Letting Go of Fear

- Lifestyle


“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” – this famous quote from FDR’s inaugural address in 1933 has really hit me hard lately because within this quote there is a meaning that we only have ourselves to fear. We create and react to our own fears. And yet there is something natural and innate in us that reacts a certain way to things: loud noises, actions, motions. Our bodies know and want to react to anything that might hurt our chance of survival: the whole fight or flight reaction.

But today I don’t want to talk about the fear created in us naturally to help us survive, today I want to talk about the fears we create ourselves.

Fear is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” Last year, especially last summer, I took fear to a new level.  A fear of falling, a fear of being too emotional, a fear of failure and a fear of disappointing those I love the most. Last year was the year I wanted to get back on track. To get back on track with finances. To get back on track with my fitness goals. And to really focus my attention on this blog as it is something I’m extremely passionate about.  During that time though, I placed so much pressure on myself and the things going on in my life that I caused myself more stress, more pain and overall accomplished less because of it.

I am all about goals and reaching them, but I also believe and have learned that you have to be realistic when it comes to achieving them. For example, I love this blog and want to dedicate as much time to it as possible and yet I want to cook more, go for more walks with my dog, hang out with my boyfriend more and work out four to fives times a week.  It just isn’t always possible when I work a 9 to 5 job and still want to meet up with friends during the week.

Realistically I need to balance it all or choose something to prioritize. Well the thing is I’m selfish and I want it all. But in being selfish and wanting to do everything at once I haven’t only hurt myself, I’ve hurt those around me. I have been struggling with body image on and off for the past year. I haven’t really talked about it with too many people because just a couple years ago I was so happy with my body and my image regardless of past body image issues in high school. I know I’m not alone in this, but when I was finally happy with the way I looked, I told myself I would never go back to feeling this way.

Well then a spiral of not-so-great events happened, I let myself go. I have never been the most fit person in the world, but I have always been healthy. At my worst, about two years ago, I was 20 lbs over my “normal weight” (a weight I was happy with and maintained consistently since high school). Now I have about 10 lbs to go, which means I’m making progress, but I can still be tough on myself some days. Taking pictures and working on editing them, it is really hard for me not to see every single flaw. The worst part is looking back and thinking, why have I been so hard on myself? Like this set of outfit photos for example, which made me cry when I first saw them. It makes me sad as I’m writing this to know that I was in such a low place when those photos were taken. By the way – this is NOT a post to beg for sympathy and compliments, I’m just being real and expressing myself, and hoping maybe I’m not alone in this struggle.

But to be quite frank, I’m sick of it.  I’m sick of not feeling adequate. I’m sick of creating my own fears. So from now on, I’m going to push myself to be my best, but never more than that. Because I simply am who I am. I am me. THIS is me. I am learning to love who I see in the mirror again, not just physically, but who I am as a person. And I’m starting to tell myself I am enough.

So, are you with me? Let’s stop with the negative talk and empower ourselves instead. We are enough. Let’s get rid of our fears and move forward.

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  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    such a great post. I so there with you. I have also been having body image problem myself. That I step on the scale this morning and had a break down in tear. My husband just look at me and told me everything will be ok. That I’m gaining muscle and that why the scale say what it said. Which it help but i’m still made that I have let myself go this past year.

    So lets to this together. Also congrats on losing 10 pounds.

    • Reply
      May 1, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      I’m so sorry to hear that Amy… it hurts to hear that you are so hard on yourself too. You are beautiful and nothing will change that! Let’s keep going to work towards our goals, but not be mean to ourselves along the way!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    You are doing so well loosing all that weight! But you are honestly beautiful whatever weight you are! You always have gorgeous style and you come across as such a lovely and caring person on your blog! xx


    • Reply
      May 2, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      Thank you Rachel, you are so sweet! 🙂 I try to just show who I am on the blog! And I am getting to my goals, just not quite there, but I’m done beating myself up along the way!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Aww, babe, I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way! But I completely understand where you’re coming from and have been in a similar situations myself- re: body image, stressed from so much pressure, feeling stretched too thin, etc. Honestly, I think this is something SO MANY WOMEN (hell, so many people) struggle with but don’t always have the courage to talk about it.

    I think the mantra is one step at a day, one thing at a time, one day at a time. It’s hard and there is SO MUCH going on (from working on your blog to spending time with the people you love to carving out some time to work on yourself), but focusing can help. I want it all, too- and I believe that we CAN have it all, but maybe have to compartmentalize and being strategic in tackling it all. Does that make sense? Maybe I’m in Ramble Mode… Haha.

