By Taylor Meadows

I have never had an enemy like the one I am about to share with you.

He is someone that I have tried to shake from my back for years.

I choked him down this morning like the green juice I forced myself to drink due to my lack of raw greens intake.

His name is Fear.

I’m a sweet Southern girl who finds the beauty in everything, but I suwanne there is nothing pretty about the face of fear. (“I suwanne” is Southern slang for “I swear” just in case you were wondering.)

It’s worry that stops us dead in our tracks.  It prevents us from moving forward to better our lives.  Fear whispers to us, telling us to forgo risk.  That’s when we find ourselves in the parking lot of Krispy Kreme, waiting for the “Hot and Ready” sign to singe our retinas.  This past year, fear took the best of me.  I was scared to jump onto a new path because of the risk involved.  After holding my breath for a while and mapping out every best and worst case scenario, I finally looked fear right in his jealous, captivating eyes, introduced myself, and came to 3 powerful revelations about how to overcome fear…

How To Overcome Fear

Track the events of your life. Yoga teaches us to live in the present moment. We are not stuck in the past nor are we guaranteed the future.   We do, however, have a history for a reason.  Do not live in the past.  Glean from the past.   My mother is a wise woman, and during my fistfight with fear, she taught me to sit and look at my life leading up to 27.   She would say,  “You are alive, you are blessed, and lord knows you have never gone hungry.” (Insert her Southern accent.)  I hate it when she is right, but it’s all truth.  I have traveled the world.  I graduated from a solid university.  I have friends that outnumber the stars. Most importantly, I have the ability to take deep, diaphragmatic breaths.  Seeing all of these truths, why have I grappled with fear to jump out onto the mist? I have been ok for 27 years.  You will be ok, too.  Take an introspective look at your life.  Outline your history. Is your heart still beating? Great. Now keep reading.

Recognize your fear and learn from it. Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. I recently developed 10 life questions for a few of my friends to answer.  The questions served as an opportunity for them to go deeper into who they are and what they want.  I noticed a theme within their answers. They had one thing holding them back.  It was fear.  Their fear was holding them back from jumping off into the wild unknown.  I brought this to their attention and encouraged them to acknowledge their fear, learn what it was about, and then take the necessary steps to move forward.  After talking with them, I realized something. It was one of those exciting moments you have when you realize you find a pink starburst in your jacket pocket. (You thought I was going to say money didn’t you?) I came to the conclusion that their enemy wasn’t fear. Their enemy was themselves. This was true for me. My enemy wasn’t fear.  I was working along side fear to prevent myself from stepping outside of my comfort zone.  There were no external forces that were actually harming me.  I thought failure was my biggest fear, but I was my biggest fear.  I learned that failure is something that we should not fear because failure allows you to start again or start a new chapter. I encouraged my friends to think the same about their fear.

Just take the “dag-um” leap. Have you ever stood on the edge of a diving board with the thought that you could slip and hit the back of your head?  I know that sounds extreme, but that is a legitimate fear of mine. I recently took a leap to work with a brand building design studio and a lifestyle blog.  Everything in the job description was what I wanted. I knew it was a risk I needed to take, but I was grappled by fear. When I finally decided to dive in, I thought to myself, “What was it about this situation that scared me?”  I spent a week in Nashville for work, and had the privilege of getting to know the husband and wife team behind The Peach Truck.  This sweet duo decided to leave their jobs and bring Georgia peaches to Nashville.  They took the “dag-um” leap into the world of entrepreneurship.  Their fearlessness and tenacity has generated a buzz that is quite noteworthy.

After a lot of searching, I can safely say that I am becoming more aware of fear and what it means. For the past six months, I have read numerous articles about fear and watched inspirational Ted Talks. (I encourage you to check out novelist Karen Thompson Walker’s Ted Talk about fear.) It’s fulfilling when you find the root of your fears, which is often times yourself, and un-wind yourself from its grip. Don’t let fear or yourself stop you from making a significant mark on this universe

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