9 Tips for a Fearless Life

by Tess


When you give in to your fear, you are stuck in inaction, procrastination, or obsession over perfection. 

When you give in to your fear you lose out on discovering new places, meeting new people, finding a soulmate or living your wildest dreams.

When you give in to your fear your life is void of possibility, imagination, and creativity.

Books are unwritten, movies are not produced, ideas are left in the dark, love lies dormant, and the world is robbed of your gifts and talents.

My daughter Kristy was born without a right hand. She does CrossFit. CrossFit is a fitness company that describes its strength and conditioning program as "constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement." (Wikepedia)

One exercise Kristy was unable to do in the past was pull-ups. The owner of the gym had an idea. He designed a special "hook" to fit Kristy's stub.

She can now do over 100 pull-ups with the rest of the class. That's one tiny example of taking bold action.

When we hold back out of fear, we hold others back as well.

I write in order to help you move forward when you are afraid. I will continue to encourage you, inspire you, and guide you into living a fearless and bold life. 

The following tips will help you let go of your fear.

Don’t believe everything you think. ~ Byron Katie

Become aware. Your fears are stories that run through your mind. Notice the fearful stories that you tell yourself.

For example, if you are afraid to ask someone for what you want it’s probably because you tell yourself that the answer will be “no.” Decide ahead of time that the answer could very well be “yes.”

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon

Light your fire. Create a burning desire. Grow it bigger, stronger, and greater than your fear. Feed your dreams not your fears. If your burning desire is to find a life long partner, make your desire bigger than your fear of rejection.

If your burning desire is to quit your job, grow your desire bigger than your fear of taking action.

Give your power and attention to your desire and let your fear wither and die.

Because of our routines we forget that life is an ongoing adventure. ~ Maya Angelou

Imagine a lifetime of expecting the best. Expect things to go right. Believe that people want to help you. Imagine yourself succeeding. Know that things will work out.

We get what we expect in life. When everything looks grim, don’t give up or give in. Instead, expect the best. Expect a miracle.

Hopeful thinking can get you out of your fear zone and into your appreciation zone. ~ Martha Beck

Exchange your fear. Stop what you are doing when you are full of self-doubt, worry, and anxiety. Immediate find two things and two people in your life that you can appreciate.

Focus on the feeling of deep gratitude. Exchange your fear for appreciation.

If you’re afraid of something, of putting yourself out there, of creating a kind of connection or a promise, that’s a clue that you’re on the right track. Go, do that. ~ Seth Godin

Permission to be uncomfortable. Be willing to be embarrassed, nervous, fearful, and sweaty. Move forward. Zig zag. Switch back. Lose your way. You’ll live. You’ll survive. You’ll learn what does and doesn’t work. That’s progress. Success usually doesn't happen in a straight line or happen overnight.

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop. ~ Usman B Asif

Give up negativity. When you fail, accept that it’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t be depressed. Don’t give up. Give yourself a limited amount of time on the pity pot. Then create a new plan. Examine other options. Look at the big picture. Fail while daring boldly.

To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another. ~ Katherine Paterson

Go to the edge. Push yourself. Go where you haven’t been before. Do what you haven’t done before. When that place becomes routine and comfortable, keep moving. Find a new “edge.” Keep growing and edging forward. Slow growth is better than no growth at all.

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~ Dale Carnegie

Recognize your imperfection. When you can accept that you're not perfect, you can stop expecting perfection. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Mistakes offer you the valuable experience of continuous adjustment and growth. There is no need to fear, only to learn, and to grow.

If you really want to do it, you do it. There are no excuses.
~ Bruce Nauman

Make no excuses. My friend Christopher Foster of the The Happy Seeker, lives in a "no excuse zone." He will be 80 years old next month. Imagine how difficult it is to keep up with technology and to grow a business at his age. In a culture that doesn't have time for older adults.

Christopher is wise, kind, and a damn good writer. Check out his new Kindle book, "The Raven Who Spoke to God." It's available for free for the next three days. 

The Raven Who Spoke with God

Like me, you only have one shot—to make this life passionate, meaningful, and worthwhile.

I would rather be embarrassed, look stupid, get rejected, and fail, than give up the marvelous possibility and gigantic responsibility of making the world a better place by using my gifts and talents. 

Join me in your guest for bold. I'm here for you. Let me know how I can help you.

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Do you have an idea waiting to be born? When is the last time you did something that scared you?

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Vidya Sury April 6, 2012 at 6:05 am

I love the tips. Too often we end up regretting not stepping up to do something and lose an opportunity. It is okay after we step up and refuse the opportunity – which is what happened to me last week. I felt good because I used my choice. I downloaded Christopher’s book yesterday and looking forward to reading it.