    Proud of you for speaking up- and know that you’re GORGEOUS and beyond lovely inside and out, and you WILL achieve your goals, because you’re too determined NOT to. 🙂


    • Reply
      May 2, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      I think we can have it all too! I agree… I think it is just realizing that it all can’t happen in ONE day or even one week! Sometimes I have to spend a whole night cleaning or organizing, sometimes I just need to choose to take a day off from blogging and spend time with loved ones. And when I do what makes me feel good and happy… that is the best overall balance!

      And thank you! I am definitely determined right now and I’m not going to let anything stop me! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    You’re brave for sharing this post! Sometimes you have to just take one step at a time. And you ARE enough and you are beautiful!!

    • Reply
      May 1, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      It was definitely hard to hit PUBLISH this morning! Thanks Beth… I’m just sharing my feelings lately!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Great post girl! I’m right there with you. I’m heavier than I’d like as well and trying to find a work/life balance. I think we just need to learn to relax and realize we are enough! Maybe we can get there together! Oh and you always look fabulous so don’t be so hard on yourself!

    • Reply
      May 2, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      Isn’t that the truth?! The more I relax, the more I get done. And relax does not mean LAZY, it just means I can focus and better balance my time and energy!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Oh Rachel. We will always look in the mirror and see our flaws. That’s what friends are for. They show you the true you. The you beyond what you perceive as flawed. I can relate to weight struggles. I was 93 pounds in high school. 10 years and two kids later I don’t want to go to our class reunion. Even though I lost weight in 2013 I am still so much bigger than I was. I was never special, I was just always the “skinniest.” Now that I don’t have that, what do I have? What defines me?
    I have my awesome kids, my great friends. I have my blog and the camaraderie and friendship of girls like you who share my passion. Now the girls I was friends with in high school are emailing me about helping them find something to wear to our reunion. Now I’m not the skinny girl, but the girl with the fashion blog.
    You have these things too. You are GORGEOUS! IF you say you need to lose weight, I don’t see it, but I say if it will make you feel better go for it! Go on those walks with your pup and take the boyfriend with you so it doubles as time spent with him. We are always here whenever you get back with us. That is the beauty of blogging. the internet is accessible at any time, from anywhere.

    • Reply
      May 2, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      Girl, you EXUDE confidence and I love it! You are beautiful, and have a rockin’ body, so who cares what you were in high school to now?! Also, I think it is awesome that people are coming to you for styling advice! I think the unfortunate thing about high school is that everyone seemed to have a label, I was the nice/shy girl and it is hard to change that image in people’s mind. And thank you dear… I don’t think a lot of my friends/family think I need to lose weight, but they also knew me when I was really fit and working out a lot, which was also when I was really happy! I like working out, so I know I can hit my goals if I just make it a part of my routine again, but at that time I also wasn’t cooking for myself or working from 9-5… even 4 years out of college I’m still trying to figure out this whole “real world” thing 🙂 I’m doing a better job at it now when I’m not constantly beating myself up about every little thing!

  • Reply
    two birds
    May 1, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    What a great post, Rachel! I know it must have been tough to share, but thank you for sharing. We all definitely struggle with so many different issues. And especially in the blog/social media world, it can be tough to not compare yourself to others and see others as being perfect and think you have so much to live up to. But in reality, we are all just human with problems of our own and issues to deal with. So thank you for letting us see that side of you. You are gorgeous and smart and funny and it is great that you are ready to just be who you are and let that shine! It’s hard to do, but it definitely gets easier with hard work (and with age!)

    • Reply
      May 2, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      Yes, I’m ready to just be me and be happy! 🙂 I hope that’s what 20’s are for… settling into your own skin, cause I’m ready for that!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2014 at 4:05 AM

    I used to do this a lot & even still do sometimes…it’s not healthy to let the fear take over so much that it stops us from doing the things we want to or even need to. I use to get so fearful that I avoided going places or doing things because I didn’t feel good enough to do them. Even when I blogged at first, I never posted pictures of myself in outfits because I was afraid no one would like anything. But, sometimes you just have to dive right into the things your afraid of and you’ll find those things were just smoke and mirrors set there to only make you feel afraid but not really be anything you need fear. If we fail, we fail…but to never try is already failing in itself. We just need to grab hold of fear and turn it into our fuel for doing what we wish to do 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    May 2, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    I appreciate your honesty in this post! You should be really proud of yourself for getting halfway to your goal but know that you’re beautiful no matter what!

