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August 24, 2017

Living to the edge: Befriending your fears

Wellness Fear
02262018_fearless_Unsplash Aziz Acharki/on Unsplash


To live fearless sounds awesome. In fact, just saying the words I can feel a rush of empowerment run through me. I can do anything!!!! I got this! Just do it! Charge!!!!  But then my next thought crashes into my brain like a wrecking ball, how will I pay for it? What will people think? Am I good enough? Can I really do it? Really? And then the momentum slams to a halt.

Is living a fearless life really possible?

One of the hardest things to do in life is to create change. It often takes an event seemingly out of our control to create the necessary change. An example of this is being laid-off a job that was soul sucking or perhaps discovering an affair in a relationship that had been dead for years.

It seems abrupt, painful, shocking even but a few months down the road, it’s the best thing that ever happened.

Back in 2011, I took a huge leap of faith and quit my very stable film industry job to move to Austin, Texas, and become a Life Coach. On top of that, I was a single mom, a never married single mom. Was I afraid? Hell yes. I was so afraid that once I arrived in Austin and was "settled," I watched every documentary I could on climbing Mt. Everest and read every book. There was something about the actual physical risk the climbers took that calmed the vulnerability and fear I felt.

The two most difficult hurdles I faced making this huge life change were the fear of failure/regret and the fear of what people would think of me – or put another way, "the invisible audience."

When we think about the end of our lives most of us will say, I want to live my life without regret, but little do we realize that often times regret is what keeps us stuck? Fear keeps us stuck and denial is its partner in crime. It is easier to stay in a situation we know (even if it’s not good for us) then to step into the unknown. Denial allows us to suffer less.

The three common fears that keep us stuck are fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and fear of people’s expectations.

It’s not about overcoming fear or not having fear, it’s about being in relationship with our fears.

So, how do we get in partnership with our fears?

1. Fear of failure

I know you’ve heard this a million times, but the truth is there is no such thing as failure. Every action you take is a good thing. It might not turn out the way you thought it would, but you will learn something from the experience no matter what.

Any action is better than no action.

Use "failures" as sign posts along your journey. If something doesn’t work out, revaluate, try a different angle, quit if you don’t have the passion in your heart.

If you keep going eventually you will find the perfect scenario that makes your heart sing. This doesn’t mean you won’t have challenges, but it will mean you have the fortitude and fire in your belly to keep going.

Keep in mind, if you aren’t hearing no’s you probably won’t hear yes’s either.

You will fail, failing is not an option so take your fear of failure and go have fun. Since taking my personal leap, I’ve failed so many times I’ve lost count.

What I’ve learned is nobody’s paying attention. Everyone is equally concerned about their own fears, failures, stumbles, successes, or just being stuck.

2. Fear of the unknown

First, become aware and acknowledge this fear. Then remind yourself that no one ever knows the future and the future is not yours to control.

Take steps in the present moment; don’t look too far ahead because you don’t know what’s going to happen. Listen to your heart and have faith in yourself. Take the first baby step. Dreams are built on baby steps.

Another exercise I find useful is to go back over your life and find those moments where it felt like invisible hands assisted you. Know that those same hands will help you in the future, trust in them. If your intention is to find or ignite your soul’s flame the universe will conspire with you.

Go ahead, embrace your fear of the unknown and take that leap of faith.

3. Fear of other people’s expectations

You are going to let people down, not live up to their expectations, and disappoint them. How about that? You are off the hook. If this is how they feel, they aren’t your people.

The more I’ve come to know fear, the more risks I’m willing to take. Why? Because there are no failures, it’s all just information letting me know if I’m on the right path or the wrong, and if so to reroute myself.

When you start taking risks, live from your heart, live fearless, people walk away. It’s the nature of the beast. The glorious thing is then you have room for people that have your back, love and support you as the REAL YOU.

If you are living your life to seek approval then you are not being true to yourself and are stuck in a childish pattern. The only reason the people you seek for approval are in your life is because they enjoy the power they have over you. They love watching you squirm on the end of that hook.

Once you begin to know you are good enough, lovable, worthy, you will no longer want those people around you. You will walk away with your chin up. They might follow, but it won’t matter.

Take the hand of your fear of disappointing people, let it know you got this, you don’t need anybody else's approval. You are enough.

Yes, living a fearless life is possible if it means you are in partnership with your fear. Fear is never going to go away and really, you wouldn’t want it to because in some way it would mean, you’ve stopped growing and expanding. And life is meant to be lived, to grow and expand.

The more I’ve come to know fear, the more risks I’m willing to take.

Why? Because there are no failures, it’s all just information letting me know if I’m on the right path or the wrong, and if so to reroute myself.

You only have one life to live, we all have unique challenges to overcome, embrace yours whatever they may be and take the tiniest step every day. It will change your life. Make the best of all of it.

I only have one life to live, no one else walks in my shoes so who cares what they think. I’m making it the best life I can and the only way to do that is to live fearlessly with my fear!

Stacey J. Warner is a certified life coach, equus coach and yoga teacher. She received her Bachelor of Arts in drama from the University of Washington and currently resides in Los Angeles. She is the founder of The Intensives for Radical Healing, Consciousness, and Grace. Her one passion in life is to lessen the suffering of others through deep inner work and laughter. To learn more, visit:

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