Facing Fear: Open Body, Open Heart


After returning from a Dovetail weekend retreat in Algonquin Park, I shared a personal Facebook post the other day with these photos (Thanks Carin Smolinski Photography for capturing these!) and the following caption:

Plunging into cold water is NOT scary for me. Attending a 3-day women entrepreneur/leaders event when I knew nobody was terrifying for me. Sharing my fears with strangers was terrifying for me. I jumped in, body and heart open, and I received the biggest return. I have learned and thought about: resilience, capacity, focus, friendship, confidence and courage. Even if I retain only 20% of what I learned, I feel stronger today.

Less than a month later, I can tell you that I have retained more than I thought I would, and I’m really excited about it.  There are a few important things that I have been thinking about that I wanted to share with you, dear she’s on Top community, and I hope you’ll join me in asking yourself these questions about yourself, and open your body and heart to more possibilities.

Trying things that you are scared of is worth doing.

This isn’t rocket science, but it’s easier said than done. One could argue that as an entrepreneur, I’m used to trying things that are scary, but what I realize now is that I’m really good at trying things that I don’t find scary. For instance, I don’t find pitching a new client scary, I don’t find giving a talk scary, I don’t find putting myself out there too difficult and I certainly (obviously) don’t mind jumping into a great Canadian lake in September from a high height.

What was scary for me was getting on a bus with a group of strangers.

Letting go of fear, however you can, can open up so many possibilities.

When you start to realize that your fears are getting in the way of all the things you want to achieve, there are two options. 

One option is to beat yourself up more (something I’m good at doing) and let all that negative self-talk take over. I know full well that I’m holding myself back by sticking with the status quo, but staying the same and comfortable is easier than changing and being uncomfortable. 

The second and more terrifying option is to trust that inner voice and talk to myself with positivity. 

So I got on that bus ready to share the things that I don’t usually say out loud, with the hope that I would feel more connected.

Facing my fears and taking risks make me feel more fulfilled.

Truth is, letting fear lead my life leaves me unfulfilled. Feeling fulfilled is worth fighting for, and worth becoming uncomfortable for. Knowing deep down that I’m capable of breaking the existing mold, and that I may have to break that mold over and over again is terrifying and exhilarating. 

That bus ride ended up being the beginning of a weekend that has helped me to see more clearly. I don’t think the weekend itself changed me- I think I was ready to push myself out of my comfort zone, and the experience at Dovetail allowed that to shine. 

Letting go of fear to try something new is a challenge I only have capacity for some of the time. I figure that the more I do it, the more comfortable I will get with being uncomfortable. The worst that can happen is “failing”, and I’m ready for it. The more times I try being brave and see myself thriving as a result, the easier it will get! Moving forward, I will continue facing my fears with an open body, open heart!

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