May 1st marked my three year anniversary of leaving my role at John Fluevog Shoes, and with the support of my two kids, I bid farewell to Vancouver, packed up my car and drove to San Diego to pursue my life dream.

The closing of a chapter began when a Vancouver sales associate mentioned a book to me, “30 Lessons For Living” by Dr. Karl Pillemer.  It tweaked my interest, I bought it and took it with me on a business trip to LA.  It was October 2014. 

Early in the morning, I went up to the rooftop of the Andaz West Hollywood Hotel, with my Earl Grey tea and this book.  I plunked myself down in a cozy corner, and went straight to the career chapter. It was at that point my life took a big turn.

photo: October 25, 2014. This was the view as I started reading 30 Lessons For Living. This photo marks the beginning of my life changing forever.

I called one of my very good friends, Carla, and said, “I miss being a coach.”  And her immediate unfiltered reaction was, “Yes! Yes! Yes!  Finally, Karen! Yes!  I’ve been waiting for this!  You’re a coach, Karen. You’re a coach!  That’s your destiny!”

Sure enough, on May 1st, 2015, my car was packed and I was heading south.  My daughter joined me for the first week and we road-tripped together, exploring this new found path.

I left everything behind.  I moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone, no job. no community, no network.  I had a modest savings, a car and enough items in the trunk to keep me going.

Over the past three years, I’ve experienced many levels of fear that were very real and, at times, filled me with much anxiety.

Have I ever laid on the floor looking up at the ceiling crying my eyes out?  Oh yes, more than once.

Would I do it all over again?  In a heartbeat!

My new pursuit was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.

It was also the scariest one I’ve ever made, and the hardest, and the most challenging, and where I’ve made the most mistakes.

More importantly, it’s been one of the most liberating, transforming, growing, vibrant, adventurous, fulfilling, exciting and trusting decisions I’ve ever made.

I believe now, more than ever, you must absolutely and undeniably, without exception, overcome your fears.  Decisions must never be made from a place of fear.
I can’t emphasize this enough.

By pressing through the fear, I’ve seen and experienced life in profound ways.

  1. Fear must never influence your confidence.  Ever!
  2. Fear merits no attention and no honour.  
  3. Fear is to be silenced.  
  4. Fear is not to be trusted.
  5. Fear is filled with lies and doubt and worry and anxiety and unrest.   
  6. Fear latches on to panic and taunts uncertainty.  

It doesn’t matter whatever the fear, make sure to never let it defeat you.  Stay in this question:  “What am I going to do about it? And how do I take the win?”

Self-accountability and a pro-active commitment are necessary ingredients in overcoming fear.

Most people would suggest the opposite of fear is fearlessness, or boldness, or courage.  Yes, those are all great qualities. Love it!

For me, personally, the opposite of fear is strategy.  Reflecting back, strategy was the common denominator in breaking through each fear I encountered.  (Yes, there was more than one!!)

[1]  What I’ve learned is that strategy overthrows uncertainty.
Strategy is a plan designed to “achieve a major aim”.  What is your major aim, your most important, significant aim?  What are you doing about it? Hoping? Waiting?

Being proactive is a form of creating, not waiting.  Fear is a rude reminder to remain strategic and proactive with regards to the desires of your heart.

How do you know you’re fueling fear?
A fearful mind says, “If only I had.  If only I could. If only I was.” 

How do you know you’re fueling strategy?
A strategic mind says:  “How can I. How will I.  How do I.”

[2]  ‘HOW’ questions are strategic and keep your focus on the target.

  1. How do I silence this fear?
  2. How do I overcome this fear?
  3. How do I win regardless of this fear?
  4. How do I break through this fear to see what’s on the other side?

[3]  You have to face fear head on.
Once you overcome a fear, it loses all its power.  Fears are actually tiny and irrelevant… but only in the rear view mirror.  First, overcome it.

And once you overcome ‘that’ fear, get ready, because there’s another one, an even bigger one, lurking around the corner!

Every poor decision I’ve made was from a panicked, fear-based place or a resistance to consider a different option.

For example, I had a fear of putting myself out there to strangers, introducing my ‘brand’ to new businesses.  It was hindering my success.  It was short-circuiting my dream!  The advice given to me was: “Karen, you have to knock on doors and pick up the phone.” And that is exactly what I began to do.   At first, nervously!!  I began to choose companies I really liked and wanted to partner with.  I then put a plan together to reach out to their senior leaders. Strategic and Proactive.

The fear quickly dissipated.  And today, that fear carries zero impact.  The fear of introducing myself to strangers became minuscule and insignificant, and I only see it from my rear view mirror.  It’s nowhere on my radar. It’s a grain of sand in comparison to the growth that took place when I conquered this fear.

Strategy truly has helped me overcome so much!  Fear holds no victory.


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