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  • Reply
    May 2, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Rachel, what a strong quote and well-written, reflective post. I pined that quote BTW.

    I loved reading this about your real struggles. Way to start off May on the right foot. It’s a new month with new hopes and new beginning. And you are a beautiful, healthy, fit woman. Pounds on a scale don’t really matter much. Take aim of your confidence and fly with it! I am telling you: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY AND STRONG. So repeat that after me.

    And I need to take some of my own advice and apply it to myself. After all this is My Birthday month lol.

    BTW, back in late March I changed the name of my blog and the URL. Because of it, I lost all of my followers. I kindly ask that you follow me again (but no pressure).

    Have a Wonderful Weekend and Stay Strong! <3 Ada.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Oh girl – you are NOT alone!!! I love how courageous you were for writing this! It takes some guts for sure and I just like you more for it 🙂 We respond to realness.

    Of course we all think you are gorgeous and I looked at those pics and didn’t know what you were even pertaining to, but every one is their worst credit and that’s unfortunately the way most of us are. I think what helps is TALKING about it!! And keeping your self in check. Every time i have something negative to say about myself, I automatically have to say some thing I LOVE about myself, not just like. It helps! 🙂

    I hope you don’t give up the blog, but for selfish reasons 🙂 You are pretty inside and out!!

    • Reply
      May 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      Thanks for commenting Tracy! I think I am learning that too… the more I talk about it, the better I feel. And honestly I feel SO much better after writing this… maybe a bit selfish of me, but I do use my blog as a way of therapy, kind of treating it like a journal, but something I share with others I know. Also, I think I need to start saying something positive about myself if I catch myself thinking or saying something negative!

      And I agree! When I follow other bloggers, I like to see that they are real. Not just trying to always sell me things or that life is perfect, because it isn’t! I want this to be a positive place, but I think I can still talk about life’s challenges without being negative, which is what I hope came through in this post!

      And the good news is, this post was very much the opposite of saying I’ve had enough with the blog and I’m done, it was more like a fresh beginning! I have been so hard on myself since last summer, that getting dressed has been painful rather than fun, and the idea of taking outfit photos would bring me to tears. Now, I am ready to attack my closet and this blog with a fresh perspective 🙂 So I appreciate your support and I’m so glad to hear that writing some of these “real” posts makes you like me better haha 😉 It is sometimes hard to show your personality and who you really are on a blog!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    I feel like this sooo often- you’re not alone! Especially with the appearance part. We all worry about our weight, our hair, our skin, etc. It sounds silly, but something so small can totally change your outlook on life and the day, week or month that you let it control you.

    I think you have a great attitude about it though- about not letting fear take over your entire life. I always think of myself “what’s the worst possible thing that could happen if I do x, y or z”. Usually it’s not actually THAT bad and saying it outloud helps me

    • Reply
      May 5, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      I definitely think saying it out loud helps… I should do this more often!

  • Reply
    Wynne Prasetyo
    May 5, 2014 at 3:23 AM

    i love this post, how true to yourself you are. more people should get rid of negativity indeed. i notice that what happens with some people i know and some other people those people know, is that they somehow think that negativity is a good thing in that it draws other people closer to them, although that is only due to sympathy. that's not right! how is it better than you being the strong one, the inspiring one that people look up to when they are going through actual drawbacks? i am so proud of you that you are able to have the courage to eject negativity and empower yourself. do rise above your level! i hope you find it in your heart to forgive people or circumstances who have put you in such a trouble and turn you sorrow into joy and become blessings to other people, including your readers! 🙂 love from Jakarta.

  • Reply
    Wynne Prasetyo
    May 4, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    i love this post, how true to yourself you are. more people should get rid of negativity indeed. i notice that what happens with some people i know and some other people those people know, is that they somehow think that negativity is a good thing in that it draws other people closer to them, although that is only due to sympathy. that’s not right! how is it better than you being the strong one, the inspiring one that people look up to when they are going through actual drawbacks? i am so proud of you that you are able to have the courage to eject negativity and empower yourself. do rise above your level! i hope you find it in your heart to forgive people or circumstances who have put you in such a trouble and turn you sorrow into joy and become blessings to other people, including your readers! 🙂 love from Jakarta.

  • Reply
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