Behind The Quill

Navigating the Fear Spiral

August 7, 2019

Become a Fear Spiral Breather Througher

Fear is a very fickle thing. 

If you’re not careful it can really get the drop on you. Have you going from “I can do anything” to “omg I’m a failure at life”, in a heartbeat. 

I am a professional fear spiral breather througher. It’s a thing. Don’t question it. 

The funny thing about fear is that you always make it through to the other side, and you can always do so landing back on your own two feet and maybe even more sure than you where before. 

I’ve come to look at fear as a test. A test of wills to determine how badly I want it. Am I willing to fight through the indecisiveness and the self-defeat to get to it? Am I willing to kick my own ass into gear?

Because, if you want to be successful, that’s ultimately what it comes down to. Your commitment to yourself above all us. Your commitment to the life you know you want and can have if you are willing to suck it up and stick it out. If you’re willing to put in the work. Even when your ducks aren’t all lined in a row. Especially when the ducks are waddling all over the freaking place like the ass holes that they are. 

It’s about picking yourself up, brushing yourself off and taking a breath. Asking yourself, “Ok, what is my next move?” 

I hope it’s not, apply for that cushy job you’ve been secretly eyeing as a back-up plan but that you know will make you miserable. 

I hope it’s to take a step towards your dream. Whatever that looks like. 

All you need is your own kickassery

I was recently presented with the opportunity to work 1:1 with a coach I REALLY admire, and my immediate reaction was I HAVE TO DO THIS. I have to make it happen no matter what to prove to myself that I’m willing to step into that next level version of myself. 

I have to do it to finally get that guidance I’ve been looking for in my business. 

But, that’s wrong.

I don’t NEED a coach to build my dreams or to become the person I want to be. Obviously, it would be an amazing tool to kick my ass in gear and gather tools that I don’t have yet, but I don’t NEED it to succeed. 

It made me realize that everything I need is already inside me, is already all lined up like the good little duckies that they are. 

My lack of self-belief and self-worth just keep smacking them out of the conga line. 

Maybe my ducks don’t thrive in a conga line, maybe they serve me best waddling all over the place as they are. Maybe I just need to start owning how I do things. Owning how I feel the most accomplished and badass.

It’s easy to say, “Stay in your lane”, or “Don’t focus on what other people are doing” but to execute fully as unapologetically you is a practice. To do so in all the avenues of your life, in general, takes time, patience, and conscious effort.

It’s easy to say that you believe in yourself and that you believe that you’re going to get that life you know you’re meant too, but being patient and steadfast is another thing entirely.

Are you stopping every chance you get to analyze what you might be doing wrong instead of what feels right? Instead of leaning into what feels like you and leaning into it? Believing wholeheartedly that it’ll work itself out? 

Just do the thing, dudette

I’m guilty of this. Of taking the pause and stopping before every task to excavate why it might not work, instead of just deciding it’s done and doing it. To just go full steam ahead like it’s already yours. 

It’s hard. It takes some serious reminding and self-coaching to remember how awesome and capable you are. 

I take time every morning to do so.

I am enough as I am, always.

I am capable of anything.

I am unapologetically me.

Whatever pops into my head I write down. All the things I know I can be and want to be. I feel into them and then I go about my day. 

I do this exercise whenever I need reminding. Whenever I need to reconnect with what the “goal” is. It’s a who you are at your core goal, not a career goal or a financial goal. Who am I? Who do I want to be? And, where am I not showing up as her? 

This is what has never clicked for me before now, what I never really understood. I’ve always worked towards achieving something or reaching a financial goal, but I’ve never taken the time to consider who I would be when I got there. Who did I want to be, how did I want to feel when I got there?

This has changed the game for me. I’ll actually stop myself sometimes and ask, is this how the woman who achieved all those things would act? Would she be allowing fear to get in her way? 

Most definitely not. 

She would give herself a small pep talk, take a breath, and then get on with it. Whichever way she wants and feels is right for her. You see, she knows who she is and how strong she is. She knows what she is capable of. She’s known it all along. 

She’s known she’d get here, living her dream and reaching for that next level. There was never a question. She believed in herself. She was steadfast and unwavering in her belief in herself and her vision. She was born with all the things she needed to get there.

Clarity comes from the actions you take.

Clarity comes from action, not vice versa

It’s hard to really embrace the notion that you have everything you need inside you. My “process” has always involved obnoxious amounts of information gathering and research before ever taking a single action. To the point where I overwhelm myself with how much there is to learn out there and with all of the conflicting opinions that are sure to exist in every scenario. 

I want to know absolutely everything I need to know before even starting. So that I’m prepared for all situations and am less likely to make an ass of myself. 

It turns out this is procrastination disguised as perfectionism. It’s fear, my friends, it’s fear. 

Fear of doing the wrong thing, of failing, of looking like a jackass, of looking unimpressive, of looking like an amateur.

Harsh truth dude, but you are an amateur. But, how about instead of seeing that as a bad thing, you see it as the magical thing that it is, a new BEGINNING.

“Yay, I get to learn so many new things, gain so many new perspectives, and develop so many new skills!”

I’m working really hard to change this instinct. To take action before I feel ready because I’ll never feel ready. To take the leap and then figure out the rest later. 

The funny thing is I consciously KNOW that I learn best when just left to figure it out under pressure. With actually doing. To learn something while reading requires drill sergeant-style focus for me. But, if I read something and then immediately execute on it I am way more likely to remember. What’s more, if I make a “mistake”, I am guaranteed to retain that lesson. To know for next time. 

