An observation for anyone who ever feels nervous about doing something new

I did two things yesterday.

I mean, dur, obviously I did more than two actual things – I got up and showered and got dressed and everything like that. What I meant was that I did two things – two activities that stood out, stuff I don’t do in a regular day.

Thing one – I went out in the evening to the 10Radio studios in Wiveliscombe, where I’m a community radio volunteer, and delivered a Twitter workshop to about 20 other volunteers. I had slides and everything.

Thing two – I went to the launderette for a service wash.

(I know right? I’m living the absolute dream. If you have ever felt like jacking in your well-paid, full-time job and embracing the life of a freelancer, this is going to be that moment – the tipping point you look back on for years to come, when you decided that yes, it was the life for you.)

Standing up in front of a room full of people and talking about Twitter for 40 minutes was easy peasy. I was looking forward to it if anything. It’s something I’ve done quite a bit of, I know my stuff, and I love being the centre of attention. Ace.

The launderette though…

I’ve been to a launderette before of course, I’m not completely out of touch with the real world. I go quite often to dry clothes as we don’t have a garden or many radiators and I get sick of my house being full of stuff draped everywhere. But I’ve never had a service wash before. I didn’t know how it worked. What if I made a fool of myself? What if I asked for something ridiculous and ended up looking stupid?

dirty washing

“I’d like a service wash,” I said, standing awkwardly with my big bag of dirty pants. (Surely I was going to cause massive offence? It can’t be a thing to expect a stranger to handle your dirty washing?)

“How does it work? Do I just give this to you?”

“Sure,” said the nice woman in the launderette. “What would you like doing?”

“What would you advise?” I asked, like a complete moron, as though I was purchasing some sort of expert laundry consultancy service.

“You tell me what you want doing,” she said, looking slightly confused, “and I will do it.”

And so I did, and she did, and two hours later I picked up two bags of clean, dry, folded washing. It was brilliant!

The point I’m trying to make is that everything, even seemingly ridiculous things like going to the launderette, can feel a bit scary the first time you do them. The way to get over it is to do it anyway. You’re hardly ever more nervous about doing something the second time you do it are you? 

So if there is anything you really want to do, but you’re feeling too nervous, just do it anyway. Do it scared.

Do it once, do it again, do it a third time, and before you know it you’ll not be able to understand why you were ever scared in the first place.

Photo credit –



  1. 11 November, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    Ace is the word for your 10Radio workshop. Thank you for making it all make much more sense :)

    • Jo Middleton
      12 November, 2015 / 4:44 pm

      Thanks so much Johnny!

  2. Angela Treadway
    11 November, 2015 / 9:35 pm

    This article really inspired me. I have an anxiety disorder which im battling daily and if im scared/worried of something ill usually try to avoid and now im thinking do whatever makes you feel anxious what have I got to lose right? As you said things will only get easier the more times I do it. I cant keep running away from my fears I have to face them head on. Thanks for this article x

    • Jo Middleton
      12 November, 2015 / 4:43 pm

      Thanks so much for the comment Angela, I’m really glad you enjoyed it. You might like this one too – There’s a line in it that I drew into this post about doing things scared. It makes such sense when you stop and think about it – being scared doesn’t have to stop you doing something – just do it scared.

  3. 30 May, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    I like the tip about doing it afraid. It’s so apt. My favorite part of this article is:

    “So if there is anything you really want to do, but you’re feeling too nervous, just do it anyway. Do it scared.”

    Yes, I’m pumped up to do a blogger outreach that I’ve been putting off for weeks. Thanks for sharing! I enjoy your posts.

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