It’s Time to Shine!

Sunrise by Steve Garner via Flickr

Year after year we make resolutions and promises to ourselves that THIS will be the year. THIS will be the year that we will pursue our dreams; THIS will be the year that we will be happy. But year after year these promises fall short, and we go on living unfulfilling lives.

It’s not that we don’t want to be happy.

It’s not that we can’t pursue our dreams.

It’s because there is something standing in our way that we are unwilling to face.

Whether it disguises itself as procrastination, forgetfulness, doubt, lack of time, or its many other incarnations… it’s always FEAR hiding behind the curtains.

Fear is what stands in the way of our dreams. Fear is what stops us from living the fulfilling, happy life that we so deserve. That YOU deserve.

“Never let your fear decide your fate.”

But it’s not fear itself that is the problem. It’s our responses to fear which are the problem.

You are a living human being, and when new experiences (or even just the thought of one) arise, fear is a natural reaction. It keeps us on our toes. Its original purpose was to keep us alive… to make us aware of our surroundings and to warn us of what might happen.

But somewhere along the line, we forgot how to work with our fears and use it to propel us forward.

Instead, most of us deny our fear. Ignore it. Which stops us from living to our full potential, numbing out our pain and suffering with tv, the internet, addictions, or other behaviors leading us to live dull, unfulfilling, and sometimes harmful lives.

We convince ourselves that we’ll start painting when the kids move out of the house, we’ll follow our passions “after things settle down a bit”, or we’ll start that blog we dreamt about when “we’re ready”.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears” ~Les Brown

But the truth is, that perfect time may never arrive, and you’re just throwing your life’s potential away because you’re afraid of it.

You’ll never have enough money, enough time, or enough support to follow your dreams. And we ALL will always have fear to overcome.

Fear is a healthy emotion that you need to work through.

Once you realize this and stop buying into the fact that fear is wrong or something to be avoided; then it will loosen its tight grip and you will essentially become more “fearless”.

So this year, instead of making resolutions that never last, and making excuses for not following your dreams and passions, it’s time to step up and face those fears.

Identify them, acknowledge them, then move on anyway towards what you know will make you happier.

This year, make a resolution to practice courage.

Because once you start swapping your usual response to fear with practicing courage, things will change exponentially in your life.

But that’s not to say practicing courage is easy. Like the name suggests, it takes practice. And a little encouragement, accountability, and community couldn’t hurt either. Which is why I’ve decided to start up a new series called “Fearless Fridays”.

Let us gather with courage. Let’s put our fears out in the open, talk about them, and let them loosen their grips on our lives. Let us swap stories, give encouragement, and lift each other up on this courageous journey we call life.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Every Friday I will post a story, feature, or words of encouragement here on the blog or on my facebook page
  • You are free to simply use it as a gentle reminder to keep practicing courage in your life, or join in with a story or words of encouragement of your own in the comments section. 
  • If that week you have written about facing your fears in respect to following your goals and dreams in life, or perhaps practiced courage in your art, feel free to leave us a link with your comment.
  • I encourage you to visit and comment on the links posted by everyone each week to support each other in this journey. Also, feel free to reply to other’s comments to add to the conversation.
  • If you share a link to your blog, please link back. You can grab a badge HERE.
  • There will not be a specific theme each week, as everyone’s fears and goals are different. This is simply to help you to practice courage daily in your life, and to bring all of you amazing women together for support.

You are not alone in facing your fears. Bring them out in the open, face them, and get the support you need to muster up the courage to move past them and start living the happy fulfilling live you deserve.

Are you ready to make the resolution?

It’s time to shine to your life’s fullest potential!

In the comments below, dream big and tell me… What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail, or if fear wasn’t standing in your way?

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  1. Great idea. I have started to succumb to fear less this year. I have already sent out a few e-mails that I was scared of sending – it’s a small start but it’s a start!

    If I had no fear I would set up a business making art wear and upcycling clothing into creative garments as well as a style consultancy that helps people to wear clothes that express themselves. That’s my dream :)

  2. Wonderful idea! I’d like to do more video and create some great pdfs to package for sale this year! The big deal will be getting over how I hate taking pictures of myself, so being on video will be top on my list…LOL! I begin by showing my hands…baby steps all the way! This is great Kristal, thanks for providing a gateway.

    • Great goal Indigene! People always love videos. I was real nervous about it when starting too (I’m actually shy in person if you could believe it! lol). You just got to jump right in and do it before you can convince yourself not to!

  3. Thank you Kristal. It’s hard to know if my dream is relevant so it’s great to here that you like it :)

    • Oh of course Kira! If there’s a magazine about it (which there is.. Altered Couture by Stampington) then people are interested in it! So many people, me included would love to express themselves more with their clothes and accessories, but not sure how to start. Go for it!!

  4. Karen Coombs says

    Today for the grandkids is “Early Out Friday” which basically means I am off work at 12:30 every Friday watching kids for the afternoon. My goal is to use Fridays to work on my art. I am always fearful that my creations will look stupid. Normally they look great and even greater after I have walked away for a week and then looked at them. It is starting that is hard. Today I want to create a page about rain that we communicated about just before Christmas. Today is the day! I love the idea of practicing courage. With the depression I have had just seeing people at the store, church, work, etc. takes courage. I will practice courage this week. Thank you so much for your help in my journey.

