This is a journal entry I wrote earlier in 2016 after attending an intensive, week-long coaching and personal-improvement retreat.  The  week brought about a lot of personal and then professional changes and growth for me. And it was momentous occasion: I saw my fear clearly and in absolute detail, for the very first time

I want to share this personal piece from my journal with you because I know that every single one of us has our own fears that hold us back and keep us small. My work with so many women has proven to me that when we meet our fear, when we accept and befriend our fear, we clear a space that is so large, so open, so filled with opportunity that we cannot help but stride forward with joy, excitement and confidence.  

I met a fascinating female today. She was small, hunched over, non-obtrusive and apologetic, her movement was shuffling and unsure, as if she was careful not to disturb those around her. She had spent her life staying out of the way, not speaking up, desperately trying not to draw attention to herself, quite sure that she had nothing to say or share that was of any worth.

She is fear

Where did I meet such an insignificant creature you ask? Right here, in the quiet reflective space I step into each morning. She lives here. In my head. She is fear.  I had a sense she was there, I have felt her weight hunch my shoulders over whenever there was a chance of me being noticed. I have experienced her ability to quickly and steadfastly mute my voice if there was a chance I might speak up.

Her discouraging words:  ‘What do you know? You have nothing worthwhile to share’ became the wire fence around my spontaneity and my wisdom.  Yes, she has been present for years. And powerful. Strong enough to keep me small and silent. Clever enough to allow me to step forward just a tiny bit and gratefully accept those who found me and wanted to work with me. But all the while whispering in my ear that ‘This is enough. It’s more than you deserve. Be careful you don’t stuff it up.’  

Fear has been too powerful for too long

Today though, I saw her clearly and I saw the impact she has had on me. This unassuming creature that I had given life and power to had been calling the shots in my life for decades! WTF?

Retrain the urge to fight against fear

Immediately I wanted to obliterate her. Destroy her existence and her memory. But of course, she is me, she is my fear personified.  So instead, I thanked her. I thanked her for protecting me for all this time. I praised her creativity and hard work. And I invited her to take her place.   Fear is a vital part of my story, but no longer the author of it.

Write a new story

There is a safe space for my fear, a space that is now vacant as the true, innate,  me-I-was-born-to-be, steps forward into her rightful place. She has power, she has gusto, she has energy and life.  And I am thrilled to be dancing with her and writing a whole new story with her by my side!