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fighting fear in 2019

Yep, we made it people. Another year. 2019 is creeping right up on us and I’m still stuck somewhere in August.

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking ahead at the next step, the next move, the next couple of squares in the calendar. I like to know what to expect of my days and try to fill them with as much productivity as possible. Real, true, get-er-done work. As I’ve learned, winning is an intentional act, and it all starts with setting your sights on a goal.

In 2018 I hit a few of mine. I finished a first draft (and nearly a second) of the novel I hope to publish; I read more than I ever have before in a year; and, not to mention, I started this blog, which has been a long time coming. While some days have felt empty and useless, too much time wasted on Instagram or worrying about the mess in the living room, seeing these met goals has put into perspective how much I’m capable of, how much I’m able to accomplish so long as I’m willing to work.

Looking ahead to 2019, I have a few things on my mind. Publishing Imperfect One, reading 40 books (or getting closer to 40 at least!), establishing myself on the interwebs. All “large” and time-consuming intentions and frankly daunting. I don’t always feel matched for those tasks. I don’t feel disciplined enough or driven enough or smart, talented, good enough to do any of it. Each day is an effort of will not to submit to my insecurities, shyness, doubts, and fear and to keep pressing forward.

Maybe you’re feeling the same way about your goals (or resolutions, ambitions, aims, vibes, etc.), no matter how “big” or “small” (I don’t really like these terms, but it’s almost eleven the Thursday after Christmas so bear with me). Maybe you’re nervous you won’t be able to wake up or keep up or stay up or shut up, whatever it is you hope to accomplish in the New Year, that it would be easier to give in now than even try.

Fear is a funny thing, how it can feel more comforting than success. How it can twist our minds to believe we’re better off settling for less than we are and less than we’re capable of doing. It can lull us into complacency with the promise of comfort and silence the yearning for something better, higher than our current position. It can replace contentment with bitterness or even jealousy toward those we’d otherwise admire. It can leave us empty and unsatisfied with our place in life by reminding us of all the reasons we shouldn’t do something.

These are lies, of course. If there’s a part of your self you want to better, you’re capable. If there’s a goal you want to meet, you’re capable. If there’s a task you want to complete, you’re capable. You don’t have to jump out of an airplane or travel the world to prove this to yourself either. Little acts of bravery, little steps of courage, are a good enough reminder of why fear is a lie and growth is always within reach.

So, if nothing else this year, I want to encourage both of us — you and me — not to give into fear. Trying and failing is worth more for the lessons learned and the courage gained than remaining stuck in place by our own hands. And while obstacles and failure are frightening, particularly for their inevitability, they’re nothing compared to the regret we face when years later we’re still where we’ve always been even when we long to be miles ahead. It takes a first step and that step is often blind, often the hardest part of the journey, but it will set into motion a future full of possibility and promise. Certainly not easy, but in the end something to be proud of.

So let’s do it together. One step at a time. Make 2019 a fearless year.

/// E.S.T.

NOW TELL ME // Have you thought about your goals for 2019? How do you cope when you doubt yourself? Give me your best advice below!

photo by: Brooke Lark

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