Last week I was blessed with two amazing opportunities to talk about setting and reaching meaningful goals. The purpose, demographic and number of participants, and locations of these experiences were vastly different. On Monday, I was on a panel with other wise and innovative goal-getters in Middleton (close to home). Then, on Wednesday, I gave my own presentation in Black River Falls (a little over two hours away, but close to my parents’ cabin). The first one was in front of about 45 real estate investors, and the second to six members of the beautiful YMCA-like center. 

But, my message was the same, and I took the exact same me to each meeting.

I remained open and curious. Willing to listen and be appropriately vulnerable. 

Not trying to be someone who I thought they would like, admire, or even respect. Not selling myself, my books, or my services. 

I showed up living out of love over fear. 

In my 20s, I had an idea of what it would be like to be 40 years old. I thought I would automatically have more acceptance of myself and others. I thought my relationships would be more easily harmonious. I thought I would feel content and at peace, thankful for the years I banked hustling in all aspects of my life. 

Long story short, this didn’t happen. When I turned 40, I found myself in the beginning of a midlife awakening during a global pandemic. There was so much fear swirling around and inside of me. Rather than easily harmonious, content, and at peace, I felt more confused and uncertain. I was rapidly unearthing much about myself, including the way that some of my past was still informing my present. I realized I didn’t really know how to love at the capacity that I desired, and that fear was a giant barrier to it. I was writing my book, and reliving some of the experiences— realizing that my message wasn’t about being “better,” as much as it was about finding the path to myself. I wanted to share to encourage others to do the same. 

My personal path to self-discovery has been a very long one. I ran far way for so long. I was on the return course long before 40, but my awareness of my journey really piqued around that time. Thankfully, once I found it, I lost my interest in running away, and chose to run toward myself. 

A couple months ago, I asked the members of our Far Better Facebook Community to identify their core values (not a member? email me!) Although I have done this several times, I took the opportunity to honestly re-evaluate as well. In addition to the community spark, I was also convicted in the time that Jamie I spent in couples’ counseling last year that there were some places I was hiding the real me for protection and preservation— with him, and publicly. And, while I do subscribe to the idea that it is not smart, or safe, to share the deepest you with every person you meet or connect to online, I decided to show up as a more honest me, even if in varying “layers.” 

This is living in love over fear. 

**In staying in the spirit of full transparency, I believe at the core of my freedom is from fully re-embracing my faith, privately and publicly. But, I also believe that the daily steps and processes I take can be applied to anyone, whether you are a Jesus lover or not. 

Making concentrated, intentional choices out love over fear has positively impacted my current and new relationships, my training, and my work. I look at people and the world with even more gratitude. I recall and honor my core values. And, I show up with more presence and ease in all parts of my life while doing so. 

Living in Love over Fear (Just a few quick tips— I am sure I will talk more on this in the future!)

Stop running away from yourself. Spend some quiet, intentional time considering your core values. Evaluate your relationships. Curiously think through your past experiences, going all the way back to your formative young years. It is okay to dig up some yucky stuff, and have no idea what to do with it. Therapy is truly a great place to start! 

Write your values down and put them where you can see them daily. Living in love is returning to those when you make decisions—from micro to massive (and all in between). Living in fear is making choices that you think will protect yourself. This may look like people-pleasing, staying constantly busy or harried, judging, and/or buffering from your feelings with alcohol, drugs, phone use, other people, exercise, etc.

Consider your language. This has greatly impacted my training. When I am faced with a challenging interval, I tell myself, “I love and appreciate my body, and I am going to ask a lot of it out of that place. I will show up honestly to the best I have,” (or something like that…usually filled with a lot of heavy breathing, while wrestling with all of the imposter, comparison, and shame thoughts too!). This replaces a “Do this interval, or you will never reach your goal” mentality. They could both be useful in the short term, but one honors who I am. The other is a threat. Love will outlast the fear.   

This is not a magical formula to erase fear. Fear will still remain, and sometimes you need to “do it scared” to make a decision out of love. I hope you always know that every message is about awareness and progress, never about perfection. 

At 43.5 years of age, I feel different. My relationships are more easily harmonious. I feel content, more at peace. I am thankful for the years I have spent learning about my personal evolution. And, most importantly, I am still grounded when the path shifts, or even crumbles. 

I am beyond grateful for the chance to live another day focusing on love over fear. I hope you can do the same.