Time to Overcome Fear and Stop Playing Small

Overcoming Fear
Do you ever feel like the universe is totally speaking to you?
(This is your cue to X out if you’re not into the hippie dippie shit.)
When I started this blog and lost weight and had tons of positive reinforcement, I felt awesome. I lived in a place of positivity and possibility. But that’s easy to do when things are going well. 
Then I faced a lot of criticism from a few different places, and frankly, didn’t know how to weather the storm. I’m reading a book called the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and one passage really resonated with me. He talks about the fear of what people will say about you coming from the fear of all of your insecurities being projected back on you.
It’s easy to brush off criticism if it’s completely baseless, right? But what if that criticism hits you where you’re most vulnerable? Even if you logically realize your insecurities are unfounded or irrational (no, me? Never…), it still stings. At that time, I realized I started “playing small” for fear of continuing to get hurt.
But as the wise wise Brene Brown said in a podcast I listened to the other day: “what we’re most afraid of has already happened.” I was afraid of more criticism; I was afraid of my insecurities being projected right back at me.
The other thing about fear: if you don’t try something because you’re afraid you’re going to fail — you’re still failing AND losing out on the chance you might actually excel or at least learn something along the way. 
“By spending the majority of my short avoiding what was painful and uncomfortable,” Manson (author of Subtle Art of…) writes, “I had essentially been avoiding being alive at all.”
The day after I started reading that book, I shot an episode at work with our trainer Erika. She also talked about fear and it causing her to play small and how she’s fighting through that and choosing to reject it. Truly, I think all of our trainers are amazing and inspiring, but I straight up got the chills listening to her talk that morning.
“Sometimes we’re afraid,” she says, “because we know there is no limit to what we can achieve.” 
DB 365
This is, uh, me with the chills.

There’s been so many times I’ve watched others do something and been jealous — “but I can do that so much better.”
OK, Theodora, then why aren’t you?
I have some (big) dreams (and a cardigan), and it’s time to get to work on them (and, uh, prioritize them) because I’m not getting any younger. One of the areas I really want to prioritize is bringing you better content on this blog. (And I promise not listicles of TK Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life in Some Inconsequential Way.)
I was on vacation with my parents this week and had lots of time to think about these dreams and cardigans, and I realized this: I’ve built this blog that people read, and I have a pretty wide berth in what I can write about at work. I have two distinctly different platforms, and I really want to use them to somehow make a difference in someone’s life. To reach as many people as I can. For example, I wrote something at work this week I’m really proud of: How to Help a Friend With Depression. It just so happened that it’s National Mental Health Awareness Week, which makes it all the more timely.
There’s skills I’m not using the way I want to (I started writing should and realized what a dangerous word that is), and there’s skills I’ve been afraid to learn. Here’s to embracing all of that. 
I also don’t find it a coincidence that I arrived home to the new Gabrielle Bernstein book in my mailbox.
How have you overcome fear in your life?

5 comments on “Time to Overcome Fear and Stop Playing Small

  1. Emily

    You motivated me to (literally) run a marathon and now you’re motivating me to write again…and try to actually make something of it. I’m excited to see where you’re taking this space because I know you and what you’re capable of. XO

  2. Tracy

    I am excited to see where this space is going to go. You have inspired and motivated me over the past two years and I look forward to more!

  3. Alicia A Hanus

    This was such a timely read for me. Last night I read your post and thought about fear a bunch during my marathon today. I walked away with a new PR of 3:44:44. Thank you for the motivation!


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