Train Your Brave

In your life, are you more driven by what inspires you or what scares you?

Last week as I was navigating some deep-seated not-enough stories and wrestling with the fear of filming my classes, I found myself up against the wall, an ultimate moment of brutal and honest truth, asking myself:

Are you more driven by what inspires you or what scares you?

I’ve always considered myself incredibly passionate, someone driven by her dreams and aspirations, but over the last few weeks I had to get brutally honest with myself.

Even though I had called up 20 seconds of insane courage and made the decision to film my classes in preparation for Master Trainer auditions, even though I had asked for help and shared my goals and fears with my classes, I knew deep down I was straddling the lines of fear and passion – and I knew damn well that kind of wavering would only keep me stuck.

As old stories and feelings flooded my body: What if it still wasn’t enough? What if I wasn’t good enough? I again asked myself,

Are you more driven by what inspires you or what scares you?

Fear keeps us small and stuck in jobs and relationships that don’t fulfill us, but make us feel safe.

Biologically speaking, fear is an emotion whose main purpose is to keep us alive and safe in the face of immediate danger. This emotion lives inside all living creatures, but part of what makes us human is our creative, and rather unfortunate, adaption and use of fear.

We fabricate fear of the future

We create danger that only exists in our minds

We conjure up unfounded reasons that ultimately keep us from taking action

All because we’re afraid of failure (and interestingly enough, success too), of death, abandonment, loneliness, rejection and that we’re not good enough.

Every living being has fear, but we’re the only ones who take fear and create a story with meaning from it.

For the sake of what? are you willing to speak up at work, transition your career, start a new business, say yes to going out on a date, take on a big project?

What we want most will often require embracing discomfort and taking action despite our fear that we’ll fail or fall on our face.

In the end there is no substitute for courage, no shortcut to bravery. To become the person you most need and in order to live the fullest expression of life for you, you must be willing to do the things that scare you – and you must be willing to step into your fear again and again and again.

For the sake of what are you willing to take the risk?

This week I did “the thing”. I filmed my classes – and I even filmed Saturday, a day where it would have been easy to cancel filming because I twisted my ankle the day prior.

And you know what? Doing the thing I was afraid of, lessened the fear.

“Freedom is on the other side of fear. So, when we feel fear, it’s actually a sign we should go toward the fear”.

Leo Babuta

Train Your Brave

Own It

There’s a saying that goes, “what you resist, persists”. And when it comes to fear, the more we fail to own and acknowledge our fear, the more it finds ways of showing up and sabotaging our success.

When we deny fear, avoid it or push it away, fear only buries itself deeper. Only when we own the fact that we’re afraid, can we investigate what’s beneath the fear.

“It seems to me, the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, my fear relaxes too.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

Investigate It

What is the fear? Where do you feel it in your body? What are you believing to be true?

When investigating, it’s essential to approach your experience in a nonjudgmental and compassionate way. This safe space allows us to begin to unravel our fear – to honestly connect with our hurts, fears and shame.

Investigating helps us clarify what it is we’re really afraid of. Maybe it’s not that we fear quitting our job. Maybe we fear the potential financial instability or regret.

The more you understand, the less unknown there is to fear.

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be experienced.”

Marie Curie

Flip It

We tend to focus only on what could go wrong if we exit our comfort zone. Rarely do we stop to consider what we put at risk if we stay put in our comfort zone.

Flip the fear of taking a risk by stepping into the shoes of your future self, imagining how you feel after years of letting fear undermine your actions and pilot your life.

What has fear cost you?

At the end of life, most people regret the risks they didn’t take far more than those they did. Bottom line: don’t discount the cost of inaction.

“If you risk nothing, you risk everything”.


Risk It

Listen, I get it. We all want that kind of safety net that says if we make this choice, take this leap, things will work out – or, they at the very least won’t turn out horrendous. But, if you and I really had that kind of net, would the thing we’re taking the leap for be worth it? Probably not.

Fear points us to what matters because underneath the fears of What If’s and Not-Good-Enough’s are desires and dreams. And when you dare to take a single step in the direction that inspires you, you send a signal to yourself and the Universe that you’re serious about creating a future that is different – bigger and better – from your past.

Don’t wait to be discovered.

Don’t wait until you’re a master.

Don’t wait to be given permission.

Above all, don’t wait until you’re 100% sure you can’t fail before you take that first terrifying and exhilarating step toward the future that is waiting for you.

The Universe will do its bit…but you have to do yours.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin

Fear is part of life. No matter what field you work in or what you do in your personal time, it’s human nature for certain things to make us uncomfortable or downright scared.

Our job isn’t to get “rid” of fear, but rather to learn to be in the uncomfortable place so we can learn to train our brave – so that we can use fear to get to the heart of what really matters.

If we listen closely, fear points us to what matters most. Underneath the fears – all the What If’s and Not-Good-Enough’s, are the bigger dreams and desires.

Are you more driven by what inspires you or what scares you?