Back in 2020 I had the awesome opportunity to interview a very good friend of mine, Whitney Teel with Wilmington Coastal Doulas, about achieving a major accomplishment despite fears and insecurities. She’s such an inspiration to me, and always has been. I’ve known Whitney for about 15 years and she never ceases to amaze me. Both beautiful, smart, talented, funny, and driven, she takes the bull by the horns and shows it who’s boss in life!

She doesn’t let fears stop her from doing what she knows she needs and wants to do. She knows fear is a liar. Check it out on the Break Free, Stay Free podcast – (Disclaimer: It’s my very first podcast, so give a girl a little grace! LOL)

So here’s the deal y’all. We all struggle with fears. Even the toughest cookies have something they have to get over – whether it’s fear of losing someone, judgement, insecurities, fear of failure, fear of the inability to personally handle something and losing their grip which causes everything in your life to totally derail thus ending in a massive trainwreck that you could avoid if you just stick to your comfort zone —- whoa. Okay maybe that’s a little extreme….. or is it?

Do you ever get in your own way of something? Take for example your dreams and goals. What are you doing today to lean into what you *really* want out of your life? You know the saying YOLO? It got a little crazy there for a little while on social media but it’s SO true. You do only live once, and no moment can ever be returned. The clock is ticking and every moment that passes is an opportunity to harness the greatness inside of you. So are you doing that? Or are you afraid to?

The “What If’s” in life can often cloud our vision and make moving forward a real obstacle.

What if I fail?

What if no one buys in?

What if I look like a complete idiot?

What if I run out of money? Or steam? Or ideas?

What if I hit a brick wall and everything stops and I don’t know how to get past it?

What if.. what if.. what if……..?

The answer to all of those what if’s is “do it anyway!” Take those small steps – one after another. You don’t have to accomplish everything today, but you’ll accomplish nothing if you stay where you are. You’ve already taken the first step by coming up with the idea in the first place, so you might as well start working towards it so you can see what happens?

So WHAT IF those what if’s come true? Then what?

Well.. that’s just it – then what? You have to process through those fears and insecurities. The way to overcome fears is to actually face them (hey, it’s science – and you can’t argue with science!). Getting out of your own way is the first step to making those visions a reality.

What are you envisioning? What big accomplishment do you want to achieve? Here are a few steps to overcome those insecurities and fears that may be holding you back.

1. Determine your “why.”

Your “why” is the reason behind everything you do. What’s the reason you want those big dreams, goals, and accomplishments? Is it to provide for your family? Is it so you can give more? Do you want to have financial freedom? Is it because you’ve just been dreaming of it since you were a child? Do you want to carry a legacy? What is it?

2. Stop making excuses.

“I don’t have the money.” “I don’t have the time.” “I don’t have child care.” “I don’t know where to start.” “I don’t have the training or the experience.” “I’ve never done anything like this before.” “No one in my family has ever done something like this.” “If it doesn’t work, I’ll be broke.” yada yada yada… It’s not hard to come up with excuses for reasons not to do something you’re afraid of doing. Excuses will always be available. HOWEVER. They are excuses, and that’s it. Not reality. There will always be solutions available for those excuses – you just have to unveil them.

3. Plan for the worst.

Notice I didn’t say expect the worst. I said “plan” for the worst. Not “expect” the worst. It never hurts to be prepared! When we know a hurricane COULD be coming our way here in the south, everyone heads to the grocery store like a week in advance and buys ALL the bread and milk and water (why bread and milk, I’ll never understand). We board up the doors and windows, and we hunker down. Many of us won’t leave unless you MAKE us, but we do plan an evacuation route and we get our batteries and whatever we need if the power goes out. Then we carry on with our normal lives until we see what happens. That’s because we aren’t *expecting* the worst, we are just prepared for it! When we are prepared, we know that if the worst were to happen, we would be covered and okay!

4. Do. It. Afraid.

Yes. Do it anyway. Go for it. Acknowledge your fear, call it for what it is, and move forward. How do we overcome a fear of water? We get in. A few of snakes? We touch one. A fear of heights? We go up. This is no different! You have to move knowing that you’re prepared for whatever happens, you have challenged your excuses, and you’ve committed to your “why.” Now it’s time to MAKE IT HAPPEN! No more what if’s – just do it even if you’re afraid and see what happens. What’s the worst that could happen? It doesn’t work like you thought it would. But did you fail? NO. Because you TRIED IT. You learned something. So…. go make that plan. Take those baby steps. Start the process – thank me later.

I’ll give you an example – I started a Podcast! I’m not a podcast listener so I was extremely armature. I was nervous to launch the first one. It didn’t take off and I only did a handful of episodes, but I’ve decided to pick it back up and start again!. I’m still nervous I may get laughed at, get poor reviews, get NO reviews, get no listeners – But you know what? I’m doing it. Because I want to!

I wrote a book – TERRIFIED. Because I didn’t know if I would get ridiculed by the church. I wondered if it was worth it. Would I get backlash from the family of my ex? I was so afraid. It’s turned out to be a very rewarding process and accomplishment for me! I’ve gotten nothing but AMAZING response from everyone who has ever read it, and it has even helped women get out of abuse and into peace.

I started Grad school. Scared I wouldn’t have time! Scared I’d fail (Like.. make F’s). Scared I couldn’t afford it – And you know what? I started and had to take some semesters off because it *was* too much time. So I found a solution, but I did not quit! I enrolled to start back up when the time would be less demanding. It took me 3 years to finish but I did it! I got my MPH despite the fear. You never have to let excuses or fears stop you – just work around them!

Do it, friend. You’ll be glad you did! No one has the promise of tomorrow, so do it today!