BUSINESS
Inspiration from Meghan

Join my community

Sign up to receive news, updates and special offers through our newsletter.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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. Shannon said…
    1. I have a policy against regret (as much as possible). Everything I've done or experienced up to this point has made me who I am and that's pretty special:) I try to take experiences as they come to me so I feel great about that. 2. My barriers are always money. I know it's not the most important thing and try to keep that in mind. Being the main breadwinner, making some major financial mistakes in my youth and having a combined education debt of 15 years to pay off means a certain amount of responsibility. 3. Focus is often something stopping me - I am drawn to a lot but nothing specific up to now. I can happily say that I have recently been focusing and I am pursuing it! I don't know where it's going to go or if it will go anywhere but I'm letting myself be ok with that and just enjoying:)
  2. Dana said…
    I would regret not having devoted more energy to creating more. I love writing, baking, and other art mediums. I'd like to devote more time and energy to that. What's preventing me is...whatever is needed to get started. I think to have my own site I need to know how to code. I'm horrible at coding, so where do I begin? Things like that. The other thing that prevents me from being creative is having a little one. I try and be creative with him and play. I'm just so exhausted that I run out of energy by the time he naps I need to put my feet up. Sleep is a thing of the past. I'm wondering if I even make sense right now... :) <3
  3. N. said…
    I think I would regret not fulfilling my Dharma. This is a tough one for me. So many have expressed to me that Dharma isn't necessarily about the work you do, it could simply be how you carry yourself in this world. However, I want to answer my calling; I'm just not exactly sure what that is. I'd say my barriers are time, money and lack of confidence. I could spend all day researching, taking classes, exploring, doing the 'fun' stuff, but I know I need to pay my bills, and feel guilty when I don't spend time on 'money making' activities. I think deep down inside I am afraid of my own light. I so badly want to 'make it', and yet, I somehow do all that I can in my subconscious to fail. It's as though I don't feel I deserve to shine.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      YOU DESERVE TO SHINE!!! We all do. And real life can pose barriers, but perhaps start by feeding your soul just 10 minutes a day. Maybe that's browsing on a website, reading a book, singing a song, colouring in a colouring book, shaking a tail feather... When you can nourish that a little bit everyday- than you're giving it fuel to flourish.
  4. sarah said…
    This seems like a quintessentially American/Canadian way of thinking. I get the feeling the rest of the world focuses on doing their jobs and being grateful for the security of their jobs and their families. I also feel like women are being targeted in the past decade or so (probably since Eat, Pray, Love), to chuck their current lives and "follow their bliss". As a married woman with a stable job, a mortgage, and a car payment, I struggle with this. I'm starting to feel like I'm not "woman enough" if I am content with my life...if I'm not throwing everything I've worked for away and jumping into the great unknown. Are there stories of women who have done this and regretted it? We obviously only hear from the women who have had great success. My uncle just died of pancreatic cancer...if he had regrets, I'm guessing they were related to not spending enough time enjoy life and being with his family...not so much regrets about not "following his true calling." Anyway, just some thoughts...I think I've mostly answered your questions.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Thanks for your response. I don't believe it's a call for everyone to quit their jobs and throw caution to the wind- but it is what you said about spending time enjoying life. If you are content with your life- than you are doing it all just right for you. And following your heart would never require you to throw everything away. It's simply building upon the incredible foundation. The challenge, as I see it, is the many people who are not content, are not happy, and are suffering everyday because they can't find the joy in where they are at. That is when we have to answer the call to create change and or reignite our own spark to find fulfillment and enjoyment in our current place. It's tough to compare our circumstances to other parts of the world. For better or worse, we have the rare luxury of choice, but a very low ranking on the happiness scale.
      • sarah said…
        :) I struggle with feeling like I'm not fulfilling my destiny and yet having no idea what that destiny is...i have the tendency to flit from idea to idea, (a very vata personality trait.) My barriers are bills, retirement plan, a spouse i love but who would be very afraid of me taking this kind of leap...assuming I could nail down what that leap should be. I think I just need to meditate.
        • Amanda said…
          Hi Sarah, I totally understand where you're coming from, but also believe in what Meghan said about perhaps learning to incorporate into your life whatever it is that ignites your spirit. I watched an interesting video on Stuart Knight's website (you should look him up!) about exactly what you mentioned in your first comment, on how we can't all just quite our day jobs and pursue our wildest dreams. Stuart says, you don't have to! Just incorporate it in your life. If you love to bake, but can't see yourself quitting your day job to sell cupcakes, bake on the side after work and sell it to your community. That's just one example, but I thought of this video when I read your comment! Best of luck to you!
  5. nujemi said…
    I would regret not combining my love of culinary nutrition with Thai massage. What is holding me back is money. I am still drowning in debt from college. I keep hearing that massage therapist are a dime a dozen and I let that get into my head although I have ideas on how to get and maintain a client base.
    • Kelly Clark said…
