What’s your relationship with fear?
How do you respond to the voice in your head that shouts, “you can’t,” “you shouldn’t,” or “it won’t work out.”
Many people listen to the fear. They pause at the starting line. And they let it dictate their next moves.
But what if you run towards your fear? What if you did it scared?
Because bravery is not about overcoming fear and then doing something, it’s doing it in the midst of your fear and trepidation.
If anyone understands this, it’s LaNora Williams-Clark. After navigating through a top law school and working in a variety of firms as a lawyer, LaNora pivoted to become “The Muse.” Today she’s an artist and creative who supports others to earn a living from their work.
She didn’t just pivot into something else related to law or a new firm but jumped into a different industry, identity, and way of being. And, doing so took courage and bravery. It required running towards her fear.
LaNora joined us on episode 15 of the Unlocking the Club podcast to discuss her journey—check out her full interview for some eye-opening insights.
How to Be Brave
LaNora is the first to identify the bravery and courage it took to leave behind her life as a lawyer and embrace a journey as an artist and entrepreneur.
She had no experience or connections in the entrepreneurial world and had to figure it all out on her own.
More than that, becoming a lawyer was something she dreamed of and worked for since the 4th grade when her teacher instilled that goal in her. There were people in her life who rooted for and encouraged her to become a lawyer.
And yet, as soon as she started that first semester of law school, she knew it wasn’t for her—it wouldn’t sustain her.
LaNora had many good experiences as a lawyer and, in many ways, enjoyed the career.
But it wasn’t her. It wasn’t something she chose for herself. It was someone else’s dream that she internalized and worked for.
So being brave and switching careers was really a journey back to herself, her desires, her goals. And the reward of doing that is stronger than the fear of change.
The fear is always there, though. That voice in your head doesn’t just go away. But you have a choice to make—run towards it and get through to the other side, or let it paralyze you.
LaNora chose the first. She regularly practices embracing fear and “doing it scared.” Instead of shrinking back from fear, she knows that the only way to get rid of its voice is to move through it to the other side.
Authenticity Over Guilt
LaNora’s journey is based on authenticity—living true to herself.
But that meant giving up good opportunities in front of her. The moment she knew she had to get out of law was when she was put on the partner track at her firm.
It became real. The future was laid out for her—comfortable, successful, and prosperous.
But it wasn’t the right decision for her, and she knew it.
And yet, LaNora struggled with guilt over her decisions. She knew that few black women had the same opportunities as her. LaNora knew that being groomed for partner track was something that didn’t come easy and a position many would want to be in.
Struggling with the guilt, LaNora knew one thing to be true: she wasn’t meant to be a lawyer and had to follow her truth. Becoming a partner in her firm wasn’t like breaking the glass ceiling for LaNora—it was running into a brick wall.
But by following her truth she could impact the world in a different way. She had skills, abilities, and talents that the world needed—but it wasn’t law.
So, authenticity won over the guilt. And by pushing through and pursuing her true calling, LaNora is now making her mark in the world as a black woman in a new and important way.
Inspiration to Take the Leap
We talked a lot about inspiration and how to channel it for growth and change. LaNora pointed to a few impactful people in her life that led her on this journey.
First, her teachers in elementary school. While they placed her on a path she’s no longer on, the confidence that she could become a lawyer set her up for success. They believed in her so she could believe in herself.
Next, her mother. The best advice LaNora ever received came from her mom: don’t hesitate. In life, you’ve got to take leaps. And to avoid letting fear take over, don’t hesitate! You need to push past potential and move to action.
Last, LaNora reflects on when she decided to become an entrepreneur—during President Obama’s inauguration. There was an energy of hope and renewal at that time, and we collectively felt inspired and called to reach our dreams. It was sitting there, at the inauguration, where LaNora knew it was time to make the leap.
People are integral to our journey of success and growth. They can give us encouragement and motivation to move forward and become the best version of ourselves.
But even with the best support, there can be fear. How are you responding to that fear? Are you running towards it?
If we can learn something from LaNora’s life, it’s that the good things happen when you step forward and do it scared, anyways. If you want to learn more about LaNora’s journey, listen to her full interview on episode 15 of Unlocking the Club podcast.