An Ode to the Fear Throughout My Journey at Groundswell

by Stefania Indelicato, Groundswell cohort member

I’m living in the fear. 

The fear of failure. 

The fear of the unknown. 

The fear of not knowing the next move. Not knowing what lies ahead. The fear of ending where I started. The fear that I have nothing to offer. That, practically speaking, I don’t have enough technological skills. That I’ll never be good at things like Excel. That I'll never know how to use Mail Chimp. And most of all, that without knowing these things - and many more - or how to answer these unknowns, that whatever I try to accomplish will fail. Or worse still, never quite find its footing enough to even make an attempt. 

When you begin your life with a pristine vision of where you want to end up, and year after year you realize you haven’t arrived there yet, sometimes (if you’re in the right place) there can be an excitement of what’s to come - and other times, there can be a pervasive fear that nothing will ever come. A fear that you have been wrong all along. A fading away of all that you thought you had figured out. Then there is the further complication that there are people in your life that genuinely believe that you have it all figured out, and when you tell them otherwise, they continue to tell you that regardless that is the impression that you give off. But you know deep inside that there are parts of you that haven’t a clue.

There is a nagging frustration that persists because I can’t fully explain to people why things haven’t worked out yet. I can’t really explain to them why, nevertheless, I must do what I’m doing in order to feel alive. In order to feel like I’m contributing and capable of making a difference. 

Ultimately, I know that simply by showing up - regardless of the outcome - I am learning; I am making connections; meeting new people; I am beginning, slowly but surely, to enter into a reality where I can be a part of the change. 

I am living my dreams as a part of the change. And maybe it doesn’t look the way others had envisioned it for me, or how I had envisioned it for myself, but I know that I’m on the right track. That I’m onto something. And that there are people all around me who think I am too. 

I just have to keep going, to keep thinking and to keep open. To keep growing. To meet with that person that might make me feel very uncomfortable, that person that makes me question my openness, my acceptance, my tolerance, and my compassion. 

We’re almost two months into our Groundswell Cohort 6 journey. It’s sort of just us now. The previous cohort has gala-ed. They have presented. They have moved on to the next phase. What will it look like when I get there? How will my idea take shape? Will it be actionable, measurable, viable, transformative, accessible, attainable, creative, exciting, impressive? Will people believe that I am capable of executing it? Will I be able to convince them that I am? Will I be able to excite them? To get them to see that I am a force to be reckoned with, and not dismissed - or will they see right through me? See through my idea? Will they have yet another reason why this dream isn’t possible? Or will they say, “Yes, I’m in”. 

With four months to go, I don’t have it all figured out. But I’m trying. I’m making an attempt at success and an attempt at failure. As an actress I’m good at the failure, as in, I’ve felt it many times before. But what happens when success becomes the thing? Or more importantly, what happens when you are finally able to define success in a way that makes sense to you? Will it make sense to others? 

I don’t know, I don’t have the answers at this very moment. And I still have a LOT of questions - which is not unlike me. I’ve always been that kid that just keeps asking, “But, why?” I’ve never been one for letting things go. It’s a tough thing for me. But here’s to letting go. To succumbing to the process. To living in the fear, no matter what. Because, who knows, the end result could be greater than anyone could ever imagine.