Ever since my 25th birthday in November, I began self-reflecting on a regular basis. I often marvel at my accomplishments because I know for fact that without God, I would not be where I am today.

According to statistics my life should have gone in another direction.

I was a “victim” of child abuse (eek I cringe at the thought of labeling myself a victim, but it is what it is) and unfortunately the abuse left unseen wounds that continue to affect me to this day.

Living in fear was the norm for me. I feared rejection, the opinions of others, not being liked, failing, making mistakes and the list goes on and on.

I also struggled with low self-esteem and depression. Coupled with fear, this made for a self-defeating concoction that often left me seeking the approval of others and denying myself the right to live fearlessly!

Over the years I’ve been blessed to meet amazing people who’ve shared valuable insights with me that enabled me to take my first steps toward a courageous lifestyle.

NOTE: Don’t forget to grab our free PDF, The 5- Year Plan: An easy-to-use workbook to help you design your ideal life, at the end of this post.

5 Truths to Remember When You’re Feeling Fearful

1. F.E.A.R is simply False. Expectations. Appearing. Real

Many times when we speak of fear, we’re referring to a perceived fear rather than a real fear. A real fear has the potential to harm you or present a realistic danger. On the other hand, a perceived fear is just that, an outcome that we believe in our mind may occur. It’s comforting to know that when we face fear head on and take action in the midst of fear, we gain more confidence in our abilities.

Think about the last time you acted courageously and felt the fear and did it anyway. I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be. The more you take action in the face of fear, the more confident you’ll become.

2. If The Creator Gave You a Dream, He’ll Also Provide the Means

For years I felt as though God put it on my heart to become a speaker. I felt compelled to share my story of triumph with others, but there was one problem. I was petrified of public speaking! Although I’ve been speaking in front of audiences for the past 10 years, I am JUST now finding my voice and becoming more comfortable with my speaking style. If God gave you a desire in your heart, you owe it to yourself to value the sweat equity needed to achieve your desired goal.

Your sweat equity is the non-financial requirement that often comes in the form of  failing forward, having the discipline to practice for countless hours, pushing past the awkward stage and being uncomfortable. After all these years I’m finally at a point where I can deliver a solid speech. But it took time, numerous fails, embarrassing moments and plenty of sweat equity to get here. Are you willing to put in the work ?

3.Someone is Waiting on Your Message 

Whether your message comes in the form of a book, a course, a service, a product or a blog, someone in this world needs your message in order for them to move to the next level! Ultimately your gift isn’t about you, it’s about who you can serve. I keep referring to my speaking because this has been one of the most challenging personal development areas for me because it required so much discipline, practice and failing in order for me to become a decent speaker.

I struggled a lot in the beginning because I was focused on the wrong things. I was focused on how my hair looked,  how I appeared to others, how intelligent or funny I was, when in reality, the purpose of my message was to simply inspire hope and action in the life of another person. That’t it. When I began to focus on the end result (inspiring action and hope for my audience) everything came together authentically and my message was centered around the people and not me.

4. Take Pride in Your Life Experience, You Belong Here

Based on my upbringing and the generational cycles in my family, I was labeled an “at-risk” youth. Despite the fact that I was able to overcome adversity and earn degrees and collegiate honors, I remained insecure when in the presence of those who were more educated or more accomplished than myself. I always felt less than and not good enough because of my self-image. I simply saw myself as the little black girl from Philly, until I heard a powerful message from Jay-Z in his Howard Stern interview!

About 31 minutes into the interview this is what’s said:

Howard Stern: When you go into those situations and you’re mixing it up with these wealthy people, do you find that sometimes you don’t know what to do? You don’t know the etiquette. You haven’t been raised in that environment.

Jay-Z: Nah cause I’m myself in any room I’m in. 

Howard Stern: You never embarrassed yourself?

Jay-Z: Of course not.

Howard Stern: You never walked in and said everybody thinks I’m ignorant here. I’m stupid.

Jay-Z: I don’t feel ignorant. I felt like I came up in a situation or a time when I wasn’t afforded certain opportunities and if afforded certain opportunities I could be Oprah, I could be Bill Gates, I could be Warren Buffet…

Robin Quivers: So when you walk into a board room with a bunch of guys in suits, who all went to college, you’re fine?

Jay-Z: I mean yeah because they read a bunch of words, I lived a bunch of life! It kind of evens us out. Whether they know it or not.

Come on somebody! Some of us have survived the most adverse conditions. Some of us have made a way for ourselves when there was no way paved. We’ve pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and chased a dream that statistics and society said we couldn’t achieve. Some of us have overcome obstacles that the rich and famous can’t even fathom! That’s worth something! When I heard this interview and Jay-Z’s wisdom and confidence, it inspired me to wear my life experience as a badge of honor rather than a cloak of shame.

5. You Are Already Naked, There is no reason not to follow your heart

This is a quote from Steve Job’s commencement address at Stanford University. If you have a moment, take a listen. If you’re pressed for time, read the excerpt from his speech below:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool that I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure these things just fall away in the face of death. Leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way that I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked, there is no reason not to follow your heart.”

He shared this touching life lesson after he’d been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The doctors gave him 3-6 months to live.

These 5 truths are mantras that I live by. They’ve inspired me to live fearlessly and with less regrets! I hope that they can inspire you to take action when fear is tempting you to shy away in your shell.

A 5-Year Plan will help ensure that you don’t finish life with regrets. Replace fear with planning and start designing your ideal life today: Click here to learn how to map out a realistic 5-year plan to help you achieve your goals.