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It’s time for a new adventure

[ 14 ] July 18, 2011 |
Inspiration for overcoming fear: a pea plant grows despite numerous obstacles trying to hold it back

Image by Honor the Gift on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

This is my last week at my old job. I have to say it feels very surreal to keep going into the office, knowing that I’m on my way out. Ever since I turned in my notice, I feel so much more relaxed, though. For a long time I’ve felt like there was a conflict between my work life and everything else. Since I gave notice, everything in my life is aligned with my values and where I want to go. That feels great!

Thank you all for the outpouring of support–it has blown me away! I can’t believe when I started blogging, I thought the best part would be sitting alone in my house and writing, never talking to anyone. You’re the best part!

So, what comes next?

Well, I’ve got an awesome project in mind, but I’m going to need your help.

You see, every week I get an overwhelming number of emails from people telling me that their biggest problem is fear. Fear is what’s holding you back. It’s keeping you from following your dreams and living your life to the fullest.

It’s something we all have in common. Just think about the great things you could be doing if you weren’t afraid. Then multiply that by everyone here at 17000 Days. If we took fear out of the equation and every one of us started doing the things we’re best and most passionate at, imagine what a difference we’d make in the world! And the number one thing that’s stopping us isn’t an earthquake or a lack of food or an oppressive dictator. It’s something within us that we have the power to change.

It’s time to take a stand. When I look back at everything fear has kept me from doing all these years, it makes me angry and sad. Just imagine all the great things that would have happened if I had started this work years ago!

Here’s the thing: once you stop letting fear hold you back, you’re free. It’s an incredible feeling. The possibilities are endless. You can finally do what you want, what you always thought was impossible before. And when you do, you realize what a huge waste it is to do anything less.

I’m tired of watching that happen all around me. The survey we did back in May and the emails I get make it very clear: Fear is the common enemy that unites us. It’s time to break its hold.

You’ve seen my transformation over the past six months or so. I used to be afraid of everything, and I’ve learned to get past that and do whatever awesome, crazy, wonderful thing I set my mind to. I want to help you do the same.

I’m thinking about creating a workshop on how to break fear’s hold, take control of your life, and do what you want.

I need your help. If I make this, I want to make sure it’s right for you. I don’t want to throw my whole being into creating the most awesome thing I can imagine, only to find out it’s not exactly what you need or want. I tend to go way over the top with everything I do–this project will be no different. I want to make sure if I create this it’s going to be worth it, because I’m going to go all out.

It would help me a lot to know more about how fear is holding you back. You may not believe this, but telling me would help you, too. This is a call to action. By putting it out there in black and white, you’re taking the first step in breaking fear’s hold on you.

What would you do if fear wasn’t holding you back? Please tell me in the comments, whether it’s one thing or a whole list.

(If you don’t want to share publicly, that’s ok, too. You can send me an email: cara at 17000-days dot com)

About Cara Stein: I'm a Breakthrough Coach and Creative Director On Demand. I'm also an idealist who has stopped trying to play it cool. I offer alignment, clarity, and unshakeable belief in yourself—and then I help you bring your vision to life with great sales copy and graphic design.

Comments (14)

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  1. BunnyKissd says:

    I would speak up. I would tell people what I wanted to and not worry about hurting their feelings, or being bossy or imposing.

    I would go to all the art galleries and gift shops in the area and push to sell my art there on consignment.

    I would call my dad on the phone and not let him get in one negative word edgewise.

    • Cara Stein says:

      Ooh, great answers!

      By the way, I just checked out your blog, and I love the design! I hope you get your art in you local shops soon!

  2. TeaAddict says:

    Well, I’ve come a bit further than where I used to be. I do speak up now, and when my family members say negative things about me or other people, I actually rebuke them or disagree, and try to point out the positive about the situation.

    But telling family members what you really think and putting it on my blog in black and white for the whole world to see are still two different things in my mind. My family doesn’t take kindly to the skeletons being exposed for all to view. It was a very repressive upbringing.

    Some fear is still there. Like if I do open my mouth and tell the undiluted truth, someone is going to judge me. Or if I take the leap, someone is going to snatch the net out from under me.

    I’m trying to feel the fear and do it anyway, and I’m taking steps to make my life what I want it to be, which is to write and travel, and hopefully combine both. Baby steps, but steps nevertheless.

