From time to time it hits me that I’ve traveled the country for two years speaking about holistic health, stress management, essential oils, and business, have two meditation podcasts – I which has consistently been in the top 100 in iTunes Alternative Health, have shared the stage with two of my all time idols, have four published works that wellness professionals use to better the lives of their clients, have been published in a book, and have been plowing through my bucket list.
My friends tell me it’s a big deal, but I don’t FEEL like a big deal. So I began to wonder, what separates me from others out there trying to do big things? The only thing that came to mind, is that I walked through my fear.
Simple enough, right?
Fear used to paralyze me. I never tried to accomplish anything because the little voice inside of my head always told me I wasn’t good enough.
Hell, I took a 10 year vacation from my life to hide inside of any substance that would remove me from the reality that was way too difficult to face.
About 13 years ago, I began to pick up the pieces of my life and slowly put them back together.
Imagine beginning your adult life at 27 with the wreckage of only taking from the world for 10 years. I was absolutely terrified.
How would I ever accomplish anything in a world that seemed to have given everyone else an instruction manual at birth, while mine got lost in the mail?
Sure, I was afraid, but I kept moving my feet.
After getting sober, going back to school, and losing over 100 pounds, I still wasn’t happy.
I started working in the health and fitness industry again, and started working on personal development.
Slowly, I learned to accept myself. There is always going to be someone who is prettier, thinner, more interesting, more talented, or more accomplished than I… but I can’t stop trying to be a better me just because I can’t be a better them!
As a personal trainer I always felt like a fraud because I go through phases where I don’t work out consistently, I don’t ALWAYS eat healthy, I am not perfect.
As time went on, I found out that it is through being honest about my weaknesses, that I am not only able to grow, but people respect me more.
They actually want my guidance. I’m still not at a place where I fully comprehend that one… but I do understand that as long as I keep facing my fears, I will eventually get to that place.
I am still as fearful as a kitten stuck in the middle of the interstate most days, but I do my best not to let it paralyze me anymore.
These are tools I use every day:
1. If there isn’t room for growth, you have achieved perfection.
Perfection is NOT possible, we are human.
As silly as it sounds, I have encountered hundreds of people that give up goals when they can’t adhere to their plan of action perfectly. I’ve been guilty of this.
There’s always going to be areas that you can improve in, and that’s friggin awesome!
Look at every set back, every “failure”, every criticism as an opportunity to grow and improve. Even if where you are doesn’t look like the ideal you set in your mind, keep working toward your goal and I promise you, something wonderful will come!
2. The best way to guarantee failure is to never try.
It sounds cliché, but how many things have you talked yourself out of trying just because you didn’t think it was possible that you would succeed?
Usually the biggest thing that stands in our way to success is ourselves. I still doubt my own abilities, but I do my best and usually am pleasantly surprised.
3. Action is what matters, intentions don’t.
If I got credit for every good intention I have had, I would have received the Nobel Peace Prize, and I’m sure you could say the same for yourself.
I spent years intending to quit eating my feelings, move more, and become healthy. It wasn’t until I started taking actions that I became healthier.
I don’t get credit for intending to pay my power bill, they want the cold hard cash.
4. Think less
There is a huge difference between being mindful and over-analyzing everything.
I started using meditation a years ago to learn to be present in the moment.
Fear doesn’t exist in the moment. Seriously, right now as you read this do you have anything to be afraid of? No, because the unknown does not exist, you are effectively facing everything you need to face right now. Life is usually like that, we are the ones who pile up all of the stresses of what the future holds and dump them on ourselves in one moment.
We can’t fix the future, the future isn’t broken, the future really doesn’t even exist outside of our mind.
5. The small stuff adds up
I like to bite off more than my mouth can chew, I want to please you and I think what I’m really capable of isn’t enough.
If you’re honest with your abilities and take action, even if you don’t think it will really make a difference, eventually you will meet your goal.
I used to live in filth, absolute filth. I would always procrastinate until I could take a whole day to clean my home and my car, but it would always accumulate back up. Eventually I tried something different. I started making sure to pick at least two things up every time I walked through my home or got out of my car.
After a couple weeks both were clean.
The added bonus was by the time I had cleaned them, I had gotten into the habit of doing a little every day to keep it clean. I get sick when I think of all the hours I wasted procrastinating, worrying about, and planning to clean it… when it literally took less than 5 minutes a day to remedy.
6. What other people think is NOT your business
People are going to judge you whether you’re doing well or not. That’s completely out of your control.
Don’t waste valuable time trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations. Be honest, be authentic, be you. You get to choose who you let into your life, it’s a privilege for them. When I look at what I want to do, and then ask myself why I am not doing it, it usually roots down to fear of being judged.
7. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
Happiness is not contingent on material goods or other people, it’s our own responsibility. Whatever it is that you fear, what if it did happen? Would you still be alive? If the answer is yes, then it’s really not worth worrying about. No one aspires to lose everything, live in their car, not be able to provide for their family, but I can tell you from experience, life goes on.
If I took more responsibility for my actions and spent less time blaming others for my situations, I would have never gone to the depths that I did, but I can tell you that I have lost everything, I have lived in a car, and right now my life is pretty perfect. I never want to go back to living that way again, but I know that if I do my best and am a good person, the world usually has my back.
That isn’t a scientific statistic, but really, it’s pretty dang close. Just think about how much more time you would have if you didn’t waste your time worrying about the things that probably won’t happen anyways.
My mind is absolutely ridiculous, today I can acknowledge that and act accordingly. I used to sabotage almost any opportunity I had because I would focus on all of the things that could go wrong and decide that I wanted to spare myself the pain.
Now when I find myself thinking about all the things that could go wrong, I bring myself back into the moment where everything is always ok.
9. Everyone is insecure, neurotic, and a little crazy
The more people I meet, the more certain I am of this. Some people are just better at hiding it than others. Have you ever gotten to know someone that you always looked up to and had put on a pedestal only to find out that they are just as human as you? It happens to me over and over. I have yet to get to know a human that isn’t, well, human.
It’s a lot easier to get over my fear of being judged when I can remember that I am not the only one out there that isn’t perfect.
Part of recognizing when you have the opportunity to walk through fear is meeting your own needs. This includes physical, emotional, and spiritual. It’s crazy how much easier it is to face your fears when you are well cared for by you. If this is an area you struggle with (or even the root of what is creating your fear), I have a free challenge to help you to put the ball in motion. It includes simple actions to take for 5 days that will begin to build a solid foundation for you to be your true self – at your best.
Share in the comments below when have you found yourself stuck in fear and what helped you move past the fear?
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