Doing The Work In The Face Of Fear

Facing 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 brightly at times and dims at other times. Maybe we let our minds play games to rationalize away that desire as unrealistic or impossible. How do you face doing the work in the face of fear?

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.

The last 14 years of owning a business have been a whirlwind of fear for me, along with all the gratitude, blessings, joy and the incredible community that has come along with it.

I’ve dealt with rejection – a lot! – from speaking agencies, media pitches, interview requests, and various other ideas that I, apparently alone, think are awesome.

braving a new path

The last several years haven’t been easy on most people. As the world has shifted and changed, so have I. Some of you may know that I have developed a passion for coherence and learning more about the brain – something that is different from cooking and nutrition, but very much related to our global health and wellness.

Some you also may know that this will be my last year at the helm of the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program. The school isn’t going anywhere, but I am taking a step back so I can focus more time and energy to help others tap into their intuition, be more human, be more present, be more creative and centre themselves so we can all rise above the chaos to become more kind and compassionate. (If you’d like to learn more, find the details about my upcoming Intuition Masterclass and weekly Wake Up Wednesday sessions.)

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 a fear of taking the leap every single day. And every single day I continue to leap.

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 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.

Doing the work in the face of fear

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.

for your consideration

As I’ve embarked on a new direction in my work and my writing, this is a decision most certainly made in the face of fear, which tells me it’s the right move. I have new offerings that you can participate in, if you choose.

If you are challenged by doing the work in the face of fear, I invite you to consider:

  • 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?
  • What brings you the most joy?
Doing the work in the face of fear


  1. 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. 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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 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!


  8. 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. 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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ????

  14. 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.

  15. 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 of…my 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!!!)

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Thanks. I love this. I felt something stirring in me, a confirmation of the line ‘ We have a duty to ourselves and the universe to fulfill on our calling.’

    Tell me:

    If the world were to end tomorrow, what would you regret having never given your energy to?

    What I’m being called towards. Certain teachings and an organisation I’d love to work with.

    What are your barriers to answering your calling?

    Fear of being rejected. But I’m not letting it stop me. Setting an intention and moving forwards.

    What keeps you from igniting your spark and letting the dreams become your reality?

    Nothing. Except maybe finances right now. I’m also really interested in the CNP and intend to follow that up next year.

    I’m glad you chose to follow your calling Meghan. I find it really inspiring and it’s so me. The Culinary Nutrition – great, delicious healthy food.

    I’ve studied natural Thérapies and nutrition. But I also love food and the idea of creating beautiful, healthy recipes for myself.

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