The inspiration from your post is tremendous, Tess. Thank you so much.
Vidya Sury´s last post…Are You Assertive Enough?

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Betsy at Zen Mama April 6, 2012 at 6:29 am

I love this post, Tess! Your tips are fantastic and I especially liked the way you linked up quotes with each one. I especially like the “light your fire” and “imagine a lifetime doing your best”. I subscribe to Christopher Foster’s blog and am always inspired that he started his blog later in life. I will check out his book!!
Betsy at Zen Mama´s last post…The Tao of Winnie the Pooh

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Betsy at Zen Mama April 6, 2012 at 6:30 am

Forgot to write that I love the story of your daughter, Kristy, as well! Sounds like she doesn’t let anything hold her back!!
Betsy at Zen Mama´s last post…The Tao of Winnie the Pooh

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Cathy | Treatment Talk April 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

Hi Tess,

Your tips inspire and guide us to move forward and work through our fear. Acknowledging the fear and making the step by step decision to face my fears head on helps me overcome what is holding me back. Wonderful quotes that will inspire us all.
Cathy | Treatment Talk´s last post…Treatment Talk Monthly Message – March 2012

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Christopher Foster April 6, 2012 at 11:27 am

What a great lady you are Tess. Thank you so much for your very kind words here and for showing a pic of the cover of my book. I’m honored to count you as a friend, and so thankful life found a way to bring me into your world and vice versa.

Most of all I’m thankful for the strong, clear, brave but compassionate spirit you bring to your world. Blessings.
Christopher Foster´s last post…Amazing things happen when opportunity knocks

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Kimbundance April 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Hey there, wonderful post! You are wonderful lady with very good insight. Thank you for sharing these beautiful posts!
Kimbundance´s last post…Be Grateful

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David Stevens April 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Thankyou Tess,
Enjoyed this post and your new colour scheme. There’s a lot written about ‘fear’ however there is really no excuse for not living your Life the best that you can.
be good to yourself
David
David Stevens´s last post…Living your Mid Life – 6 things that I learned, can be done with Purpose instead of Ho Hum

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Harleena Singh April 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Wonderful post Tess!

My first visit to your blog and co-incidentally this is one topic I too just wrote about yesterday- how to not fear failure :)

I loved the story about your daughter and even though it must have been so tough for her to overcome her fears and cope with everyone, yet she never lost hope and achieved success – wonderful example indeed.

Nice to know that you too like quotes just like me, and have used some great ones with each tip that you weaved out so well.

I guess what matters most at the end of the day is that you learn to stand up to the fears that come over each one us, sometime or the other and the best way to do that is by actually facing them. Make them the stepping stones to success by taking those failures as learning opportunities.

Thanks for sharing :)
Harleena Singh´s last post…How to Not Fear Failure?

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Elle April 7, 2012 at 6:05 am

Wonderful post Tess…and what a wonderful daughter you have…talk about a zest for live. Such inspiration to be ‘fearless’. Thank you.

Encourage one another.
Elle.
Elle´s last post…Giveaway/Contest – Encouragement.

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Find Your Harmony April 7, 2012 at 8:06 am

Hi Tess,
First off, I haven’t been around so much lately, and I absolutely LOVE your new look here at the Bold Life! How very visual and fitting!!

Secondly, I always appreciate your practical advise, mixed with real stories of perseverance and strength. Your daughter Kristy sounds like an absolute gem! And Bravo for the owner of the gym thinking outside the box…which is what living BOLD is all about, right?

I especially love the ‘permission to be uncomfortable” …that one continues to be my motivation to know I am moving ahead after and staying healthy.
Hope you are well Tess. Sending you blessings and HARMONY this Easter season!
xo
Jen
Find Your Harmony´s last post…BILLY GOAT GRUFF?

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Galen Pearl April 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Love the story about your daughter, first of all because she doesn’t let anything slow her down, and second because the instructor worked with her to find a way.

I had a long conversation with my tai chi instructor the other night about fear. I thought of you, of course, because fear is a theme in your writing. In our conversation, we explored all the ways that fear permeates our life and our culture, especially here in the US, in big ways and small.

I related one of my favorite fear stories about the young warrior who asked fear how to defeat him. Simple, he said, just don’t do what I tell you to do.

I always love your stories and your call to boldness.
Galen Pearl´s last post…The Illusion of Control

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Michael April 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Fear is nothing but thoughts of something bad that haven’t happened yet and many times won’t. Of course if you have been abducted by an ax murderer and are being held captive in his basement then you should be concerned… But even then, courage will serve you better than fear. I would rather die with courage than to succumb to fear. Fear has no virtue to it at all. Thank you for a wonderful post.
Michael´s last post…Are Online Time Clocks Secured? How is my Information Protected?

