Fear and Sh*t Sandwiches

business Sep 18, 2022


Below is an excerpt from my book The Heart of Esthetics: Creating Loyal Clients & Achieving Financial Success. This is a personal development tool that can be applied to any endeavor you are considering; it is not limited to the esthetics business.

Fear is an important aspect of life, and it is not always a bad thing. Sometimes fear protects us from danger and in that case, it is for our own good. However, fear can also stop us when we are not in danger. 



Navigating Fear

We can’t talk about creating a successful esthetics business (or any other business, for that matter) without first discussing fear. Here’s the thing about fear: The real reason we don’t move creatively ahead is always and only fear.

And how do you know fear is the obstacle? Because fear will stop you. Remember this: Things do not have to be perfect. They just have to get done. You will reach your version of perfection someday, but only if you begin…and then keep moving forward through the fear.

Here is something I am borrowing from the author Elizabeth Gilbert. You probably know her from the book and movie “Eat Pray Love.” Below is her explanation regarding how she navigates the path of fear. (She used an expletive, which I have edited…but I’m sure you get the gist). When you run up against a fearful moment or situation, apply her advice to fit your specific situation.

Sh*t Sandwiches (by Elizabeth Gilbert)

"Finding your true purpose is really just deciding which sh*t sandwich you’re in for. The question is not “What do I love?” The question is “What do I love so much that I don’t mind eating the sh*t sandwich that comes along with that thing?”

For example, as a successful writer, getting a bad review in a prominent newspaper, or an awful comment on social media (sh*t sandwiches), do I still want to do this thing? YES.

If the first time I encounter a sh*t sandwich and I say, “This isn’t worth it”…then this is not the thing I should be doing.

If you go into this thing thinking, “If I follow my bliss, and I live my dream, and I stand in my truth, then everything will be great,” that doesn’t necessarily mean everything will actually be great. It just means at the end of the day when you check in with yourself, you ask yourself, “Is this still better than not doing it?” And if the answer is, “YES, this thing is still better than not doing it,” then you are on the right path.


Giving up on a goal because of a setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat.


The real reason we do not move creatively ahead is always and only fear. “I don’t have the skills, I don’t have the right, my idea has already been done (or done better than I can do it). I’ll be criticized or ignored. What’s the point?” The solution for putting these fears behind you is simply that you must accept the fact that so much of what we do, we have learned from others. And conversely, others have (or will) learn much of what they do from you. So yes, it has already been done…but it has not yet been done by you. We are all just borrowing from each other, and you are allowed to add to the pile.

Too many of us are afraid of our creativity because creativity will always provoke fear. But fear is actually a necessary companion. Fear should be viewed with a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation. Fear is the reason we are alive today. Every single one of us can point to a moment in our lives that we survived something because we were afraid. Fear warned us to “get out of that ocean, the waves are too big” or “this car is going too fast” or “this street is not safe to walk down.” Our fear is constantly protecting us. That is its job.

Allow fear to have a seat in the car as you build your dream esthetics business, but put it in the back seat. It will not drive, and it will not make any decisions.

You cannot let fear have any control over your creative choices or else it will shut them down, one idea after another. “Nope, don’t do that. Nope, too risky.” And your life will be so much smaller than you want your life to be.

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