Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Conquering Fears

As an office manager, I help people solve problems. These can range from plumbing issues (not my favorite) to purchasing supplies (something I love because it involves shopping). Unfortunately, the job also entails dealing with pests.

Recently I had been informed that there was a bug in the pantry. I usually take off in the opposite direction when faced with something bigger than an ant. However, that morning I decided to take a deep breath and handle the situation myself.

Armed with a broom, I marched down the hall, determined to rid the office of the little bugger. I only made it as far as the entryway, for sitting under the counter, was not a bug but a rodent.

Since I have never been able to summon up the courage to handle rodents I did the one thing that came natural to me. With a scream and a curse, I took off back to my office, where I hid for the remainder of the day.

Besides rodents, I’m not too particular about flying and limit my vacations to destinations that can be reached within eight hours by car from my home. Therefore, it was not a surprise when I opted to take a six hour train ride instead of fly to Niagara Falls in the summer of 2011.

While on vacation, I enjoyed the Journey Behind Niagara Falls, the White Water Walk and the Maid of the Mist. However, when it came time to take the Whirlpool Aero Car, I hesitated. All sorts of what ifs popped into my mind – what if the cable snaps, what if I fall out the car, what if I have a panic attack halfway across.

As I walked back to the bus stop, I thought of the water and trees. The desire to capture the moment was strong and I knew I’d regret it if I went home without getting picture from above. Therefore, after fifteen minutes of debating with myself, I purchased the ticket, readied my camera and climbed into the car.

During the ride over the whirlpool, I pushed all my worries to the back of my mind and focused my goal of capturing the perfect shot. When the ride over, I stepped out the car, filled with pride at having conquered my fear.

As an author, I deal with what ifs wherever I submit a manuscript to editors or agents. What if they hate it? What if they laugh? What if I receive a rejection letter suggesting I give up my dream of being published?

These questions and more haunt me each time I prepare a manuscript. But, the desire to tell a story outweighs the fear of rejection. Therefore, as I did during my trip to Niagara Falls, I take a deep breath and face my fears, for I do not want to look back with regret for what I did not do.

Ursula Renée is the PRO Liaison for RWA NYC. She writes historical romances and romantic thrillers. When she is not writing, she enjoys photography, drawing and stone carving.


  1. Absolutely, Ursula. Its hard to face your fears so congratulations on taking that aero car trip! Nothing worse than looking back and wishing you'd done something but let fear stop you.

  2. Brava! I too run the other way when face with rodents of all kinds, but every once in a while there is only me and so I have to do the dirty work myself. Like you, I take a deep breath, hike up my big girl panties and get the job done, whether it's putting out the trash or meeting a deadline.

  3. Congrats, Ursula, for overcoming fear and doing something exciting. You can always look back on that success when facing future challenges. It takes a lot of guts to put ourselves (and our work) out there, and risk rejection.


  4. This memory and the feeling of overcoming will be with you always, and will always empower you. Never forget it when faced with the next thing that might scare you - big or small!