.

So here’s what I learned as I pushed through my fears.

Take the first step, even if it’s a baby step

What’s the worst that can happen? You spend a great deal of money and have nothing to show for it? That was my fear but, interestingly, the money wasn’t the issue. It was just the willingness to try.

You’re probably shelling out more money on cappuccinos than it costs for you to try something new. I know I was and there is no good time.

When I had money, I still wasn’t rushing to book my filming. So it’s the willingness.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to write – that doesn’t cost you a penny. Get up early and write for an hour. Just to do it, as the Nike ad says.

Get some support

For me, I had taken a course on how to do online training programs. It unlocked the outline so I had a structure, along with a fellow coach keeping me on track.

Perhaps you’ve been meaning to turn that idea into a script or become better at pitching – all the things you know will help you feel better about yourself – but you manage to spend your evenings watching Netflix and eating crisps.

Find a friend or work with me to support you in your quest. You’re more likely to break through if you’re accountable to someone.


I am very motivated by deadlines. As an old journalist, or perhaps as a procrastinator, nothing gets me going faster than an impending deadline.

I facilitated a pitching panel at MIPTV in April and I wanted to have the course done by the middle of March so I needed to book the filming session. And I got it done.

There was a definite shift in me of a willingness to share my expertise and knowledge and get over myself to be of service.

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