If you know anything about me or you know my history you know that I used to listen way more to my doubts and fears than my dreams. I thought about starting my business for two years before finally doing it. I have been thinking about doing health coaching ever since I graduated Institute for Integrative Nutrition back in 2018, and it’s only now that I’m actually finally getting into health coaching. I have been thinking about starting a newsletter forever, and I only just started one last week. I could go on and on, but it would make for incredibly boring afternoon for both of us.
The truth is we probably all have examples where we have listened much more to our doubts and fears than our dreams. It is so easy to let fear and doubt dictate the course of our life and allow these feelings to run the show. For instance, I never pursued health coaching because I was afraid of failing, that I wasn’t good enough (imposter syndrome is real) and what others would think. Actually, this has been the case for pretty much everything I haven’t pursued. Everything is so scary, scary, scary.
Over the years, I have learned to accept that my fear will always be there. I used to think that one day I would just magically wake up and I wouldn’t feel fearful anymore. I would somehow just feel fully ready to pursue health coaching, start my own business, and drive in New Zealand… This is really delusional. Truth is we will never just magically wake up and feel ready to pursue our dreams. Fear will always be present, and fear is actually a good thing. If you didn’t feel fear you would walk out in front of cars, walk home alone late at night and other stupid things. Fear is what keeps us alive and has kept humans alive throughout history.
However, you don’t have to listen to all your fears. For instance, my fear of starting a newsletter hasn’t actually done anything for me. It’s not like I would die by starting a newsletter. My fear just didn’t want me to step outside my comfort zone, which I get. Stepping outside one’s comfort zone is scary and well, uncomfortable.
Instead of fighting my fear or thinking that it’ll ever go away, I’ve befriended my fear. I acknowledge that my fear is present. I don’t try to push it away. BUT at the same time I don’t let it dictate my actions or how I should live my life. I feel my fear and do it anyway.
I really love this quote from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert:
“I even have a welcoming speech prepared for fear, which I deliver right before embarking upon any new project or big adventure. It goes something like this: “Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting—and, may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still—your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”