“Wherever you are, you’re a single step away from a new beginning” – Oprah Winfrey


I hear excuses from people all the time.  Today I overheard a young man saying he was too old to start a new endeavor.  According to him, people in the industry would prefer a younger man.  He was willing to throw away his goal based on age.  I took a minute to talk to him.  (This is why I should limit my time out in public!!)  To encourage him.  To tell him that he has MUCH to offer.  That he should follow his dream.  I started everything “late”.  I went to college years after high school.  I took night classes and summer classes while working full-time.  I was one of the “older” students in physical therapy school.  None of that slowed me down or prevented me from achieving my goals.  People are always complaining.  They hate their job.  But they “need” the money or benefits.  They will spend the majority of their life doing something that makes them unhappy.  The truth of the matter is, the money and benefits are just an excuse.  There is ALWAYS another answer, another possibility.  People stay in relationships of all kinds that make them unhappy.  Friends, partners, family members, coworkers, etc.  Why?  They will give you a myriad of reasons.  They always do.  The same reasons they give themselves to justify why they stay in the relationship.

What is behind all those reasons?  Fear.  Fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of not being loved, fear of rejection, fear of not being enough… Fear.  The NY Times once published an article about a study that concluded people would rather feel physical pain than be afraid.  Fear is powerful.  Fear can be debilitating.  Fear is always what holds us back.  Moving through fear, that’s where all possibilities lie.  Moving through fear opens up doors we never even imagined.  Moving through fear is the path to freedom and growth.  All of our hopes and dreams lie on the other side of fear.  We often think that “successful” people are unique.  They have some trait or skill that makes them “special”.  They do not.  They have fears just like all of us.  The difference is they face those fears and move forward in spite of them.  They learn that fear is the gateway to progress and success.  They embrace fear.  They learned that it’s just a feeling.  And feelings can be conquered.

The first step is taking some quiet time to think about your dream or goal and identify the fear that is holding you back.  Once you identify it, you can work through it.  What’s the worst that could happen if you pushed through the fear?  I promise you, it’s never as bad as you think.  Start with something small.  Give it a try. See how it goes.  I’m confident you will survive.  More than survive, you will grow.  And that’s exciting!!  The more times you work through fear the easier it gets.  I now look forward to fear.  Without it, I’ll become stagnant.  I’ll just go along, compromise and settle instead of living a rich and full life.  The more times you acknowledge and conquer your fear the easier it gets.  Ask anyone you know that’s taken the road less traveled, that you consider successful, that you admire…ask them about their journey.  I guarantee you they were afraid.  And moved forward in spite of it.  And I’m confident they will tell you that it was more than worth it. 

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