Fear Factor: Real Life Edition

Fear is a cruel, cruel mistress. She burrows deep into our biggest insecurities and whispers incessantly how incapable we are. At the onset of anything new, she’s usually there, mocking pom poms in hand, cheering loudly above all the rest “You CAN’T do it! You’re so stupid!! You will surely fail!!!” On and on she goes. And the true fallacy is that we listen, and not only listen, but believe her fateful lies. She is, in a word, a real bitch

For the majority of my life, Fear has demanded my attention. Each time she cleverly disguises herself anew: the fear of Failure, Inadequacy, Judgment, Vulnerability, Perfectionism, Insecurity. All of these and more become irrational, misleading excuses that hinder us from starting something new or ending something old, and in essence of living our lives truly and fully.

For many, many months now, Fear has been convincing me that I shouldn’t get things started in terms of blogging and business-endeavoring. I’m not good enough, not prepared enough, not a unique enough voice to share with the world. And I’ve become a fantastic thumb-twiddler in the meantime, concocting reason after reason (albeit really good ones!) to hold myself back. “I don’t know what the next step is. Things are a ‘wait and see’ right now. We’re moving. We’ve moved. I’m readjusting. Learning a new city and lifestyle. Putting together a new home. I can’t, it’s hair-washing day.” The list goes on. I’ve even attempted to create outside accountability by informing others that my site was in the making and debuting “soon!” But “soon” quickly became an elusive and indefinite never, and that accountability attempt succeeded only in creating more self-inflicted anxiety to add to the fear of putting something, and in so many ways large pieces of myself, out there into the unknown.

So how do we move past our own selves—that nagging little head voice reminding us of all our shortcomings? How do we forge into the unknown and something new to us with confidence? How do we make things happen in our lives?

It all starts with one little step: pinpointing something, whether big or small, that we CAN do, and then working from there. One move, whether minute or monumental, towards the goal. And then adding another step, then another, and another, until finally, you’re just doing it. “But it’s not so easy,” you’re thinking. “There are logistics involved, planning to be done, numbers to be crunched.” And planning is a good thing, a necessary start to the process. But the caution is to not let all the planning take place of any of the actual doing. When planning gets in the way of action, it serves only as a hindrance. The learning and growing comes with the actual doing, and the doing requires that first action step.

Well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist Marie Forleo addresses this Fear Factor perfectly: “Some people have reasons, other people have results.” Well let me tell ya, if I had a penny for every “reason” for why I couldn’t do something, I could be a 7-digit earning entrepreneur based on my excuses alone, and a pretty darn good one at that!

True freedom unfolds in the actual doing of something. Oftentimes we get stuck in the situations life hands us feeling like everything is happening to us. But what we almost always forget is that we still have so much say in the matter. We can still take steps and make changes, even if it’s something small. To have something weighing over you with constant inaction one way or another becomes draining mentally, physically, and emotionally. Once you finally take that first action step, it’s one little piece of the burden lifted, and each subsequent steps relinquish more of the grasp of fear, while also freeing up more space in your mind for creativity and formulation for steps 2, and 3, and 4... 

So let’s take eating healthy, for example (this is a health and wellness blog, after all). There are a fantastically vast number of excuses to be employed when it comes to healthy eating, reasons abounding as to why we can’t do it. “I don’t have time. It costs too much. Healthy food doesn’t taste as good. It just isn’t convenient. I don’t like vegetables. I have to die somehow anyway, might as well be fat and happy.” And so on and so forth. As with anything else, these are all clever voices of fear discouraging starting something new and changing something old. If habits were as easy to make as excuses, we’d be in a different place entirely. But habit change takes work, and with anything else that you’re starting for the first time, it takes a single step.

My hope for this space is to encourage and empower you, dear reader, to begin taking those steps towards better health for yourself and your family. There is so much fear surrounding change, and especially when it comes to our food. We place such emotion around the eating of things, and it can be scary to consider making changes. But the Fear quiets as you take that first step, and as you set up mechanisms and fail safes to make those changes work with you and for you.

The purpose of this blog will be to provide many steps, tips, tricks, and motivation for how to make eating healthy work for you. In life and in eating well, if we start with something small, a single step, it sets that next step up to be even easier and come even more naturally. It only starts with one. Don't expect to change it all overnight. Quieting the fear and uncertainty comes with time and practice. Remove the obstacles that keep getting in your way, whether self-inflicted or otherwise, and begin to take those steps and do what it takes for YOU to make healthier choices.

My encouragement to you is that you are capable, and you are worthy of that first step. Whether it’s pursuing a long-dormant passion or committing to focusing on your health, look at some of the simple things you can do TODAY to make it work for you. Don’t let Fear get in the way of your pursuits and dictate your path, in life and in your health. Take that first empowering action step.  And in time, with ongoing practice and dedication, you’ll find that the new norm is the life you’ve always wanted to live. 

Tune in next week for one of my own personal action step “aha!” moments, and more on how to begin implementing positive changes for your own health and wellness journey.

In loving health,