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Embracing Fear: A Journey Towards Growth

In the film "In Good Company," there's a memorable scene where a character, on his first day at a new job, admits to feeling "scared shitless." This phrase resonated with me deeply. Whenever I faced a daunting challenge, those words echoed in my mind. Yet, what truly left an impact wasn't just his admission of fear but his determination to press on despite it.

This scene has been a reflection of my journey for the past decade. I felt immense trepidation about living in South Korea. Still, I embraced the adventure, resulting in global friendships and significant career growth. Pursuing my Master's degree, a decision riddled with anxiety became a milestone in my academic journey. Relocating from New York City to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, came with uncertainties, yet it transformed my life unexpectedly. Marriage, a commitment I cherish immensely today, initially seemed overwhelming. My decision to run for public office was made amidst fear, yet I took that leap not once but twice consecutively. Starting my mental health private practice was another daunting leap. Still, I took it, which became one of my most enriching experiences.

And now, as I venture into the most transformative phase of all - motherhood - that familiar fear has made its presence felt again.

Beginning any new chapter with fear isn't a sign of weakness. It's our brain's natural mechanism to protect us from the unknown. However, fear should be a companion, not a barrier. Often, it merely represents a path less traveled. When our brain, lacking a reference or primed with apprehensions, sounds the alarm, it's crucial to comfort it by saying: "This is new, and it feels unsettling, and I am safe."

I advocate for pushing beyond comfort zones, seeking growth, and aspiring for uncharted territories. With time, initial fears recede. Activities and decisions that once seemed monumental become parts of our daily lives. So, when fear strikes, observe it without resistance. Breathe deeply and keep moving forward, reframing your experience. Recognize the symptoms - the accelerated heartbeat, the nervous anticipation. Then, redefine those sensations, viewing them as excitement rather than apprehension. Because our minds, in their intricate workings, don't discern between the two.

Now, in moments of uncertainty, instead of reverting to "scared shitless," I affirm with conviction: "I'm excited for what lies ahead."

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