Fear offers unparalleled clues about where we can radically improve the quality of our lives. Let’s not just skim the surface of our lives. Let’s follow our fear, stand in it with both feet and bask in its afterglow.
I don’t set New Year’s resolutions, but I do set an intention for the year that I check in on daily. What’s unique about my approach is its focus: fear.
I zero in on areas of my life that wear a cloak of fear and vulnerability that represent the places in my life that that I most do not want to go.
Beneath the fear, shame and vulnerability is pure gold. It is the place where true transformation resides, enabling us all to live unimaginably more abundant lives.
Fear is the source for the purest and un-fleeting “success.” Unlike other resolutions that improve one area of your life, this approach permeates all corners.
Here’s a personal example. In 2014 I followed my fear and vulnerability and embraced my truth more than ever: I am mother first, and career woman second. As much as I might have said I put my energy first to my kids before, it was not entirely true. There was always that reserve of energy that I never allowed myself to give to my children.
I was afraid of letting go of a part of my identity that I gripped so tight. I feared acknowledging my maternal instincts and looking her straight in the eye. She called me to admit that perhaps everything that I worked so hard for was not as meaningful as what she had in store for me.
I feared judgment on many levels including the women’s equal rights movement for not “leaning in”, letting myself get lost in my kids and allowing myself to be reliant on my husband as breadwinner. The year 2014 was the year I released its grip and wrapped myself in vulnerability.
The result? Deep calm and contentment. I am confident in knowing that I am living according to what’s most important to me, not my ego or anyone else.
It feels so good to be dedicated to something so selfless and life changing. Maybe this is why it always felt exhausting relying on my career as the predominant source of my self-worth.
My career was never going to fill me up in the way this does. The truth is that there were greater things waiting for me if I only released the grip on what was preventing them from shining through.
Consider dedicating 2015 to pursuing that which makes you feel unsure and scared. Transformation guaranteed or your money back.
Here’s where I started — asking myself three questions:
1. What do I hold the tightest grip(s) on and fear letting go of in my life?
2. What am I afraid of losing if I let go?
3. What might I gain by letting go?
A quote by Brene Brown, Ph.D., whose work inspired my transformation:
When we allow ourselves to become culturally conditioned to believe that we are not enough and that we don’t make enough or have enough, it damages our soul. This is why I think practicing critical awareness and reality-checking is as much about spirituality as it is about critical thinking
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Kristen is a Leadership Coach and Writer passionate about supporting others to live their best life. She is an accomplished businesswoman and coach with over 15 years experience helping people and organizations realize their potential. The secret to a well-lived life is to envision what will make our deathbed-self gush with pride and claim it as a necessity, not a nice-to-have, into our everyday lives.
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