“Doing begets more doing. It sounds simple, but I’m a firm believer that action can solve so many worries, and just powering through, no matter what, can give you the confidence you need when you feel like you’ve got nothing to offer. It’s in those moments that we must dig deep, ignore the noise, and lean in.” – Reese Witherspoon
Famous and beautiful actresses are often viewed as the pinnacle of female confidence and grace. This isn’t the case with Reese Witherspoon, who in a recent interview explained that she had immense anxiety when considering accepting a spokesperson position for Avon, a company that is close to her heart. Performing under the lights of Hollywood, as a character in a story is a vastly different experience than standing on a podium as Reese’s self and reading a speech that came from her heart.
Anxious and fearful as she was, Reese felt pulled by an opportunity to help others and get involved in a cause she believed in- so she jumped. She crossed the chasm of fear and accepted a challenge that terrified her.
I had a similar experience when I was offered a short-term career position in Istanbul, Turkey. Though Turkey is technically located in Europe and Asia (both continents which I’ve visited and feel comfortable in), Istanbul seemed to me a foreign Middle Eastern country with a language and culture I didn’t understand. Though I’ve traveled to many exotic places around the world, I have admittedly been affected by world news, and my affinity for travel to unknown places has been lessened lately.
The opportunity was great for my career, and I would have the chance to meet many new colleagues in the company, so I jumped. I accepted the assignment because something in my heart told me that I would learn and grow, which is exactly what happened. When in Istanbul, I had the opportunity to meet colleagues from all over the Middle East and Africa and we bonded over stories of our past and our dreams and plans for our future. The experience was irreplaceable and I would never have had it, had I leaned back.