Fear can immobilize us! It can keep us from setting a goal, or starting a relationship, and it can even kill our dreams.
Over the years, I have been pretty good about not letting fear get in the way, especially when I was young. I didn’t care so much back then. Let’s be honest. A lot of our fear has to do with being judged. What will our family say? What will my neighbors think? And even worse, how will I be judged on social media?
If you have ever felt the fear, you know how powerful it can be in stopping us in our tracks. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to write about it. Talking about something and facing it is the first step.
When I began to imagine a lifestyle brand around the topic of kindness, I was obsessed with the idea. All I knew was my gut was saying “Yes.” My head was saying “No, I’m scared.” I talked about the idea for months. I would write in my journal, talk to my friends about it and even got close to hiring someone to help me get my plan together. But each time, just as I was about to jump in, I would get scared. I would say to myself, “What if it fails?” “What if I look stupid?” “What if?….”
As months passed, I eventually was re-connected with an old friend. We had worked together on a project years ago, but I had not been in touch with him recently. Turns out, he is now working as a brand manager. He was exactly who I was looking for and needed to launch the company. I believed the universe had brought us together. I was so excited! He knew me and understood my passion to spread the message that kindness is strength. We were ready to take off!
Then my stupid fear crept back in. I started to doubt if it would work. Is this really what I should be doing? Those thoughts lasted several weeks. Then one day I asked myself, “What is the worse thing that could happen?” My answer: It fails. Okay. I asked the question again. “What is the worse thing that could happen?” I look stupid for trying. Again, “What is the worse thing that could happen?” My answer, I help someone feel better about themselves or help them learn to use kindness to improve their well-being. THERE IT WAS! I emailed my friend and committed in that moment. I said yes to the project, which ultimately became Be Kind & Co. Once I said yes, I remember thinking, why did I wait so long? What was I so afraid of?
Once we say Yes to life, things start to happen. Once we open our hearts and trust that our decisions are right for us at that moment, the sun begins to shine on our project, our relationship, our job, our dreams- whatever it is that we are saying yes to.
Trust Your Gut
Even though fear is a tough cookie and can sway us to stay in the safe zone, your gut really knows what you should be doing. It’s that feeling when you keep doubting something but your gut won’t shut up. It alerts you and will keep reminding you that it’s the right thing or the wrong thing depending on the situation. I have learned to try and let go of my mind’s ability to accept fear and really get quiet to hear what my gut is telling me. (Meditation helps with this. I will write another time about that.)
Better to Fail than to Have Never Tried
In the end, life is too short not to take a chance. We grow by expanding and then letting go of the fear. Throw it out the door. So what if it doesn’t work out. At least you tried. When we open ourselves to that and realize it’s all a beautiful journey on the road to discovery, it is a lot easier to accept. That is the ultimate kindness to ourselves.
As an Emmy and Genesis Award winning journalist, Lu has worked in the television news business as an anchor and reporter for more than two decades. She is also a former Miss USA, author and animal advocate.