zen habits : breathe

How to Go From Fear to Freedom, One Step at a Time

Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility, to give something back. ~ Anthony Robbins

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Tess Marshall of The Bold Life.

Every path to success has been littered with doubt, fear, and uncertainty, as well as persistence, calculated risks and repeated action.

The difference between someone who fails and someone who succeeds is the courage to act, repeatedly.

When I was 22 years old, I was mom to four daughters under the age of four. My third pregnancy was twins. Taking care of them was utter madness at such a young age.

I lived in a constant state of exhaustion. I lost weight, I had dark circles under my eyes, and I had suicidal thoughts.

The impulse I fought, was to run, to leave and never look back. My biggest fear at the time was, “I’m not capable.”

In my state of exhaustion, while crying myself to sleep at night, I would ask my husband again and again, “What am I going to do. How am I suppose to keep going?”

He never faltered, his answer was always the same, “You’re going to get out of bed tomorrow morning and put one foot in front of the other. You’re going to do it one step at a time. That’s how you’re going to do it.”

For 22 years that’s exactly what I did.

I made the decision to follow his advice. I was young, strong, and determined. I would focus only on the step in front of me and I would not fail.

It was the most difficult job I ever had.

Leo coined the word, “Joyfear” last year during an exercise at The World Domination Summit and wrote it on his arm.

He defines Joyfear as the mixture of two powerful emotions, joy and fear.

Leo goes on to say, “It turns out every single defining moment in my life has been filled with Joyfear, with a mixture of intense joy and intense fear into one ball of powerful emotions that both lift me up and make me see things clearly when I hadn’t before.”

When I read that I remember thinking, “I know exactly what he is talking about.”

I know now, that the emotion that propelled me forward, as a young parent was Joyfear. Today the girls are 39, 37, 35 and 35 years old.

What fear is holding you back? Where do you feel incapable? What daunting task can you complete, one step at a time?

Read on for action steps that will propel you forward.

Hugh Macleod, from Gaping Void, has advice for our economic times: “Learn how to work hard, work long hours, find something you love, and then excel at it. Above all else, learn how to create, learn how to invent. That’s your only hope, really.”

I agree with Hugh, however — unless you can learn how to move through your fear, you’ll continue to hold yourself back. You’ll never learn to risk, to excel, to create, to invent or to experience Joyfear.

Tess Marshall is the founder of The Bold Life, where she inspires people to live a fearless life. If you are tired of being stuck in fear and want to step into your greatness, click here to learn more about Take Your Fear and Shove It.

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