Speaking of fear, just recently something exceptional just happened to me: I had the absolutely worst fundraising meeting I’ve had since starting my job at Acumen Fund three years ago. It’s not worth going into the specifics…suffice it to say it was unpleasant and transactional in the worst way. Paint your worst picture of what a fundraising meeting could be, and that was this meeting.
I admit, I was a little shaken for a little while. I had to vent some to a couple of folks to clear the air.
And then, almost right away, it was done. The feeling was gone, the meeting was in the past. And no real harm was done. The actual experience of the thing I feared – the thing that can keep me and you from picking up the phone or putting yourself out there or standing in front of an audience or pitching a new, crazy idea or going with your gut – was exposed. And it was so much less powerful or meaningful than the picture I’d drawn over time.
There’s the lurking monster I imagined, and the reality that it had no teeth.