Inspiration from Meghan

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Doing The Work In The Face Of Fear


You know that thing, that dream, that big idea you fantasize about? You have to do it. It's that thing you think about in the middle of the night, or the thing that creeps into your mind as you commute to your job or as you sit in your office/cubicle/storefront/kitchen/car. Maybe it flickers like a spark, maybe it flashes bright at times and dims at other times. Maybe we let our mind play games to rationalize away that desire as unrealistic or impossible.

This is something you must nurture. You don't have a choice.

I could finish right here, but I will offer you the courtesy of explaining what I mean in the hopes that it might inspire you to actually do it.

This year has been a whirlwind of fear for me. A blessed and scary one.

The fear set in fresh in the new year when I revamped the entire Culinary Nutrition Expert Program. I followed up that terror by launching a new website. I sent my book off to print, travelled across the country (twice), hosting loads of events and going on live radio and TV in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. I also opened up registration in our CNE program to more students than we've ever had before.

Amongst it all, I launched and promoted The UnDiet Cookbook, delivered countless talks and webinars on health, nutrition and UnDiet living, and for the first time, also delivered keynotes on branding and conscious business. My husband and I bought and moved into our first home, and survived a renovation (which we hope will be done soon!). I also dealt with rejection - a lot! - from speaking agencies, media pitches, interview requests, and various other ideas that I, apparently alone, think are awesome.

When I am asked when I realized that my business was working I always say the same thing: I will let you know.

I have fear in taking the leap every single day. And every single day I continue to leap.

Doing the work in the face of fear is the spark to our soul. - @MeghanTelpner

Why? Why do I continue to brave the fear when I could just coast along?

It's simple: I have to. I have no choice. And you don't have a choice either.

We have a duty to ourselves and the universe to fulfill on our calling.

We all have one, it's just that often it seems easier to shove that knowing into a deep and dark place. And where we shove that knowing is where we also start to experience aches and pains, anxiety, insomnia, deterioration in our relationships, financial challenges (often caused by our desire to consume 'stuff' in place of fulfillment) and most scary of all, loss of spirit.

It's the loss of spirit that is the toughest. When we get too comfortable in what we believe is a safe space to exist with that reliable paycheck, health benefits, vacation days and regular schedule, all without feeling fulfilled, our spirit slowly dies away and we become apathetic. We rarely notice the transition towards 'ho-humness" but if you start to look around at friends and family, your colleagues, your bank teller, your server - you might see it.  And what we see in others is often a reflection of ourselves.

That apathy chips away at the spirit until we forget who we are. We become consumed by fear of the unknown and in this consumption, create the greatest crime towards ourselves: we sacrifice what makes us uniquely awesome.

That fear we experience at the prospect of taking the leap might just be the greatest sign of all that we are leaping in the right direction.

That fear we experience at the prospect of taking the leap might just be the greatest sign of all that we are leaping in the right direction. We may choose to tune into those around us who try and dismiss our ideas as unrealistic. Don't be swayed. Their judgments of our actions have nothing to do with us. That is their own fear talking.

The more fearful we are of answering that calling, the more certain we can be that it is exactly the direction that we must proceed. That doesn't mean the end goal will match our vision of what we might consider a 'success', but that doesn't matter. The intention behind why you started is what matters. The rest is simply your personal adventure in facing your fear and reigniting your spirit.

Doing the work in face of fear is not the same as living in fear. It's quite the opposite.

Doing the work in face of fear is not the same as living in fear. It's quite the opposite, in fact. I do not live in fear. I experience fear and doubt. I second guess myself often. I just don't let the fear win. The fear can't ever win. I let the fear fuel my efforts. In the face of fear, I respond by doing my best.

I have had fear in writing this post. Every single post I have ever written that caused me the most fear and anxiety you have loved the most, and still I am afraid to hit publish.  The six recommended posts below are six of the posts I was most afraid to share.

The fear of taking the leap may be the greatest sign it's the right direction. - @MeghanTelpner

My Ask Of You

As I mentioned in a newsletter a few weeks back, in the new year I will be taking my work and my writing in a new direction (or perhaps I just started!). This is a decision most certainly made in fear, which tells me it's the right move. Over the coming weeks, I expect this direction to become clearer to me, but I am hoping you can help me by commenting below.

Tell me:

  • If the world were to end tomorrow, what would you regret having never given your energy to?
  • What are your barriers to answering your calling?
  • What keeps you from igniting your spark and letting the dreams become your reality?

25 Responses to “Doing The Work In The Face Of Fear”

  1. sonia said…
    1. Regret - I would and DO regret not living in the present and for being grateful for just how wonderful my life is in this very moment. 2. Barriers - Risk of being judged. Fear of being "less than." This also hold true for number 3.
  2. Karen said…
    On my death bed I will regret not spending more quality time with my now grown son when he was a youngster, my now young grandchildren, and my future great-grandchildren. Barriers - then, b/c I was a single struggling mother with the weight of the world on my shoulders. Now - all of my own making, having to do with being assertive and pro-active.
  3. Karrie said…
    I love this Meghan! So, so true. The voice deep within that refuses to go away, that is our calling. Great to know that you're feeling the fear and doing it anyway, such an inspiration ????
  4. If the world ended tomorrow I would regret not listening to my gut and following my passion while focusing my time and energy on the things I care about most (my kids, my partner, travel, writing). In answer to questions two and three, I fear that what I have to say and share holds no value, that when I finally put myself out there fully (which I don't feel I really have as of yet) it won't be "enough" and I will crash and burn in an epic fashion (fill in the cataclysmic disaster film ending here). This beautiful post couldn't have come at a better time, we are having to take a good hard look at a few things and have some big changes in the works (this is both exciting and terrifying, but I've reached the point where I can't not do it anymore). Thanks Meghan for always being such a huge source of inspiration, and for somehow always managing to hit the nail on the head with your writing.
  5. Misty Pratt said…
    I would regret having never given my energy to writing a book. A book that has been burning away inside me for 10+ years. A book that will probably never be successful (and I don't even care about that part,) but that feels like it must be written for me to move on. My barriers are exactly what you have written about - financially, I'm our family's breadwinner. That is going to change in the next several years as my husband moves forward in his career, but right now, that paycheck that comes in pays the majority of the bills. It's also fear of failure. Fear that I'm no good. That I'm a shitty writer. I'm currently in that place that you speak spirit feels lost. But I know that I am taking the right steps to find it again, and I just need to stay positive that soon this will change. I will break free from this cubicle!!! Thank you for writing this (heart emoji!!!)
  6. sharon stanley said…
    oh my. this is a tough one to face, but my biggest regret at this point is being 60 and never really meeting myself yet. i don't know who i am. i've spent far too much time being what everyone else thinks i should be. so the next two questions are answered with the same answer...age. at this point, am i too old to meet myself? can you teach an old dog new tricks? will i be accepted by those i love if i finally become my true self? and finally, how to break the habit of being on autopilot. lots to think on here.
  7. Rhonda said…
    Fear of failure is my barrier and is also my greatest regret...this has been a recurring pattern in my life...I too often place my energy and focus on "staying safe" a sure way to self sabotage and procrastinate. I choose to not try rather than try and fail...I want to learn to give myself permission to fail...

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