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There is always some  anxiety involved when we step into or step up for something new. When we are unaware of this anxiety, it can appear in our lives as fear, resistance to change, lack of belief in our ability to succeed, or a burning desire to anything (everything) except this new and different thing. It may not always be this easily identifiable, though.

Sometimes this anxiety manifests when we don’t submit a resume or job application, we don’t give a prospective client our business card, or we don’t return someone’s phone call or email.

It can be hard to continue to “step up” day after day, week after week. The anxiety building within us (and often being reinforced from without us) takes it tolls. We grow tired. We spend more time on Facebook. We check our email every five minutes. We toss out  mailings from the poetry magazine, delete the emails from a freelance opportunity. Eventually, we settle for something familiar, something “not new” to give us daily experiences (because the “not new” certainly isn’t giving us daily enjoyment and sustenance).

We can change that. We can face the anxiety, and move past it.

When we begin to listen to our hearts about making a new choice in life, we must also bring with us the confidence (even if we’re faking it) and the self-trust (because only we know our true hearts) to follow that choice, no matter the doubts and fears. Self-sabotage is the only guaranteed way to NOT get what you want.

Take the time to honor those fears and feelings of anxiety. They most likely kept you safe in the past, and we would not recognize them to move forward if we did not have them now. Give them your full attention, and welcome them with pure love. Thank them for the wisdom they bring you, and the courage they inspire in you to move forward.

Then, set those fears free.

After the last feather has fallen from the newly–emptied nest, turn away.

Shift your focus toward those new ideas (which might still seem a little daunting, but much less scary), and let your heart soar.

Today, I am facing my fears around success and new opportunities. Tonight, I am filling out a job application at a camera shop, following my budding passion for photoethnography and documentary images. Tomorrow, I am submitting this job application, facing down my fear that I won’t succeed by admitting that I’ll never have a chance if I don’t submit an application.

What scary thing are you facing today? What doubts are you setting free?

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