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Paige | simple mindfulness April 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Awesome post, Tess!

I especially like “permission to be uncomfortable” and “go to the edge.” While I’ve been plagued with the “not good enough” curse most of my life, I’ve used it for the good in so many situations. I’ve never been one to compete with others but I’m constantly competing against myself to see what else I can do, like whatever I’ve already done isn’t good enough. I’ve taken on many challenges and pushed myself into my uncomfortable zone so many times just to see if I can do it. Yes, I fall down, zig and zag but I’ve had some amazing experiences along the way.
Paige | simple mindfulness´s last post…Simple Steps to Creating Productivity Habits

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Janet April 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

wow and I was proud of myself when I could do 4 pullups! :D 100 is insane.. love it! great post.
Janet´s last post…Your Awesome Tribe

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Bee April 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Great post! Fought with this one for years; Recognize your imperfection…When you learn to accept that you are not perfect its like a weight has been lifted of your shoulders.
Bee´s last post…The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step…

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Hannah April 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

“I would rather be embarrassed, look stupid, get rejected, and fail, than give up the marvelous possibility and gigantic responsibility of making the world a better place by using my gifts and talents.”

I love this part! Great tips!
Hannah´s last post…Personal Injury Lawyer Seattle wa

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Fran Sorin April 9, 2012 at 8:51 am

Tess…
When you first told me about Kristy, I admired her unflinching determination to live the life she wants. Each time you share another snippet about what she is doing, my admiration continues to pile up. Please let her know that she has someone 8000 miles away who thinks that she is beyond awesome.

Byron Katie is one of my guides. I can never get enough of her!

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Bukka April 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Did you mean to say “Join me in your guest for bold” on the last line? And feel free to delete this, I’m just not clear about that statement.

I’m a new subscriber – looking forward to “joining” you.

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Aileen | Kaizen Vision April 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm

“make your desire bigger than your fear”
“exchange your fear for appreciation”

Tess, you are the clear choice for one to learn from & follow when it comes to moving past fear and into unlimited life.

this one seriously invigorating post!

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Joel April 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Good, sound advice on your page. I have a free audio book up at http://www.awareofyourthoughts.org along the subject. Thanks -joel

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Michelle Zhang April 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Hi Tess,

I love this post! The format with quotes and then your belief with a little description is awesome!

It is stories like Kristy’s that give me hope and faith to know in my heart that anything is possible… That fear is an illusion that our ego’s have sneakily conned us into believing.

It’s always a relief and joy when I can look back and laugh at the fear I previously felt during a challenging time… and see that I have come out on top! :)

Thank you for your uplifting and authentic posts! :D

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Rose Byrd April 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Recognizing my own imperfections while not using them as excuses is a skill I am still working on, but I know I have come a long way with this one. Also, not believing my own “head chatter” is so very helpful and empowering. Learning from my failures and being comfortable with do-overs removes a lot of angst from my days! This is an EXTREMELY helpful post, very practical and very empowering.
Rose Byrd´s last post…"That everyone you meet today will be blessed by your presence…."

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Noel April 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm

#1 “Don’t believe everything you think. ~ Byron Katie” This is so true as we often fall into the trap of listening to the frightful stories that we created ourselves, and hence stopping ourselves from moving forward. I’ll keep this quote in mind. :) Thanks Tess for your useful tips, very inspiring, love it!
Noel´s last post…Regret Quotes & Moving On Quotes

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Mitch Mitchell May 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

To me, one of the biggest things about fear is the unknown. When you know about something that’s not quite fear, it’s judgment. But when you don’t fully know, or don’t think you do, that’s when fear is strongest. And you’re right, it does hold us back and that’s a shame. It’s also hard to overcome, but I figure as long as we keep trying, we always have a chance to conquer it in some way.

Unless it’s bugs; no getting over that one for me! lol
Mitch Mitchell´s last post…Back Up Your Blog; Another Lesson

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tanvir July 2, 2012 at 6:37 am

Really nice tips all of them.the formate of the post is awsome,I loved the line “When we hold back out of fear, we hold others back as well. ” it’s a real truth.Thanx for sharing this type of article.
tanvir´s last post…Quotes about moving on

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riosgang007 July 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

That was superb.all tips were just cool.And you are absolutely right mate fear is a prison.keep going and hope for the best in the next.
riosgang007´s last post…Best Quotes about moving on Pic | Cover photos

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Mike October 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Very inspiring, thank you Tess. It’s even more of a challenge to overcome under a fear mongering governmental system.
Mike´s last post…Going In For The Kill

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Tess October 23, 2012 at 8:03 am

Mike,
We need to filter what we listen to and what we see. It’s brings anxiety down. We can only change ourselves.

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