Feel the Fear and Do What You Love Anyway – By Sue Z. Oliver

Each of us has a glorious, divine purpose for making a unique and positive difference on this planet; that is, for leaving a powerful legacy. And guess what? Your passion and your talents together point directly to your purpose. Pretty obvious, eh?

Most of us have a good inkling as to what our true passions are — what we would do for free or what we would even pay someone else to let us do. In fact, most of us share our passions for free, either as a hobby or through volunteering. Heck, some of us pay a lot of money to access our passions.

The Passion Conundrum: What’s between you and doing what you love fully and vibrantly?

If you’re like me, you’re probably telling yourself one of these stories: “I’m too busy.” “I don’t have enough money.” “I’m not talented enough.” You’ve probably got lots of “yeah buts” for why you cannot thrive at what you love, based upon your past experiences and ultimately upon F.E.A.R. It’s funny how we take our past, project it into our future and then believe that it’s the truth of who we are. As Byron Katie shares on her website (http://www.ByronKatie.com), “Fear is always the result of an unquestioned past imagined as a future.” She also describes, in a 2009 Twitter tweet: “Fear has only two causes: the thought of losing what you have or the thought of not getting what you want.”

So what’s the fear about? Fears of failure, looking bad, not looking good, not being accepted, and the fear of being homeless are just a few that I hear and have personally experienced. The bottom line? Your fears do not define who you are and they are a lousy story with an unhappy ending that you continually tell yourself, over and over again. What a recurring nightmare!

In my own life, I sold out my passions several times to follow the path most traveled and headed into the illusory security of Corporate America. Let’s flash back to my undergrad years, when I absolutely adored the French language and dreamed of becoming a language professor. Most of my friends, meanwhile, were heading into law, medicine, or business. When I solicited their opinion on my French passion as a career, I heard loudly and clearly “Teachers don’t make any money!” I believed them. I also believed that, especially as a woman, I should be more practical/realistic/logical/level-headed. Sadly enough, by choosing to become a businesswoman (which I liked) rather than a professor of French (which I adored), I affirmed the fallacy that teachers can’t prosper in their passions and that I couldn’t either. At the time, I reasoned that, if I was on the right path in pursuing my passions, I should be fear-less. WRONG! Now I know that true courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway, whatever “it” is.

For The Passions and Possibilities Project®, we have interviewed over 200 individuals who have leaped fully and vibrantly into their passions for making big differences in the world (aka Passioneers®). Every single one of them stated that they had fears during their leaps, and that they moved forward anyway. You had better believe that fears were rampant when the following four successful Passioneers made the tough decision to fully unleash their passions:

* Ellen Whitehurst leaves a successful corporate career and 20-year marriage to become a feng shui expert. She later rockets to the status of Dr. Oz advisor and an author whose books, blogs, and articles are read by millions.

* Brooke Ellison enters the gates of Harvard on her first day of classes. She then becomes the first quadriplegic to graduate from Harvard and inspires Christopher Reeve to create a motion picture about her life’s story.

* Dr. Joanna Dolgoff gives up a thriving pediatric practice to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity, an issue that very few doctors address. She’s now one of the leading experts in the world.

* Missy Lavender decides that women’s pelvic health is more important than a lucrative real estate investment career. She co-founds the Women’s Health Foundation, and gets interviewed by Whoopie Goldberg on the popular ABC TV program, The View.

Thank God that I now realize the creative power of our words and actions. The Passions and Possibilities Project is my way to prove to myself and others that, when we do what we love, the rest DOES follow. One of my mentors recently reminded me that, the bigger the game that you play in the world, the bigger your fears will be. With my most recent leap into founding The Passions and Possibilities Project, I can honestly say that this is true: there are days when I am terrified. Below are three simple steps that I use and recommend to my coaching clients when the hairy scary monsters raise their ugly heads:

1. Feel the Fear. Don’t run, hide, abdicate, medicate, or give up. Action Step: Write down at least ten “facts” about your situation and then compare them to the “story” that you have been telling yourself. Now that you can see the difference between fact and fiction, which would you really prefer?

2. Move Forward Anyway. Miracles arise when you step out of your comfort zone and into your dreams. Even by taking a baby step forward, you will find wings starting to sprout where dug-in heels used to be. Action Step: Take at least three baby steps forward into your passions and see what happens.

3. Build a Courage Club. It is true that you are whom you hang out with. So, if you’ve been hanging out with passion wimps, it is high time to choose again. Action Step: Call, write, visit, or bump into at least three people this week who are passion warriors, even if you don’t know them. When two or more Passioneers are gathered, magic happens…a lot!

Best wishes on your courageous journey and Happy Passioneering.


About the Author:

As the founder The Passions and Possibilities Project┬«, what a blessing it is to be able to share 15+ years of experience coaching and consulting individuals and groups into greatness, within the corporate, small business, and non-profit sectors. I also bring a burning passion to support bold, talented individuals in leaping fully into their dreams, especially if they are in helping or healing professions. It’s my way to “pay it forward.” My specialties include business and success coaching, entrepreneurial and small business growth, leadership, team-building, new product & service launches, prosperity/finances, and wellness/balance. If you seek an engaging, energetic, and inspiring speaker, I am available for presentations to small and large groups, particularly keynote addresses, on a variety of topics.

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