I am finally starting to get it.
I am finally starting to understand how it all works. Well, maybe not how it all works, but this part I’m starting to really get.
The part about being afraid.
The part about fear and how it is going to show up in my life as long as I continue to push myself towards a life I want to be living.
I’m finally understanding that when I am afraid, this is when I am truly living.
Let’s think about how fear shows up and how we’ve all felt before picking up the phone to call that special someone for the first time.
Or how your tummy got butterflies before going on that first date.
Or how you felt before you decided to end a relationship, or take that job, or jump out of a plane or give that big presentation or move across the country, or run that race or do anything of meaning and consequence in your life.
You most likely felt afraid right before you did it.
And I bet that it was in these moments that you felt most alive. And so often, it’s these big moments that truly shape our journey and change us in profound ways.
And yet, we can tend to let fear hold us back from living the way we truly want to be living.
I know this was true for me and I still struggle with shutting up that voice that tells me to say “no” because saying no keeps me comfortable instead of saying “yes” and feeling those butterflies.
Truth be told, I am afraid…a lot.
But instead of allowing fear to stifle me and hold me back, I plan for it. I expect it. I know it is going to be there, like a trusted friend.
And I use it.
Instead of shrivelling up and hiding from fear, I embrace it and I use it for energy. The same fear that kept me stuck and small in my life, I am now using to help me create a life I love…a life that allows me to serve others.
I look forward to my heart racing and my blood pumping because when I feel that fear, I know that whatever I am about to do is about to make me…better.
And it makes me better because when I am afraid, I am vulnerable. And as the amazing Brene Brown says, “You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability.”
Almost 2 years ago, I launched this blog. I called my first post "The Decision" because that is what it took to push the fear away and hit "post".
It took a decision. A decision to be vulnerable.
I was terrified to write about my journey with alcoholism, knowing that by sharing it, people would learn the truth about me and be able to judge me.
But it also meant that people could know me.
Really know me.
And it made feeling that fear so worth it.
Because, had I not shared my truth, my life would have continued the way it was. I would have continued to play small and I would have allowed my insecurities to keep me stuck.
So I kept doing things that scared me. Over and over again, I have felt the fear and allowed it to push me forward rather than pull me back.
Because that's the thing with fear. We get better at it.
It never fully goes away. I mean, I was terrified when I shared my story for the first time on TV or when I did my first kitchen segment, or when I did my first cooking segment (which didn't exactly go as planned!). And I was worried about doing a good job when I interviewed Derick Fage about his very personal story and I was scared when I went on CTV to talk about my book and I went into a vulnerability coma when I wrote about my rock bottom and my most embarrassing moment and I was afraid to launch my Sugar Freedom eCourse because I am not a dietitian or nutritionist and I was worried people would wonder "what does she know, anyway??!", and I was concerned about whether or not I could actually pull off a large event happening in Ottawa this Spring, and the list goes on...
And what I am realizing is that the fear is never, ever going to leave me. Feeling fear and being vulnerable is the price I have to pay if I want to love my life.
So I had better get used to it if I want to create a life of meaning.
If I truly want to make a difference in this world and do things that matter, then I had better get used to being afraid.
Because my favourite definition of courage is "being afraid and doing it anyway."
And I want to be a courageous person.
I don't want to look back on my life and have regrets. I want to actually stand for something and not worry so much about how many people will agree with me or, more to the point (as a recovering people-pleaser), how many people will like me.
I have had enough of that way of living.
It is a small way to live.
And I want to live big!
And I want YOU to live BIG!
So, I invite you to think about the way you live your life.
We hear it all the time..."do one thing every day that scares you."
But how often do we actually do something that gets our hearts racing?
In May, I will be speaking at a sold out event in New York City (you can purchase a digital ticket here!!). I have never even been to NYC let alone spoken at a conference there. I am thrilled and exhilarated and pumped and fired up...and I am scared!!
But I will use that fear to push me towards delivering my message in the absolute best way I know how.
With that in mind, I would like to offer you some homework.
I encourage you to truly push yourself this week.
Step outside your comfort zone and do something you did not think you could do.
It doesn't even have to be something big like public speaking or quitting your job or taking on a big project (although it might be!)
- But let's say you are someone who always wears black...I dare you to wear red! It might be the beginning of a whole new you.
- What if you're a woman who always wears a full face of makeup with your hair perfectly done...I dare you to leave the house in a ponytail and without any makeup...or at least go with the bare minimum, just for a day. It might help you see yourself in a whole new way.
- What about confronting a situation you have been avoiding for fear of what will happen? What if you addressed it head-on, with poise and grace?
- Or what if you've never worked out and are afraid of looking silly at the gym? I dare you to hire a personal trainer or join a zumba, yoga or kickboxing class where you will be with others who can encourage you. You don't know what you are capable of, and we all have to start somewhere. I promise, the people who matter will embrace you, not judge you. And, honestly, the only opinion of you that matters, is your own!
- Or what about that person you find attractive who you keep bumping into at the coffee shop or gym? I dare you to strike up a conversation...
What's the worst that can happen?
Imagine the possibilities...
Life happens in moments. Let's not let our lives pass us by simply because we were afraid to live.
The moments that are often the game-changers are the ones filled with the most fear.
So, let's use that fear as momentum and remember that our emotions are simply energy in motion.
We have to feel our emotions in order to use them.
So I choose to feel fear.
I choose to feel it and use it to propel me into more situations that cause me to feel more fear.
Because with more practice, I gain confidence. I am left knowing that I am a person who can be afraid and yet do things anyway.
Because I want to live.
I want to live courageously.
I want to love my life.
I want the same for you.
I want you to love your life one bite at a time.
P.S. Please write in the comments below what YOU are going to do, this week, that makes you feel afraid. I want to cheer you on and then hear how it goes!
P.P.S. Registration is NOW OPEN for my next 6 Week Sugar Freedom eCourse! Join a group of others who are on the same journey and begin to truly create a lifestyle you LOVE. Your life awaits and we will welcome you with open arms.
P.P.S. If you live in the Ottawa, Canada area, please mark your calendar for The Healthy Brain and Body Show coming to The EY Centre April 22 & 23, 2017. It is going to be an amazing weekend filled with fun, pampering, exploring, learning and shopping!! It's on Earth Day Weekend, so please bring your reusable shopping bags (you will want to bring a few!) and your reusable water bottle as we have hired Aqua Haulics to supply us with unlimited fresh, filtered water for the weekend!