What's something that you would do if fear wasn't standing in your way?
What would you do if you stopped caring about what other people thought or let go of the expectations the world has for you or embraced your missteps?
What would you do if you took a magic pill that made all your fear go away and you were 100% unapologetically yourself, going after those bold dreams that you keep to yourself because you know that once you tell someone else about them, they become real and you’re not ready to hold yourself accountable for stepping into the big scary unknown?
I asked these questions in an Instagram post recently. It was one of those posts that for some reason I was hesitant to post. Like this post where I revealed that I’d had a baby or this one where I wore a bikini.
The meta thing about that moment is that I was posting about not letting fear hold you back and yet I almost didn’t post it because I was nervous about how the post would be received. And then, I clicked “post now” and I swear the second my words went out into the universe, I stopped caring.
It’s like that with so many hard things… Once you take that first step that you can’t turn back from, the fear gets smaller.
TAKING THE FIRST STEP IS ACTUALLY THE ANTIDOTE TO YOUR FEAR.
So, friends… Here’s my question for you as you prepare to say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022…
What’s something that you would do if fear wasn’t standing in your way?
Maybe it’s something big like finally pursuing that idea for a creative business or project that your mind always wanders to in the shower, when you’re driving, at your day job and pretty much any time.
Maybe it’s something small, like stepping onstage at a karaoke bar and belting out your off-key rendition of Sweet Caroline or not letting your laundry pile up or meal planning or not bringing your phone into your bedroom.
Maybe it’s something in between, like making time to craft things for fun or starting a retirement account or working on being more present.
Whatever it is, don’t let fear (or the excuses that fear disguises itself in) stop you from starting. All you have to do is start. And, just like how my fear shrank when I posted that photo of me in a bikini or a decade ago when I finally coaxed myself out of my car to go on a blind date with the guy who’d eventually become my husband or two years ago when I gave my newborn son his very first bath or this month when I took a mini solo vacation and spent two nights alone in a hotel room, the more you push through your fear, the weaker it is.
A few years ago, I would have told you to go full force towards your biggest goals and crush them (cue macho crunching can on forehead memes). But, I can’t hit publish on this blog post without mentioning the elephant in the room that we thought would have been gone by now but isn’t.
Even though we’ve all been riding shotgun with the pandemic for nearly two years, I still can’t believe it. It’s like when people say that your kids grow up in a blink of the eye. The days are long but the years are short, that’s what they say. And, just like I can’t believe that my son Luca is about to turn two, I also can’t believe that Covid will be turning two in 2022 as well.
Not all of us are ready to go back to our full on goal-busting selves that we were before 2020. I’m here to tell you… that’s OK!
I’m not giving you permission for another year binge watching Friends for umpteenth time, ice dyeing everything in sight and considering ice cream an essential worker in your fight for your mental health (oh, wait – was that just me?) but, I am telling you that you are in charge of where “the bar” goes. You know, the bar that some people set so high that they’ll never reach it or the bar that others set really low so they know they’ll reach it. I want you to intentionally set the bar in a spot that pushes you out of your comfort zone but also makes sure that you’re taking care of yourself and your life.
Take a moment and think about the thing that would do if fear wasn’t holding you back. Now, pick one step that feels manageable and that you can take to get closer to that thing.
And, if you’re ready for some accountability… make it real and share it outloud! Tell me here what your thing is and what your first step is. Then, let’s cheer each other on. Jump in the comments and heart someone else’s comment or leave them an encouraging reply.
That kind of camaraderie is what we're all about here at Dear Handmade Life. It's the idea on which we were founded.
It’s also one of the main reasons we created The Club, our exclusive members-only community for creatives and passionate small business owners that provides support, resources and accountability. Members of The Club get access to a library of business and craft classes, LIVE! monthly classes, mentorship and coaching from me and more.