What I’ve learned about fear

What I’ve Learned About Fear

Because how are you really going to know, and how much time are you going to waste, before you just effing DO it?

Today I met with one of my blogging idols — the lovely Therese Schwenkler of The Unlost. As I walked up to the coffee shop to meet her, instead of plotting out all the directions I wanted our conversation to go (something the more anxious Kristen would have done a year ago), I decided to just see how the conversation flowed. Which worked out because we had some funny distractions during our two hour chat that really would have taken away from any agenda I may have tried to follow.

For instance, we ended up saving a lost puppy from potentially getting run over by coaxing him onto a makeshift leash Therese created from her suitcase strap. We took care of this little guy for an hour while we waited on the SPCA to pick him up. Our act of doggy kindness inspired the barrista at Mojo so much that he gave us a free latte (and his number, zing).

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 12.40.59 AMWhile we babysat our new friend “Bubba” (pictured above), our conversation jumped around from our experiences at The Bold Academy, to the emotional development of infants, to our mutual pursuit to find a place that grounds us.

The questions I shared with Therese around my blog — should I do more with video? Maybe add audio posts? — and my life — where should I move? How long should I live there? — were met with the very straightforward response:

Stop thinking about it and just do it. See what happens.

To which my response was, “yeah, you’re totally right.” Because how are you really going to know, and how much time are you going to waste, before you just effing DO something?

Recently, I bought my roundtrip tickets to Thailand, so that’s definitely a start. But right now, I’m telling you what I’m going to do, and I’m counting on you guys to hold me accountable. Okay?! So here it goes. Before April 30th, I will:

  1. Write a blog post about sex — I can’t think of something I’m more scared to write about.
  2. Guest post for other blogs — Meeting Amber Rae and my fellow Bolders has pushed me to really give this blog all I’ve got. Guest posting with big websites is a step in that direction, so I’ve set a deadline of next week to send my writing to a blog with a readership of 10s of 1000s of people. Which really scares me!! Probably a good sign to do it.
  3. Redesign my blog to include video and audio elements — While at the Bold Academy, I was given some stellar advice from Bold Academy mentor Terri Simon on my presentation skills: 1) I need to project! My voice is almost as loud as Tinker Bell’s. 2) I need to develop a cadence. My voice can be pretty sing-songy and all over the place, which makes it hard for people to realize how ridiculously funny I am, since the punch line often gets lost in the peaks and valleys. 🙂

I feel strongly that one of my purposes in life is to inspire others. I’ve been extremely fearful of public speaking and being on video for most of my life. But lately, I’ve felt a calling to show others who are afraid of the spotlight that it actually isn’t so scary and that it can become fun over time … with some practice. And that you have something amazing inside you, an amazing insight and VOICE that needs to be heard. I guess I’m just saying that we all have a story to tell that would inspire and motivate others. We are all afraid, and that is okay. As my wise fellow Bolder Molly quoted earlier today:

“My whole life I’ve been telling myself, ‘don’t be afraid’. And it is only now that I’m realizing how stupid that is. Don’t be afraid. Like saying, ‘don’t move out of the way when someone tries to punch you’ or ‘don’t flinch at the heat of fire’ or ‘don’t blink’. Don’t be human. I’m afraid and you’re afraid and we’re all always going to be afraid, because that’s the point. What I should be telling myself is ‘be afraid, but do it anyway’. Live anyway.” – unknown

With courage, love, and intensity,


Photo credit: qousqous / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

22 thoughts on “What I’ve learned about fear

  1. Thank you, for this wonderfully written and inspiring blog post, Kristen! Too often I feel that we are afraid of the things that could be, and we revel in our comfort zones because life is much simpler that way. But, is it worth it? Going out of your comfort zone and letting go of fear is probably one of the most inspiring things a person can do, as difficult of a feat as it may be. Too often I find myself planning my life simply out of fear, because I want to live that successful and accomplished life. But, sometimes you just have to go with it, be afraid, and continue on anyway. Great post! Will definitely be coming back to read your future ones!

  2. Kristen, I just started following your blog (found you through Amber) and am so with you on this post! Upon stumbling upon this blog around a year ago (http://scareyourselfeveryday.com – where the author documents his year doing one thing that he’s scared of everyday), I’ve thought of things that I’m afraid of differently. Exactly what you said – if it scares you (but you still want it), it’s probably a good thing to try! (I’ve made it a goal of mine to do 10 things that I’m scared of this year.)

    Kudos to you – can’t wait to watch your journey unfold!

    • That’s awesome, Cynthia! And that blog you shared is so inspiring — side-tracked me for the past twenty minutes. Thnx for sharing, and yay for setting that goal. Fear truly is worth facing head on, and recognizing as completely human and present in everyone.

  3. When are you coming to Thailand?? I’m Thai, living in Thailand, and happened to read your article from revolution.is. I’m now loving your blog and I guess I can say I’m your fan from Thailand 🙂

  4. “Stop thinking about it and just do it. See what happens.”
    I liked that Kristen. I stumbled upon your blog from my Twitter feed and landed here. You have an awesome blog. Congratulations and all the best to you for your adventures!

  5. Kristen, I absolutely love this post, and I especially love that you are just honey-badgering your way through that list of goals. Write about sex? Done! You are bad ass, and I love your courage, love and intensity. You inspire me. Seriously.

  6. This is about the 5th post from you I’ve read and LITERALLY every single one of them has felt like you were talking straight to me. Your writing is incredible and I genuinely get excited when you post something new. Keep up the good work.

  7. can i just say that this was a great post! i have many of the similar fears as you do and while i may not be able to say eff it and just do it, i will gladly tell you to do it and then live vicariously through you, lol!! i agree with your friend/mentor; stop thinking about where to go and just do it! xoxox

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