Feel the fear; do it anyway.

Photo by  Anubhav Saxena  on  Unsplash

Originally published on Rebelle Society.

When I was 22 years old, I moved to New York.

I had been temporarily living in Seattle post-grad trying to get work experience and find myself, and I woke up one morning with this intense hit to just go, and a week later I was on a plane.

I sold my car and with $4000 in my pocket, I arrived in Manhattan.

I didn't have an apartment.

I didn't have any friends.

I didn't have a job.

I didn't know anyone who had done what I was planning to do.

I just went.

There was no Plan B. There was no support system. There was just me holding my vision of landing a job where I could speak French that paid me at least $40,000 a year before my $4000 ran out and I starved to death.

I had run what to others appeared to be a very brief but very thorough risk analysis before departing of the odds of my plan working out.

They were pretty high (imagine this being said by a Jewish Rabbi raising his eyebrows and sort of frowning his mouth while nodding his head back and forth and you get the gist of how this looked).

The rest I left to god long before I knew that that was a thing. I already knew at that point that to not listen to my gut would be suicide.

And so off I went.

The morning I landed I found an apartment.

The next day I discovered my estranged best friend from high school was living two blocks away.

Three weeks later I got a job offer for $43,000/year. With benefits. And vacation days. It felt like winning the lottery.

Only it was nothing like winning the lottery.

My circumstances had nothing to do with luck. I worked my ass off. I sent out 50 resumes a day from that apartment on the Upper East Side. I knew I was worth $40k (without having any tangible evidence of that being true) and so that was the vibration I sent to employers. I literally told my recruiters that that was my baseline and I wouldn't accept interviews for companies offering less.

I ended up working in Finance - an industry I knew absolutely nothing about. My gift? Emotional Intelligence. Or what the business folk call "soft skills."

I can assure you my first boss did not hire me because I knew a sliver about the work her department did (in fact, it took me two full years to figure that out after being hired).

I committed to New York in the way any fundamental opportunist does: I would stay until I doubled my salary and had a CV worth being proud of, and then I would move on - knowing there was so much more of the world to see and experience.

And that's exactly what I did. I hit six figures and promptly put in my notice and moved to Denmark in almost the same fashion I arrived in New York.

There are two essential mechanisms at play here:

My willingness to set intention and declare what I want out loud.


Holding onto a vision even when I have zero evidence of it being validated or even possible.

13 years later I'm navigating a similar sensation and experience on a whole new level. And I'm able to be deliberate about it in a way I never could have when I was 22.

And yet, the risk is still there. The trust is still there. The intention is still there. The vision is still there.

These are innate things that exist inside all of us. All we have to do is create circumstances wherein they get evoked and then get out of the way. And when we do, we will inevitably surprise ourselves by how far we are capable of going.

You don't need a college degree or work experience or an education to make something of yourself.

All you need is courage.

Feel the fear; do it anyway.