The One Sentence that Changed My Career Forever
By: Belle Bakst
Fear is a crazy thing that stops us from realizing so many of the things we want out of life. For me, diving into my dream of working in fashion was exactly this - scary. Everything about being new and having to introduce myself anywhere freaked me out. I had so many doubts all the time. Did I sound too eager? Should I go to that party alone? Is everyone there going to be wearing expensive shoes? Will they even notice me? All of these and so much more consistently ran through my head my first six months of living in New York. Although I’ve become a very outgoing person since then, I used to struggle with fears and self-doubting.
It was when I finally decided to confide in one of my closest friends, Christine Buzan, that I heard the sentence I most needed to hear. After expressing my disappointment in getting dressed to go to an event but not actually attending (out of fear of going alone), she said to me, “if you don’t go for it, someone else will.”
Surprising as it might sound, it was as easy as that. That was it. Those were the words that made me realize how much fear was standing in my way. If I didn’t move fear aside, another girl would have more courage than me and be living the dream I had always wanted. It also occurred to me during the same conversation, that things weren’t going to fall into my lap. It might sound silly, but so much about fashion can seem effortless. Of course, that’s never the case. The most successful people didn’t just happen to be that way, they worked their butts off. What really relieved me is the realization that at some point, or another, the people I admire most in the fashion industry were newbies once too! Possibly even scared!
If fear is the one thing that’s stopping you from sending that introductory email, or going to that networking event alone, ask yourself if you’re really okay with fear getting in the way of something much bigger. There are plenty of times when I’m still nervous or a little anxious, but it’s completely normal. The best way to get over all the nerves? Dive right in. Don’t even give them a second thought. The hardest part is just taking the very first step. Everything is on the other side of fear. Absolutely everything!
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