I have been.
And I thought I was over that hurdle. I thought I’d dealt with that fear a couple of years ago when my whole life dropped out from under me unexpectedly and I had no choice but to change.
I got stuck for a bit back then while I dealt with grief and fear and pain and betrayal and hurt, naturally enough.
Then I surged ahead: I started making powerful choices about what I wanted my new life to be like and I started implementing the changes.
I did great for a while. I relocated to a place where I felt much safer. I got back to excellent self-care habits by returning to nutrition, yoga, walking, sleep habits, stress reduction. I reconnected with people that matter to me.
I excavated my long-held dream of writing, brushed the dust off and began deciding what I wanted to do with it. I got lots of validation and encouragement from family and friends all the way to the point of quitting my 20-year career in medical transcription last September.
It was great at first. I was flying along on the wow-I-really did-it! energy.
There’s a lot to learn so I gave myself permission to take the time to learn it and set some mental deadlines about when to stop learning and start doing.
Then each piece of learning led to more questions, more research, more to absorb.
And I started to doubt myself…intensely.
Is it because you doubt yourself?
The funny part is I know who I am, I understand my purpose in the world, and I’ve been through the fire so I know my capabilities.
Didn’t seem to matter, though.
Every time I got close to completing a project and putting it out into the world, I pulled it back because I believed it wasn’t right, wasn’t good enough, wasn’t gonna work…
and because I believed I wasn’t worthy of achieving success and I didn’t deserve to put my voice out into the world to help other women because I was still trying to fix myself.
And because although I had made a lot of changes, I had essentially created a safe place to hide from the Big Bad World that had traumatized me and I’d have to come out of hiding to launch a business.
The whole time I was doing the back-and-forth dance of fear serendipitous things were happening in both my personal life and my business life that validated I was doing the right thing.
But I largely ignored that part.
Intellectually that’s not exactly news to me, and it’s probably not to you either.
We all know we have baggage, and for most of us it’s pretty heavy baggage.
We all know we have default behaviors and most of the time we think we’ve dealt with them, but our minds and bodies reveal the truth: chronic pain, depression and anxiety, perpetual grief, fear and doubt all point to healing work we still need to do.
Think you’ve done the work already?
I first saw a therapist in 1997, at age 33, so it’s not like I haven’t been doing the work.
And I’m still doing it. I believe it’s an ongoing journey, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. We can enjoy where we are while we work on where we are going. But we’ve got to get past the fear to do that because for as long as we hold on to the fear we hold onto the pain and trauma.
I just turned 51 a few days ago. I’ve often said I spent my teens rebelling, my 20s repressing, my 30s imploding, and my 40s healing.
I know that means my 50s (and beyond) are for sharing.
And yet here I am 10 months out from quitting my job to do this thing I’ve dreamed of doing for a dozen years, that’s been encouraged and validated, and I’m still stuck in I-don’t-think-I-can-do-this mode.
I know it’s put up or shut up time — I’ve known that for a few weeks now — and I’ve been pushing myself daily to just do this thing, just push through the fear and get it done. I made a few commitments to myself:
- I declared a moratorium on learning anything new for 60 days
- I joined a women’s mastermind group and actively participate
- I cut out the chaff of a thousand details in my business planning and identified bare bones
- I set a deadline of September 12, 2015 (one year from the day I quit my job) to have it all out on the table, publishing, teaching, connecting, growing, along with finite deadlines for various parts.
At this point, it’s go big or go home for me.
Going home means going back to medical transcription — something I’m loathe to do.
And which I’d consider a cop-out.
Some days I feel 10 feet tall and bullet-proof…
and other days you could knock me over with a feather because I’m so scared and uncertain, so deep into can’t-thinking.
What’s your excuse?
I live with chronic pain so that provides a ready excuse if I let it.
On the other hand, that’s the whole point of what I want to bring to women: No matter your circumstances — your pain, your depression, your anxiety, your grief, your trauma, your overwhelm, your stress, your relationships, your job, your home, your family, your finances — and no matter what change life has thrown at you or what change you dream of making — you CAN build a bold new life, you CAN start over, you CAN do it differently.
So I’ve got to get off my ass and do it.
No more excuses.
No more waiting.
No more can’t-thinking.
No more it’s not perfect.
No more what if I’m not qualified.
No more what if it’s not valuable enough.
No more I need to learn something else first.
Ready or not, here goes!
You’d think with 10 months behind me I’d be ready.
And I’m going to do it anyway because I believe empowered personal healing leads to shared collective wellness for women, and sharing our imperfect journey is what will break the inertia surrounding women’s healing.
We are so deeply confused by all the facades: films and TV, books, magazines, advertising, the faces others present to the world.
Most of which is an illusion and we absorb it as an ideal to chase after. And we’re wearing ourselves out, making ourselves sick, beating ourselves up in an endless pursuit of imaginary perfection. We’re living with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, grief and trauma as a result.
It’s high time we all stop killing ourselves (and yes, I mean literally) with trying to live up to a false cultural standard…
and start working together to help each other heal, changing the paradigm of authentic women’s wellness.
This world is traumatizing enough — we don’t need to compound the trauma with ceaseless competition with each other and with false images of perfection.
So there’s a women’s wellness revolution being born today.
And it’s going to be messy for a while.
Definitely a starting point.
Why do it this way?
Because it occurs to me that creating something new in the world is a birthing process, and it so happens that at the beginning of July when I made the commitment to myself to get this done and have it fully operational by mid-September it was just about 40 weeks after I walked away from my job.
How weird is that? 😉
And it also occurs to me that once upon a time women supported each other through the birthing process and in the early months after (and I believe wholeheartedly in encouraging a return to female tribe as part of my business definition).
And it also occurs to me that though this happens to be the particular change that’s part of my own healing journey, the experience illustrates the process of overcoming the fear of change for every woman.
As such, sharing it step-by-step it all of it’s raw and real form does exactly what I’m trying to do:
Heal wounded women’s souls…
and provide them with a blueprint to own their wellness, live their passions, and love their lives again.
Are you afraid to change?
I am…and I’m going to do it anyway.
I’m going to do it for me, and I’m going to do it for you. I’ll blaze a trail for you to follow. What have I really got to lose? I’ve been kicked down before, and I’m not afraid of speaking up, and it doesn’t bother me to be transparent and share my faults, and I’ve screwed up plenty so why not just get on with it?
More importantly, what have you got to lose?
Nothing…except your fear.. and with it, your pain, your depression, your grief, your anxiety, your stress, your overwhelm.
And you just might gain everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
[EDITORIAL NOTE: I first published this post on July 27, 2015, and I decided to re-feature it today, July 27, 2016. In the year since it was first published, I’ve expanded exponentially, publishing an eBook, co-authored Unleash Your Inner Magnificence, grown a large network of women who help others heal, and launched a podcast, among other things. Stepping through your fear and doing what you know you’re here to do anyway accelerates your own healing in ways you’d never expect – and brings peace and joy when you’re aligned with your genuine Self and purpose.]
What change do you dream of making that has you stuck in fear? Let me know in the comments below.
Love & Blessings,
P.S. One of the ways I teach energy healing and manifesting skills is through my free Radiant Resilience Community – click below to join us and get The Secret to Emotional Resilience 4-part audio mini-course free