Living with less has helped me to develop a love it or leave it attitude with most things, people, and obligations, but we can’t control the universe and there are some things that are ever-present, including fear.Fear never goes away and because I can’t leave it, I love it. That’s right. I love fear. I am grateful for fear.
Fear is a reminder of …
- living fully
- loving deeply
- choosing wisely
The people you think are really brave and courageous are still afraid. They live with the same fear you do.
If the bad news is that fear never goes away, the good news is that it gets easier to work through and walk through with practice. With that knowledge, you can stop trying to end fear and just get on with whatever you are scared to do or experience.
I like to practice doing things that scare me so when the really scary things happen that are completely out of my control, I can see my fear for what it really is. My fear is rarely proportionate to the thing that scares me. It’s never as bad/painful/stressful as I imagine it to be.
Living with less is a practice in my relationship with fear. It’s there …
- Each time I discard an item that I thought I needed or might need,
- When I left my job to do work I love knowing I might make less.
- When I sold my comfortable car.
- When I downsized from 2000 to 750 sq. ft.
Most of the things we are afraid of aren’t really scary though. We are more afraid of what might happen if we try, but if we never try, we never learn, grow, change or fail.
There is an exception to this. Some things actually are as scary as they seem. For instance, if you see a wild, poisonous spider while hiking and are scared that it might bite you, don’t try and pet it to face your fear. Instead, use fear to motivate action, even if that action is walking way.
Don’t let fear paralyze you, but accept it’s invitation to be aware. For the non-wild spidery situations, lean in, dare, try. Live fully.
I could have titled this post 50 ways to face fear and given you different strategies, but there is 1 powerful way to embrace fear.
The single best way to embrace fear is to do it anyway.
Debbie Roes is doing it anyway. She is sharing her story of fear and committing to dressing with only 33 items for the next 3 months. Even though she is a wardrobe stylist. Even though her closet is stuffed with clothing. Even though she is afraid that she will fail. She is doing it anyway. I know how she feels!
When I started minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 as a personal challenge, I was terrified.
- I was scared that you would think I was crazy
- I was scared that people would notice I was wearing the same clothes
- I was scared that I would get bored
- I was scared that I would miss shopping
Many years later, I have nothing but gratitude for acknowledging the fear and doing it anyway.
If you are afraid of dressing with less, you are not alone, but most of the people who take the minimalist fashion Project 333 challenge discover that it really has very little to do with clothing. Instead they are trading fear for honesty, freedom, money, inspiration, passion, peace, adventure and confidence.
Don’t let fear rob you of one more meaningful moment. Go on … do it anyway.