How do you deal with fear?

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

~ Meister Eckhart

Postcard from Barbara

Maggie & Me

Postcard from Barbara

When my daughter Jennifer was in college, we had a conversation about something she wanted to do that I was not enthusiastic about. She concluded the conversation by saying, “Mom, I intend to spend my life going in the direction of my dreams, not the direction of my fears.”

I wonder where she got such a notion.

What Jennie also understood is that every new dream is accompanied by a new set of fears. There’s just no way around it. 

Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of success, fear of looking silly, life offers us daily opportunities to confront this emotion.

So how do you deal with fear? One thing that really works for me is to get clear about the payoff. Create a vivid picture of the rewards that wait on the other side of the fear. Dangle whatever carrot pulls you forward.

In the early years of my entrepreneurship, I kept a list of all the rewards of self-employment. Nothing was too obvious or trivial to include. Here are a few of my thoughts which kept me moving forward:

√ The worst day working for myself is better than the best day working for someone else.

√ I don’t have to stand in line at the bank on Friday…or shop on weekends.

√ I can travel off-season when it’s less expensive and the tourists have gone home.

√ I can avoid the stress-induced illnesses that plague many job holders.

√ I almost never spend my time stuck in traffic.

√ I constantly meet wonderful people I would never have connected with had I been stuck in a cubicle.

√ No two days are ever exactly alike.

√ I’m in charge of how I invest my time.

You get the drift, but not everyone has created tools for dealing with their own fears. I am often surprised by the speed with which people offer reasons why they can’t do something. It makes a lot more sense to argue on the side of your dreams, doesn’t it?

Richard Bach said, “Figure out your own definition of success and then live up to it.” You’ll never be able to do that without fear—but you can do it fearlessly. 

Maggie & Me

Maggy Whitehouse is a woman who understands multiple profit centers. Besides being an ordained minister, stand-up comedian, BBC radio interviewer and writer of both fiction and non-fiction, she’s a delightful woman I first met when she showed up at one of my London seminars.

When she invited me to be a guest on her Unity Online Radio broadcast, I didn’t have to think twice about accepting. I’m delighted to share the conversation with you here. Give a listen when you have time. 

Warning: this broadcast contains contagious enthusiasm for the joyfully jobless life.


Buon Viaggio,  

Barbara Winter

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