I can still hear my Daddy tell me, “It’s OK to be scared.”
Too often we act as if fear is a bad thing. Fear is a natural instinct that helps us react to the unknown, as well as known dangers. By the time you reach 40, believe me, you will have felt a healthy share of fear. The issue comes when fear prevents us from moving forward.
When my Daddy reminded me that “It’s OK to be scared,” he didn’t want it to stifle me or keep me where I was. In fact, he loved to joke about how often I moved for my TV career. In one seven year span, I moved five times. My Daddy teased me that he’d write my name in pencil in his address book. Looking back, it was one of the most exciting times of my life to move to new cities, make sources and connections and then tell stories on the local news. Everything was new. Things were constantly changing. I can hardly thing of anything that made me fearful back then, except for rejection as I applied to my next job.
How To Be 40 And Fearless
Feel the fear and do it anyway. It was not an easy task to go back to the gym after so many years where I didn’t work out. When I did a one week review at Roc House Fitness Spa in Buckhead, I was prepared for the aches and pains. I was sore, but I was also energized.
I realized so many things we fear are just perceived fears. It’s usually not as bad as you think it will be. The strength you can find on the other side of fear is amazing. When I was asked to model in the Macy’s plus-sized fashion show with Supermodel Emme, all I could think of was Carrie from Sex and The City when she become “fashion road kill.” I prayed to Baby Jesus to keep me from falling flat on my face in front of all those people. Thankfully, my husband, son and blogger buddies were there to cheer me on!
Find a supportive sister circle. My circle of friends is a lot smaller nowadays. I have a select few sister-girlfriends I can go to when I need it. Some of them are in Atlanta. Others are in different times zones and cities. But you need someone to have your back. When I realized a few folks weren’t needed or worthy, I wrote the Over 40 Friendship Prayer, as a way to move on.
Forgive yourself for past mistakes. So often our fears are based on a bad pas experiences. I’m speaking from experience here. So I created a printable letter of forgiveness to yourself. Write down your issues. Keep track of them or throw them away. Either way, just move on.
Comment below: Are you expressing yourself more now that you’re approaching or in mid-life? What’s holding you back now that you’re in your 40’s? How do you fight the fear?
Every Monday I cover midlife topics for #FiguringOut40 and you can follow the topic on Pinterest.