It’s crazy to think back to this time 4 years ago – and how much has changed since then.
In April of 2014, I said No to a career and a life that left me drained and miserable and said Yes to real uncertainty for the first time.
I quit my cushy, corporate job without another in sight and moved into a new apartment in New York City.
It was the first time in my life that I had that much unknown, and yet I had so much confidence knowing that I was heading in the right direction.
Most of the time, we know what we need to do – or want to do.
We know when our lives need to be shaken up a bit, when our jobs no longer serve us or our relationship isn’t all that it started off being. We know when there’s an idea inside of us that is just itching to be pursued. We know when there’s a little hint of “I want something more” that just needs some room to grow.
But more often than not, the biggest thing in our way is ourself.
Far too often we let our fears take the stage. We give our fears the mics and spotlights they so do not deserve, while our big amazing dreams wait in the wings.
So how can we conquer our fears? How can we shift these self-doubts and worries from being our obstacles to being our inspiration?
We need to talk about our fears.
The problem with our fears taking the stage is that they’re only in our own minds.
We keep them to ourselves. We bottle them up and play them on repeat.
We tell ourselves we’re not ready. We’re too young (or too old). We don’t have enough experience. The list goes on and on…
And the fears fester.
By keeping our fears to ourselves, we’re giving them the exact breeding ground they need to grow. Slowly but surely you convince yourself of what you’ve been thinking and saying in your own head, instead of fighting back with truth and confidence.
Thankfully, when Pete and I started questioning our careers and the paths we were on back in 2014, we had each other to turn to. We talked openly about our fears and thoughts and dreams and realized we actually weren’t crazy. There was at least one other person out there who felt the same way. Hallelujah!
And that’s how QFYC started. We wanted to connect with others who were asking the same questions.
We started our blog first and foremost as a way to create community. We know this whole figuring out life thing can feel a little (or a lot) crazy, hard, and lonely sometimes. And we hope that by cutting through some of the fluff and clickbait out there, and delivering some honest and real content instead, we can get to the core of what we’re all going through: life.
We need to be vulnerable with others.
So here’s the thing. In order to share your fears with others, you need to open up. You need to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability can be a hard thing to come by, especially in our world of filtered-feeds.
It’s easy to feel like everyone else has it together, and that you’re totally alone in feeling off.
But the really hard part about speaking our fears isn’t about comparison, it’s about belief.
It’s the belief that if we speak them out them, they may actually become real. Or that if we share them with someone else, they may judge us for it. Or that if we say them out loud then we have to decide whether or not we believe the fear.
Our self-talk is more influential than you know.
No one is ever going to believe in us, if we don’t believe in ourselves first. And as cliche as that may sound, the second – and extremely important – way to tackle our fears is belief.
We need our faith to be bigger than our fears.
This week, I’ve been facing a lot of fears.
With so much changing in our lives + business, there’s a lot to do – and we’re super excited about it all! But something happened this week and I just felt stuck. Part of me felt like a fraud, or like our dreams will never actually happen. I feared that we were taking too big of a risk. I feared that no one would show up at our workshops. I feared that no one would care about our work. I feared that someone else could do it better.
And I was just thinking these things over and over again, staring at my computer screen, paralyzed from doing the work that really matters to me.
Thankfully, we take a good hour during lunch each day to walk around the dog park with Russ – and at this point, I was at the brim of overflowing with fears.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I didn’t want to talk about them. But if you know Pete, then you know he has a way of getting you to talk about what’s on your mind (a trait I’ve grown to be extremely grateful for).
And so I started saying all of these fears out loud. I would say a fear, and then just as easily say why I felt that way. I didn’t hold back, and I didn’t sugarcoat them. I just spoke the truth of what I was thinking and feeling.
The crazy thing is, the more I spoke these fears out loud, the easier they became. They didn’t scare me as much. They didn’t seem so big and daunting. They didn’t even seem all that worthy of getting in my way.
Instead, my beliefs started taking over.
I know that these dreams are on my heart for a reason. I have so much confidence in where God is leading us, even if I only know one baby step at a time. So if I have so much faith in what’s to come, how can I let my fears get in the way?
Instead of listening to our fears, let’s allow our beliefs to guide our thoughts and actions.
If you are struggling with doubt or fear, I’d strongly encourage you to share them. Speak them out loud. Write them in a comment below. Work through them, bring them to light, and then let your beliefs show you exactly why you have nothing to fear.