      Do what you love consistently and authentically and then you will carve out your own niche. When you add your own genuine flare you can't be a dime a dozen. Start with a weekly blog/vlog about whatever you're learning about culinary nutrition with Thai massage. As long as you post consistently you'll start to build community and your career will evolve naturally. If/when you open a store/practice/on-line seminar/etc. or join someone else's, your blog and community will always be an asset. Good Luck!
    • Jody said…
      What Kelly Clark said. Carve out your own niche; don't wait for one to be carved for you. You'll be waiting a looooong time, darling :)
  6. Kim said…
    Meghan, I applaud your courage! What I would regret is not connecting with my true calling though I don't know what it is. I explore a lot and am overwhelmed. I have a passion for health and wellness. I'm so impressed with the businesses both you and your husband have set up. How does my interest in that type of work translate to work that is both fulfilling, provides a great income and puts money away for the future? I'm no spring chicken so putting money into a retirement account is important. (I'm based in the US.)
  7. Natalie Kling said…
    Wow Meghan! This is such a great topic! First of all, can I say that as a nutritionist, I've always wanted you to have a way for us to learn your behind the scenes business approach. So good for you for being brave and YAY for us! :) This is a huge market of people you'll be able to help and inspire with your real world experience! Secondly, I think this is an interesting topic. I often wonder why there are so many people now who want to be entrepreneurs? Who want to be health coaches? Who want to start their own project, business, practice, etc.? Of course there are so many variables, but I think there's definitely an inherent good that is wanting to be expressed. A true desire to create. And the internet is our own wild wild west. So we need all the brave teachers we can find. Finally, just a thought. I wonder sometimes if entrepreneurs are the new celebrity. I've certainly attended enough conferences to be sad at the way these uber successful coaches position themselves to be larger than life. And most of their audience members are living pay check to pay check. This is the opposite of who you are. I think that your authenticity and love can breathe fresh air into an industry that, like all industries, has its downside. I'm personally a fan of Marie Forleo because she's so big hearted in her approach to business. I look to her and to you as 2 of my biggest inspirations. I've done B-school, and would definitely be interested in your program. I get a feeling that you've hustled like nobody's business, and practiced a certain amount of fearlessness in doing your own PR and marketing. I imagine you picking up the phone and calling people and making it happen. My fear would be, "I'm not that ballsy," or "I'm not a natural hustler," or "Those women have way more ability to sell themselves than I do." I feel like I get so heady with my own stuff that to simply tell someone what I do, or create a name for a program feels like so much work. Anyways, I know those aren't answers to your questions, but I hope it's helpful input. Much love, so much congratulations, and I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines! Natalie
  8. Jody said…
    What's maybe prohibiting me right now is more knowledge about how to start-up a business (there's SO MUCH information out there), how to create a brand (what to ask yourself) and like everyone, money. While I've been trying to find free (or close to) sources and help as much as I can, I wonder if there aren't more out there. And it has to be general knowledge; I'm no longer in Canada but overseas.
  9. Laurent said…
    Hi Meghan, Great post as it brings a lot to think about. I would regret it if I am not expressing what my soul has me to express in this world, in this life. I want to continue my quest for a greater conscience, a more meaningful connection to the divine within/around us. It is sinuous track with a lot of ups and downs, a lot of mental barriers, self-doubts, emanating from us, our own education but also from the people close to us. In my calling or my mission in this life (how I like to call it), there is something to do with being a therapist of some sort, being of service to other people. I had never really listened to that voice before, until recently, and a lot of things started to shift for me. I believe that opening up to a greater conscience must start by listening to our inner voice, what truly inspires us, with or without fear being present necessarily. Let it sink a little, and start moving in this direction, at the pace that is right for you. Do not rush it if it feels overwhelming, but keep moving, learning, improving and challenging yourself, and ultimately get that sense of resonance whenever your soul beautifully expresses itself, and you feel it is right for you. Sorry if it is a bit dense, but that is exactly what I have been experiencing lately. Hope that makes a bit of sense :)
  10. Hazel said…
    1. I would regret not spending my time with animals & people I love. 2. My barriers are money & fear of failure. I'm making baby steps towards having the career I want. I just started my reiki website. I'm a reiki master & love working with animals & people. 3. I like stability & routine. It's hard for me to give up my full time stable job with great health benefits. So I hope to make the transition slowly.
    • Erika said…
      Hazel! Please share your Reiki website here (if that's okay with Meghan our gracious hostess!). You never know who is local to you and ready for your work. I am also a somewhat new Reiki practicioner and I recently went part time at my "regular" job to be able to take the leap and grow my practice (which currently is very tiny). I'm cheering you on! You will find the clients that need you, don't be afraid to talk it up to people, you may be surprised at who you reach at just the right time. <3

Before you post your comment, please note that I am unable to offer nutritional advice or recommendations via my blog.

Let us know what you think. Your email address will not be published.

Join my community

Sign up to receive news, updates and special offers through our newsletter.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
To The Top.