Skip to main content

It’s okay to be afraid. But don’t let that fear dictate who you are or change what you can become.

If you’ve been following along throughout September, you know each post was deeply (and sometimes harshly) personal. All of the month’s content was driven by my experiences following an accident that left me with catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries. As part of my therapy, I’m sharing some of those difficult thoughts and experiences with you.

Yes, it has been a hard road these last 5 years but that is not even remotely the point! It’s where the road leads and what you learn about yourself that’s far more important.

This month, I will revisit each post from September and focus on the hidden gifts and lessons I’ve found along the way. Because, I assure you, they are always a part of each and every adversity. However, you must be open to finding and embracing them if you intend to move forward with your life.

In How To Stay Alive When Your Brain Is Trying To Kill You – Part 1, I discussed fear and how it speaks to us. And I wrote about a very specific, terrifying fear I’ve had to face. One very common but rarely spoken of or admitted to because it carries with it such (undeserved) shame.

In case you missed it:

My secret fear is my brain is going to kill me before I’m ready to die.

The risk of suicide is extremely high for those with brain injuries, even with the medical treatment used to prevent it. It isn’t well-publicized that many experience the complication of suicidal compulsion. I definitely was not prepared for the shock, intensity, and constantly escalating danger of it.

I dealt with this particular fear (and it is only one of many that reared up post-accident) by facing it head on. First, I learned everything I could about suicide.

Then I started writing and speaking about it publicly. Finally, I decided to use what I’d learned and was experiencing to help others whose lives are touched by suicide in any way. You can see the results of this direct confrontation on my Facebook Page: Understanding The Suicidal Mind. With it came a whole new world of opportunities to serve.

I invested in professional help for all of my injuries. And I sold everything I owned of value to pay for medical treatments because my insurer wouldn’t and the cost was ginormous.

Yes, I was afraid… very afraid. In fact, I’m very afraid right now of a decision I’ll make in 48 hours.

It’s ok to be afraid. And it’s ok to admit to it too.

Because I did not run from my fear, I am still alive today. Stronger than ever, perhaps. Still afraid of all kinds of things, including many that never bothered me before. But strong.

That strength makes me unstoppable. And the best part? It makes you unstoppable too!

As I wrote last month — The key to overcoming whatever you are afraid of requires just three things:

  1. Stay open.
  2. Stay connected.
  3. Stay resilient.

Today is the first day of the last quarter of the calendar year. In January, you likely had plans for what you wanted to achieve in your business and your life this year. The months may or may not be unfolding as you hoped. But, there is still time to make a positive difference in your results for the year if you are not too afraid to look at what you’ve accomplished to date and what remains undone. A lot of great things can happen in 90 days!

What choices did you make that moved you forward or held you back? What fears influenced your decisions?

This moment in your life, like any moment (including those moments of adversity), contains endless possibilities and limitless choices — regardless of how you feel or what you think. Even when they scare you to death.

Expose yourself to your deepest fears; after that they’ll have no power. And the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. Then you truly are free.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

PS I hope you’ll find the new RAISING THE BAR series inspiring. If so, please share this post with friends and followers. You never know what burdens others are carrying or how much their load might be made lighter by doing so. ♥♥♥


Raising The Bar is a new series for the SMARTSTART community that has been taking shape in my head for most of the time I’ve spent working to recover from catastrophic brain, spinal cord and psychological injuries resulting from a near fatal accident in 2009. Success, whether it’s in rehab, business, relationships, or life, hinges on our ability to master this simple formula: Belief (B) + Attitude (A) = Response (R).

I’m excited to be sharing it with you now as a next step in my injury recovery. Consider this your invitation to join me on a grand adventure. Oh, the places we will go! Including all the places that scare us most. For that is where the greatest opportunities for joy and happiness — the true measures of success — reside!