Musing: Essential Lessons on Risk-Taking, Fear + Vulnerability from Our Muses

Why does fear play such a large role in our success, and why is vulnerability even more important? Here are some lessons we’ve learned from our Muses and other leading minds. Take these ideas to heart – they’ll be happy there!

Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about fear and the correlated importance of vulnerability, especially in creative endeavors, from renowned sociologist Brené Brown to Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun.

I offer a guess (really, two related guesses) as to why this seems to be such a recurring theme in our zeitgeist: everyone who takes a risk must grapple with fear, and Millennials (and creatives of all ages) are increasingly driven to pursue passion projects rather than traditional careers. I’m not going to get too far in the weeds, but this viral article about yuccies does a mostly good job of explaining the mentality.

risk-taking-museMany of our Muses, natural risk-takers all, have also expressed important, relevant perspectives on the topic: why they don’t let fear prevent them from taking risks, and why they are so willing to be vulnerable and open.

I find these voices so inspiring because they’re people like me, with similar experiences and considerations. When I have moments of fear or indecision (and let’s be honest, we all do, even the bravest of us), I really do draw on the strength and wisdom they’ve shared with the BYOM community. Their willingness to take these risks, pursue their passions, work towards being their best self motivates me to be in the same. Their opinions have also helped inform the way that I approach risks and the unknown.

Founder of “Brave Like Me” Cammy Nelson On Overcoming Fear and Getting Started

“In the moments when I’m feeling not-so-brave, I have a very brief conversation with myself. I force myself to face the reality of what my next step could be and I say, “Okay, you can either choose to let fear get in the way of living and experiencing life, or you can find out if you can actually do this (hint: you know you can). What’s it going to be?” At that point, I know it’s time to believe in myself and be the kind of woman I’ve always aspired to be…


“You might be scared at the beginning and you might have a thousand voices in your head trying to convince you that you’re nowhere near ready. Guess what? You’re not. There’s never a right time or a perfect situation. You just do. You find a way to make it work and you push through the fear. It’s going to take time, but it’s going to work. You’ll never know if you don’t at least try. You’ll never know if you don’t start.”

Read Our Full Interview with Cammy Nelson Here.

Spanish Artist Andrea Castro On Addressing Fear, Or Learning to Live With It

“If you want to do it, do it. If you don’t know if you want to do it, don’t do it right now. It’s ok, you have time to think about it and make up your mind.

“When I wasn’t painting I felt very stressed because I wasn’t doing what I knew I wanted to do, but I didn’t have a good answer for why I wasn’t doing it. That answer was pretty simple: fear.

andrea-castro-byom-14“Afraid of not having enough money? Not believing you can live as an artist? Worried about what others may think of your decision? Maybe you’re not believing it yourself hard enough. Or maybe you’re afraid of not being recognized by those you love. Whatever it is, you will just overcome the fear or let it be. And both choices are ok.

Read Our Full Interview with Andrea Castro Here.

Solo Traveller Ellen Burne On Taking Chances and Saying Yes To New Opportunities

“The biggest lesson I have learned as a traveller is that my life, my successes, my problems, they are all so small. The world is enormous, I am just a speck of dust on this planet, but I want to be the speck of dust that dances through the air, going wherever the air blows it…

“I wish I could tell all women considering traveling alone to please do it, and please don’t stress too much. The world has its issues and it has its flaws, but the world is not as scary as Western media would have one believe…


“[So] say yes to opportunities! Pub crawl with the girls in your hostel dorm? Yes. Day trip to that abandoned castle? Yes. Trying the street food even if it looks terrifying? Yes. Chatting to those strangers in a pub or bar? Yes. Making the most of every minute? YES!

Read Our Full Interview with Ellen Burne Here.
+ How do you overcome your fear? Do you find that being vulnerable is difficult? Are you nervous about pursuing your passions, and if so, what is your greatest fear?

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