Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Fears are Stories We Tell Ourselves

Fear is a feeling most of us want to avoid because it is usually associated with something we don't want to face. It means we will have to deal with a situation that will be unknown, uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable.

However, in certain situations, fear is the part of an experience that makes it so worth it. It's that fire that makes us feel ALIVE - if you are brave enough to take the chance.

Back in August, I was offered a new job by a company I admired, and whose values I shared. Although I absolutely knew it was a good fit, I had the fear. Well actually, many fears.

Here is a list of my fears:

- something new = something scary
- what if I let people down
- what if I'm not that good at this new job
- what if they fire me (you never know)
- what if it's not right for my family
- what if it pushes me to do some scary things (more fear)
- what if I regret my decision

What you have to understand is that I had been with the same employer for well over 10 years, and frankly, I had it good. Great boss, great co-workers, cool job, and most importantly, comfort. Comfort knowing the schedule worked for my family, and that I understood my job very well. But is the grass greener on the other side? Was it worth the risk switching to something new?

I spent two weeks during my summer vacation weighing the pros and the cons. But no matter how I sliced it, the pros were kicking the cons butts. I must have talked it through with everyone I knew, even though I knew very well what was holding me back. It was that scary, dark monster named fear.

Then the universe started throwing signs at me, as it always seems to do! I kept hearing people talk in the media about how fear was the part that made them realize the decision was a good one because the fear represented a challenge and personal growth. And that if the new challenge was amazing, it was because you overcame those unknowns and those fears. Okay universe - I hear you loud and clear!

So I did take the plunge. I made the change. And it was new, and it was scary but it has lit a spark in my life that I am so thankful for. I've had to learn so many new things, and have had to push myself outside my comfort zone, and it has affected my entire life. Not only do I wake up early every day to workout, I am a firm believer in goal setting and gratitude journaling. The new job has lead me to the world of podcasts - they are such an important tool when you want to learn from experts on any subject. And it's also inspired me to get blogging again. My love for writing has been reignited. I'm so grateful.

I just happened to be watching Dancing with the Stars yesterday, when Bethany Mota said something that totally jumped out at me. She said, "I decided to do Dancing with the Stars because it absolutely terrified me. I thought, it's about time to just go for it. " For her to challenge the fear monster at her age, knowing it would make her a better person, speaks to her wisdom.

Fear, yeah it can be a very unwelcome customer sometimes. But I bet if you look back on the scariest times in your life, you will agree that facing the fear has made you grow and become a better person. Fear reminds you what it feels like to be alive and to take risks. So next time you feel fear crawling into your stomach like a big knot, take that energy and go with it. It might be the best decision you ever made.


  1. Great read! I love the universe quote. It's always speaking to us, we just have to be ready and willing to listen ;) Very happy for you Nat!

  2. Well said, Nat. I'm glad your blogging again. You're such a wonderful and entertaining writer. Congratulations on facing your fear!