Embrace the mistakes

Embrace the mistakes for what they really are dudette, lessons.

Mistakes are an investment in yourself and in your business. “Fail hard and fail fast”. It will leave you with more experience than the rest. 

I understand this logically, but the fear of failure still overwhelms me sometimes. 

It’s funny, it’s not really fear in the failure of living the magical life I envision that overwhelms me. I fully believe that if I show up for life, it will show up for me. It is the little moments that put me into fear-spiral-breather-througher mode. 

Fear of putting myself out there for my business and having it fall flat. Fear of spending money on the wrong thing. Fear of not making the most of an opportunity. Fear of saying the wrong thing (this one is particularly dumb). 

It’s all a test. 

It’s me proving to myself that I can do this. That this is really what I want and am willing to fight for.

That this is where I am meant to be; building a life for myself the way I see fit.  

It’s me finally get in sync with myself and who I know I am meant to be. That steadfast, passionate, ambitious woman I introduced you to earlier. 


No more being stunted by fear! Fuck right off fear! I’ll make posters!

Who’s calling you out?

If you’re struggling to keep yourself in line with this train of thought find yourself a friend who will remind you of what you’re working for, why you want it, and who you really are. It’s easy to get lost in our own clusterfucky brains. 

Just do you, dudette

A solid soul friend will bring you back to your highest level. A solid soul friend will call you out on your shit when you are making excuses or being lazy. A solid soul friend will listen without judgement (especially when you’re fully judging yourself) and soul checks you back into alignment. A solid soul friend will support you and make you truly feel like you are capable of everything and anything you dream of. Let me rephrase, a solid soul friend will REMIND you that you are capable, REMIND you that you just need to keep doing you, REMIND you that you already have everything you need, REMIND you of how far you’ve come, REMIND you that you know where to find the answers to any problem you have. 

Getting lost in our own thoughts can be really dangerous sometimes. A caring and objective outside perspective is invaluable. From someone who truly understands you and knows what you’re about.  

I sincerely don’t know how I got through life without my miss soul butt-kicker. We’re each others hype buddies and no limits reminder persons. 

It’s hard to reach out for help when you’re feeling defeated and vulnerable. It really is. I still struggle with feeling like I need to do it all myself. Like reaching out for help is purely me burdening someone else. That I should be able to figure it out all on my own. If I was strong I would be able to. 

Nope nope nope. 

When all else fails, channel Brene Brown: Gratitude

Being vulnerable is the greatest sign of courage to me. It really is, it always has been. 

I know I’m not the only one. 

So, why is that when we ourselves consider being vulnerable it makes us feel weak? That makes NO FREAKING SENSSSSEEEEEEE. I know it, you know it. And, yet here we are going through life trying to do it all at once with our hands tied behind our backs to prove something to ourselves and to the world. 

You have nothing to prove! You don’t have to earn your success, your happiness, or your contentment. You are a successful human being all on your own. Just change your definition of success. You can be happy just as you are right now. Just practice gratitude for what you have. You can be content in your life and still be ambitious, still, want more. Again, gratitude.

You’re allowed to be content and happy now even if you still want to achieve more. Be grateful for the levels. Appreciate where and who you are now. Being content won’t make you lazy. It’ll make you grateful. It’ll make you present. 

If you can’t appreciate what you have now, you won’t appreciate what you have when you reach that level you think you need to reach to be happy. 

I believe and know this for sure. 

Every moment is special if you choose to view it thank way. Every moment can make you feel grateful or content. Even the hard moments. Grateful for a lesson, grateful for the air in your lungs, grateful for patience.

This has taken me many years and a lot of practice but it’s something I consciously do now. When I am feeling especially frustrated I take a breath (professional breather througher remember?) and choose to be grateful for the moment. Sometimes it takes several breaths. I’m not perfect, no one is. 

I don’t walk in on my dog after she has chewed through my favourite shirt and automatically think to myself I am so grateful for this moment. Um, no. 

But I do pause, take a breath, remind myself she’s a puppy, remind myself it’s just a shirt, and remind myself for how grateful I am that she didn’t chew through more, remind myself that she’s my best buddy and that I love her anyway. No use losing my shit on her, which will only make me feel worse for having lost my shit on her. No use feeling sad about the lost band-tee, I probably have a million. No use carrying that frustration with me all day because that would be a total waste of energy and time. So I choose to be grateful for her and for my ability to practice patience. 

This is a surface level example, but you have to start somewhere. You have to be able to take the pause and consciously change your train of thought to a healthier one. To one that will not tarnish your mindset for the rest of the day, or week for that matter. 

You’re probably thinking, yeah, we’ve all heard “don’t sweat the small stuff”, we get it. 

But it’s more than that and it’s not about not letting things get to you. It’s about being grateful for all of the parts of your life. 

I will tell you that this has been the single greatest contributor to my happiness. 

When I am feeling especially self-deprecating I will consciously take a moment to think of all the parts of me I’m grateful for. All the things I’ve done in my life I’m grateful for. 

This is especially handy in times when I’m in the full grasp of the fear spiral of doom.

Ask yourself if what you’re thinking is really true.

It will help you get a grip on what’s real and what your mind is fabricating in its spazzy state. 

“I am a complete failure at life!” Is this true? No. 

Ok, Why? List of 10 things you are proud to have accomplished.

I bet you’ll be able to go on for 20.

And when all else fails…


Life’s the adventure, you can define it however you’d like.

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