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October 20, 2014

The Most Boring Thing About You

Five years ago, I quit my job as a magazine editor to start this blog, freelance, and consult. At least that was the plan and that is what I told people. But it wasn’t the whole truth. Yes, I made a very conscious and calculated career decision, but I also made a personal choice. I didn’t want to live in fear anymore. Fear that despite really liking my job, I would never know what else was possible. What I was capable of. Who I really was. That I could hack it on my own. That I could overcome my poster-child status for routine and stability and learn how to embrace risk and change. I may have incorporated as BeautyBets, Inc., but to me it was The Year Without Fear. My first goal was to say YES to everything. Coffee dates, guest blog posts, boot camp, parties with people I didn’t know. I also used this time to tackle deep-seated fears of inadequacy and doubt. Therapy proved to be the best gift I ever gave myself and one that I recommend to anyone who feels like they are on a hamster wheel of self-hate and can’t get off. These days, I say YES to less, partly because I don’t have time for every opportunity and outing that comes along, and partly because I know what and who I value and am confident in those choices. But I still live in fear. It’s not causing my heart to race or my palms to sweat, but it’s definitely in charge on a sub-conscious level and driving way too many of my decisions. Of course the moment one becomes acutely aware of a personal opportunity, signs appear everywhere. I came across this video of Elizabeth Gilbert speaking at Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend and it just stopped me cold. In it she says:

We think our fears are precious and special, but they aren’t. WE are precious and special, but our fears are not. I want us all liberated from the path of fear, for many reasons — but mostly because it makes for such a damn boring life. Fear is the most boring thing about you. Fear only ever tells you one thing: STOP. Whereas creativity, courage and inspiration only ever want you to GO.

Ahhhhh! Why do we let fear control us? Do you even notice when you are? Because I didn’t until I really started to pay attention and catch myself. It’s actually disturbing because fear has become so second-nature, it’s our resting state. So I’m working on that. How to listen to my intuition and my heart, and not “future walk” by over-thinking and projecting every possible scenario. Maybe My Life Without Fear should be my new working title?

Wishing you a fierce + fearless Monday,

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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