    • You’re welcome Karen, so glad to have you here! And ya know what, if your creation turns out “stupid” or ugly, who cares!? Just start on a new one. :) Not all of our creations will always work out as planned. It’s a process, and to get them to almost always looking good takes lots of practice. Just have fun with it!

    • Karen, those are some of my fears too! Starting is always hardest for me. I also worry I will screw it up! Practice makes perfect, I guess I need to practice more! :)

  5. GREAT idea…count me in Kristal!

  6. Hi Kristal
    I loved everything you wrote about fear, and how we let it dictate our lives. I am discovering that the more I let go of my fear and pursue my creative aspirations, I am happier on the inside and those little voices get softer and softer. I am a writer at heart, in 2013 I want to keep submitting work, get published some more, and here’s the scary part….create a book proposal! Eeeh gads just writing those words felt scary! I need the support from other creatives who GET it! Thanks for developing this!
    My best!

  7. Thanks Krystal for your courageous words! Fear is something I battle every day – something I only came to realize a year or so ago, was holding me back in life. Despite knowing I need to practice courage and face my fears, it is still the hardest thing I do every day. This year I am choosing to face my fears about developing an online business presence. I want to expand my blog, push my creative endeavors and get published in a magazine. Eek! Did I just say that out loud?! I don’t have a link for you to see yet but you’ve inspired me to get messy so I’ll be back!!

  8. I really look forward to this journey with you Kristal. I’ve got it on my calendar.

  9. What dreams you would pursue if you knew you couldn’t fail? Seriously? To begin with… DECLUTTER. My Word for 2013 is “IN” but another way to approach that could be “knee deep IN stuff!” so I am going to DECLUTTER with all of the psychological bologna that goes along with it… so I can see and live “IN” the moment “IN” clarity! That is my secret. We will see if anyone ever finds it here… ;)

  10. My dream is to be a known and appreciated artist. But I am OK if I’m not. I feel pretty fearless in all I do. I think age makes you realize “stuff” doesn’t matter. Thanks for getting us to think about this. I am eager to see what enfolds over the weeks for fearless flyers!

  11. If I knew I couldn’t fail, I would quit my 9-5 job and become a full-time creative entrepreneur! However, I have bills to pay, so I have to be smart. I have many fears. Lots of baby steps to face them and move along past them. I done a few things recently that were really scary, but now they are done and on to the next few! Thanks for hosting Fearless Fridays, Kristal!

  12. Hi Kristal–
    I want to write and illustrate the children’s books that are in my mind; become a major name in the illustration field (we are talking dreams here, right?); write a graphic novel; and travel more…go to Paris, NYC, Portland, Amsterdam! Whew! I feel a little sheepish now that I’ve written it. (-;
    Thanks for putting together this great program and safe space.

  13. Hmm… if I knew I couldn’t fail, I would answer this question! Oh my gosh, my head is swimming with possibility and objections. I guess I would just go for it. Balls out, you know? No holding back. No waiting for the right moment or milestone… I feel as if I’ve been doing this more than ever before, but at the same time I know I’m still holding back. So that is my answer – if I knew I couldn’t fail, I would go ALL in. I’m not sure exactly how that would look, but I think that’s what I’m after. Thank you Kristal! So far, so thrilling! xo

  14. I LOVE your “Fearless Friday” idea…can’t wait to be part of it and see how it unfolds! If I couldn’t fail, I would open the biggest, most well-stocked shop for mixed media artists! Have as much of the things artists want in inventory, and for less popular items, have them be special order – Oh, what fun it would be!

  15. Thanks Kristal for arranging this. I know I said i’d start it earlier but time got away and I figured it was easier to just wait for everyone. Looking forward to starting next week with you :)

  16. Kristal, I would not have thought of myself as fearful, but after reading your post maybe I am. I mean I have fears like being horridly afraid of heights and for some reason I do not like to be alone all night in this house (never had that problem before). My art, my beads and jewelry though I had never really thought of being fearful in that. I do shows and such but I don’t really push the envelope and maybe that is fear. I think maybe this will be really good for me.

  17. I’m not sure if it’s fear or if I just suffer from ambition overload. I think I have to get to the place where it’s OK to recognize that I don’t have to do it all, ALL the time. That I can indeed take time out for me and pursue the other things in life I enjoy (like being creative) instead of focusing 110% of my energy on my business. I mean I hired an assistant for a reason so I need to take more time out for me. This year I’m going to make a great effort to do that and pursue some of the other projects I’ve set on the back burner and just run with those things and see where they lead me. Oh and do it with no fear!

  18. How did I miss this before? I’m a bit late but happy to join the crew! Thanks Kristal for this great idea! I am in the middle of reading Daring Greatly by the way: gremlins, beware!

  19. Hi Kristal,

    I love the new Fearless Fridays. I was initially intimidated by the whole idea of stepping outside my comfort zone and flying. I have friends and family who have been telling me to teach some craft classes and try o get some of my creations in small shops. Well, I accomplished one of them and have my first class set up for February second. I actually set up a morning and afternoon class and they both filled up the same day within hours of posting the classes. Yahooo. I am very excited and nervous too…. but more excited. Thank you so much for the inspiring words and now to work on the next one getting my creations in a small store. I know one at a time. Thank you thank you.

  20. wow talk about divine intervention! I chose FEARLESS as my word for the year hoping to conquer so many personal fears especially my creative and artistic ones by plunging ahead and start with the process of creating. I bought your ebook which led me here! A guiding hand to help me on my way . I am excited beyond words!!

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