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Name the fear


I just returned a couple days ago from my Breakthrough & Begin retreat in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. 
 
It was incredible, powerful and, honestly, I told all the women there that I needed that time away just as much as they did. It felt so good to be teaching again — to be bringing women through my curriculum and guiding them through (what I believe are) the most essential layers to writing and living a courageous story. 
 
One of the most important parts of my coaching work with women is creating space for them to sit with the story of who they are and all the small moments of their life that got them there. Wrapped up in your story are all the fears and beliefs that you picked up along the way. (There’s no avoiding it, this is what it is to be human.) The trouble is, somewhere along the way, we start to believe those fears without questioning them. They get reinforced in situations and by people and in our experiences. We even start to selectively look for the evidence that these fears are just the way it is. After all, if it’s the story you are looking for, it’ll be the story you find. 
 
And pretty soon, these fears and beliefs just become fact. 
 
That you’re not worthy.
That you don’t belong. 
That you aren’t capable.
That good things never happen to you.
That you’ll never feel ease.
That your value is attached to your productivity.
That it’ll never be the same.
That they’ll never love you.
That it’ll never work.
That wanting new things is irresponsible. 
That love doesn’t look like that. 
That it’s too late. 
That you’ll never be ready.
That you need control.
That they are tolerating you, not loving you.
That you are a fraud.
That power isn’t pretty or nice.
That you can’t trust.
That you can only trust yourself. 
 
The hardest but most transformational thing is when we stay with the fear instead of running from it. I love when I’m able to name my fears. I don’t always love the work of unpacking how in the hell it got imprinted on my story, but there is so much freedom when you understand the origins and patterns of where your fears come from and how they continue to (often sneakily) show up in your daily life and decisions.
 
We spend a lot of our lives unconsciously making decisions from a place of fear. 
 
The breakthrough, then, is figuring this out, and having the courage to rewrite the story. 
 
What are you really afraid of? 
 
Disappointing them.
Or maybe disappointing yourself.
Change for them.
Or maybe change for you.
Failing them.
Or maybe failing yourself.
What they’ll think.
Or maybe what you’ll think. 
That the unknown won’t be as good as today.

Or maybe, the real fear is that it’ll be so wildly better and you don’t know what you will do with that kind of joy, love and fulfillment. 
 
It’s all there. I promise. The hard part is slowing yourself down enough to pay attention. The even harder part is staying in the discomfort until that fear shows you everything you need to know so that you can begin living your life without it driving your decisions. 
 
There’s also a notion that once you’ve named your fears, they go away. This is not the case. Our fears are part of the story that got you here. (Those fears may have even served you well and protected you along the way, too.)
 
Your fears will always continue to show up; your power is seeing them coming. Your power is knowing exactly why they are showing up (usually when you’re doing something brave!). Your power is not letting fear write the story. 
 
Your power — and freedom — is deciding to live from a place of courage instead. 
 
As I integrate back into the hustle of life, I find myself deepened and more awake in the practice of recognizing when I’m operating from a place of fear rather than courage. 
 
It was such a gift to do this work at the ocean this past week with such incredible women. This coaching space is absolutely the work I’m meant to do. 
 
So that’s it for today, everyone. 
 
Name the fear. It’s got a story to tell. Stay in that story until it gives you what you need to begin a new chapter. And then be brave enough to write that courageous story. 
 
Repeat daily, if not more. Every decision we make is an opportunity to keep writing that story.