As we age, some people get more bold with their voice and actions while others snuggle into safety and accept “what is”.
At some point, many of us wake up and ask,
“What happened? Who am I and how did I get to this place?”
I hear it all of the time. There are many reasons this happens, and the one I see most?
FEAR. Fear freezes a person. It throws us back into a state of second guessing ourselves. People choose to not take action steps out of fear. What if something happens? What if I don’t make the right choice?
What if…what if…what if…
I’ve had a lot of practice with fear throughout my life. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of divorce. Fear of being alone. Fear of speaking out. Fear of writing… and here I am.
I am heading TODAY to spend a week in the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina to write a book about my life journey. It’s been nearly three years since I first found out that my husband was struggling with addiction issues and is gay. After seventeen years of a pretty happy marriage and having three strong boys, I had no idea. I’m a smart, educated woman, yet I felt so lost and alone. I was afraid to speak out for fear of being ridiculed, judged, and perhaps isolated along the way. I began healing how I knew best: by hiking mountains and the Grand Canyon, running trails, and stand up paddling hundreds of miles on the Pacific Ocean.
I found support, I embraced my fears, I healed, and I moved on. I learned what I am made of.
I wanted to share what I had been through, but I didn’t know how. My fear was saying, “What if people turn on you? What if they question your clarity? Do you REALLY want to put your kids through this?”
What if…what if…what if…
And then I asked myself, “What are you doing to yourself and others by NOT sharing your story?” I’m not being my authentic self. I’m not Valuing my words, my experiences, and my voice. I’m not honoring the hard-ass work that I have put in for the last three years to create a friendship and “new family” with my ex-husband. I’m not showing the world that, “YES, YOU CAN FORGIVE AND MOVE ON!”
You can love the new you.
So, I chose to write the book, starting with a trauma that occurred at age seventeen. The book proposal is nearly complete, and off I go on a Southwest flight to write about my life journey.
So empowering. So enlightening. It’s about time.
People ask me all of the time,
“How DO YOU get past fear?”
“I freaking embrace the crap out of it.”
Fear can protect you from harm and give you an inclination that “something is not right.” And yet, if addressed correctly, it can teach you more about yourself than you would ever have imagined.
I want my kids to see that, when you embrace your fears and believe in yourself, ANYTHING is POSSIBLE! I want everyone that is suffering to feel empowered through these words to take one step forward.
A former client who I took on a Grand Canyon retreat sent me this quote last night (#timing!):
“Life Begins Outside of Your Comfort Zone”
He added, “Made me think of you. It’s your job to make people comfortable being uncomfortable, right?” Yes, it is my job. And it’s a pretty cool job to have.
HOW DID I GET TO THIS SPACE? Well… a few of my (not so secret) secrets:
1) SET GOALS:Start with writing down small goals. What is ONE THING that you can do now to move you forward? What can you do after that? And after that? Type them out, write them down. Place them where you can see them daily. Or better yet, make them your screensaver.
2) FIND VALUE IN WHAT YOU ARE DOING: If you find value in what you are doing, chances are (get this…) YOU WILL DO IT! When it has meaning, you will make it meaningful.
3) FIND YOUR INNER STRENGTH: We all have it! Think back to when you were a kid. Were you ever forced to stand up to someone? Did you ever have to make a choice to speak up because you knew it was the right thing to do? THAT, my friend, is your inner strength. Tap into it. Go there. USE IT!
4) LASTLY, GET OUTSIDE: Stretch your body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Find out how far that you really can allow yourself to go. Trust me, it’s further than you think. When you get to that “A-HA” moment of clarity, when you thought you were spent and realized that you can go further, you also realize that… life takes on new meaning in that space. I started guiding clients on Grand Canyon Hiking and Coaching Retreats because I experienced firsthand the life-altering shifts that occur in the Canyon. Life is a journey.
My question, “What could happen if you DO try? If you are not happy in this space, what’s holding you back from taking the next step forward? What would you do if you knew that you could not fail?”
Embrace your Fears. Love Life. Live Boldly.
(Or as my dad calls me, Honeybear… love you, Pops)