Life Hack for Getting Suddenly Awesome: Do What You’re Afraid to Do


When I was in college, I was a waitress. Before becoming a waitress, I had been shy my whole life. A few years later, I wasn’t anymore.

It is still one of the best things I’ve ever done.

It was also the first job I was ever good at.

It was hard, though. When I first started working there, I wasn’t a waitress. I was a table busser. One of my jobs was to bring pitchers of water to the customers. I didn’t have to say anything, and the people at the tables barely noticed me, but my first week it was hard to do this. I knew it would get easier, though, and it did.

Soon, I got very good at that job and was very fast. Then, a few months later, my boss asked if I’d like to try bringing trays put to the tables. When she asked me, I wanted to say no, but I said yes without thinking about it too hard.

I was very nervous. The first time I carried a tray to a table and had to announce what each dish was, my voice was shaking. It was several days before that stopped.

Soon, I was an expert at that, too. I began to make good money and six months later, I was a waitress. And about a year after that, I was a really good waitress.

“Always do what you are afraid to do.” That is what Ralph Waldo Emerson said and I still think it’s one of the deepest things I’ve ever heard.


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  1. Great post….

    Had same experience for same reasons in hotel business:….I kept going after positions I was afraid I couldn’t live up to….and within three years of being a bus boy, became am Assistant Duty Mgt at prestige hotel , met with personally and was responsible and in charge for VIP private details of Princess Diana and Charles suite back in early 80’s.. Age 21.

    I realized then that many brakes or limitations are really false fears….regular people can achieve great things.

    Grab on to small accomplishments and replay them over in your mind . Tell yourself, I didn’t know I could do it till I did it.

    Confidence comes from doing.


  2. Dear Mollie,

    I have found that preparing for a new work experience, ahead of time, gave me the courage to do several jobs that I was “jumping” up to do. I haven’t given in to the fear very many times (none that come to me now), but preparation (whenever possible) was a major factor in giving me a good career.

    Most cordially, Celia


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