From Fearful to Fearless

On my drive home from work today, I was thinking about the word fear. What am I most afraid of? Let’s see….

The Big Kahunas: 

  • Loss of financial security
  • Failure (all kinds – parenting, relationships, work, etc.)
  • Stagnation
  • Not being relevant

The Minor Things:

  • Spiders
  • Snakes
  • Jiggly foods (pudding, jello, creme brulee, oatmeal, etc)
  • Driving in Ft. Myers, FL (see my Florida Dreaming post)
  • Pine nuts
  • Hidden dangers (they are lurking everywhere, but where?)
  • Dentists
  • Public Speaking
  • this list could go on all day!

Of the Big Kahunas listed above, the fear that is foremost on my mind these days is stagnation. Not Changing. Not Moving.

Why stagnation? It’s taken a couple of days, but I finally came to the conclusion that the thought of waking up two (four, five, etc.) years from now doing the exact same routine that I’m doing now scares the shit out of me. Stagnation. It even sounds icky when you say it. That’s the ‘worry’ that is consuming my brain. It was a relief to finally figure out the crux of my melancholy that I’ve been feeling. What am I going to do about it? I’m not getting any younger!

Unfortunately for me, my fears of failure and financial ruin are not helping me in my quest to conquer my fear of stagnation. Egads, I’m in trouble.  On the scale from fearful (1) to fearless (10), I would say that my fear level is 4ish (not quite Monk) and I would like it to be a 7 or 8 (let’s be real, a 10 is just not in the cards!).  How do I get there? Is it even possible? 

I’ve been slowly working on this for the last four years. I finally started trying new things to help me get over my fear of not doing something perfectly the first time (this has always been a stumbling block for me).  I haven’t done anything mind-blowing like cage fighting or cliff diving, but here is a short recap:

  • Quit my full-time job without having anything else lined up (that was scary and very much unlike me)
  • Tried a kick boxing class and loved it! But, they eventually stopped offering it at my workout place :(.  I still have the pink gloves in the hopes that it will come back.
  • Took some oil painting classes last spring. This class was a small step in helping me get comfortable with not exuding perfection every time I try something new. My first, second, and third paintings are not that great and it’s okay. I can actually say this truthfully (that’s a big step for me).
  • Started a blog. Putting yourself out there is scary – I don’t do well with criticism. It’s been a great process for me and I’m getting more comfortable with being a little more “real” in my posts and accepting any comments that may come my way. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, the comments have been kind so my resolve has not really been tested.

These steps have been fine, but I feel like I’ve got to do something greater, bigger, different. I’ve had an idea swirling in my head since November, but it requires a lot of fearlessness. Where am I going to come up with all of this courage?

That is the million dollar question.

Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.  They make the impossible happen.  – Dr. Robert Jarvik

2 thoughts on “From Fearful to Fearless

  1. Jennie, I was thinking as I read this, “It would help to learn some new skills” and “But you blog! That takes a lot of fearlessness.” Then there they were on your list! Bravo!

    What is the idea that’s been swirling around since November? I read through some of your other posts but didn’t see anything more written about it (could I have missed it?) I’m interested to read about it.

    By the way, your big kahuna fear of being irrelevant? Mine too. I wrote a post about the solution I may have found for it:


    • My big idea? I want to start a non-profit for people in my area. I haven’t completely scrapped it – I’ve been doing a lot of research into starting a non-profit and food need in our area, etc. and it’s a bit overwhelming. The non-profit? Have you heard of Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen? I wanted to mimic it in my area. However, I’m not sure I want to be in the restaurant business. I’m still trying to figure it out – fortunately for me, the hubs is all for it once I figure it out (if I ever do).
      I haven’t blogged about it, because putting it out there makes it real, you know? It’s still an idea forming in my head.–Soul-Kitchen–In-Jersey.aspx


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