    LOVE your blog, and I’m just starting the workbook. But at least I’m starting. 🙂

    PS. Sorry this comment is so long. I write novels, too. 🙂

    • Cara Stein says:

      Good for you! Getting started and taking baby steps are the key to building up momentum. I can’t wait to see where you are in a few months!

      Thanks for your comment, and I hope you find that the workbook helps you on your way!

      • TeaAddict says:

        I hadn’t posted on my blog in months, so I didn’t leave a link. It gave me the incentive to make a post finally! 🙂
        I feel overwhelmed sometimes because there’s so much to learn. Domains, hosting, keywords, etc, etc. Sometimes I just have to step back and take a breather, lol.

        • Cara Stein says:

          Good for you! Isn’t it amazing how much dread can build up around something like that? Now that you’ve broken the ice, I hope it comes easily for you again.

          I know what you mean about feeling overwhelmed. It seems like, on top of everything else, there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there. When I hired my coach, the first valuable thing about that was not having to wade through all that stuff and try to figure out who’s right or what to do first. In a way, it’s a small thing, but it eliminated a lot of flailing for me.

  3. Cordelia says:

    I’ve given your question a ton of thought, and you know what? Of all my fears, I have to say the one the most holding me back from living the life I want to live, in the Here & Now, is the fear that I will never write anything decent.

    I don’t mean my blog. I mean the half-a-dozen novels I’ve had brewing obsessively in my head for decades but am TERRIFIED to put into writing because, the instant the words are on the page, they’re no longer pristine anymore. I know in my head that first drafts are always crappy, but I’ve built these stories up so much in my head that it seems I’d almost rather let them stay up there, all shiny and perfect, than try to bring them into being and risk not having them come out the right way.

    You know what? I think you just inspired my next “Quit” post! Thanks, Cara! 🙂

    • Cara Stein says:

      Wow, that sounds like a life-changing insight! I hope it is. 🙂

      Can’t wait to read your next post!

  4. What would I do if fear didn’t hold me back? That’s the best question I’ve heard all week. Great work!

    Let’s see here. Well, I feel like it’s quite a few. One of the first that comes to mind – is hiring a virtual assistant. I’ve been in need of one for quite some time, but I’m still dong my researching in order to pursuade and sweep away the fear. I think that’s something we have to do with ALL fear we encounter. Research. Because fear is only a derivative of the unknown!

    So, I feel like if I’m prepared for what to expect – then making the plunge and getting that assistant won’t be so much of a fear thing, and I’ll be prepared.

    And then, I’m excited for the extra time to focus on other projects will allow!
    Glad to be here. You write beautifully.

    • Cara Stein says:

      Good for you for getting ready to hire a virtual assistant! I would love to have one of those, but I need to get myself established with more regular income first.

      Excellent insight about research dispelling fear–you make a really good point about fear coming from the unknown.

      Thanks for your comment, and thanks for reading! I’m glad you’re here!

  5. Beti Spangel says:

    I’m afraid of telling my boss I want to work part-time (so I have more time to pursue what I really want to do), because I’m afraid she’ll be upset with me (this happened to me with a boss about 20 years ago, and it scarred me). I’m afraid I won’t be able to pay my bills. I’m afraid my husband will think I want him to support me, like his exwife did. I more afraid I’ll come to the end of this journey without doing the things I really want to do.

    I’m afraid my fears are unreasonable, and I’ll have wasted all this time.

    • Cara Stein says:

      Good for you, Beti! Get it all out! You’re very brave to share this with the world.

      If it helps at all, I’ve struggled with almost all of those same fears. You should have seen me quaking in my boots a year and a half ago when I asked to go from full-time to 80% at work! I was sure the answer would be “How about 0%? You’re fired!” But I summoned the courage and asked anyway, and I got what I wanted. It was a huge leap for me at the time. It was only 8 fewer hours at work per week, but I structured it so I had the morning off four days a week. (I worked 12-6 most days with one full day per week.) It made a huge difference–it felt like I bought my life back!

      Things won’t always work out how you hope, of course, but surprisingly often, they do. It’s worth taking the risk to get what you want.

  6. Gary Johnson says:

    Hi Cara! I quit my job back in 2008 to follow my dream (computer repair business), but due to my fears, it went nowhere.

    Now I have started a new business and I am determined to overcome those fears!

    Thanks for your encouraging words here.

    • Cara Stein says:

      Hi Gary! This is my second business, too. My first one suffered from my burnout and lack of business knowledge more than fear, but the result was the same. I hope your new one goes much better! You’re much bigger than your fears–you don’t have to let them control you.

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