Tips to overcoming fear and living the life you want
Lea and Becky run LemonAid, an online global community of women (who also meet offline for exciting outings!) creating their ‘Happily Ever Afters’. With monthly challenges covering themes such as money, business & careers, me first, sex & intimacy and emBODYment, they encourage you to show up, be seen and stand out. You can find them online at www.lemonaid.life or on IG and FB @lemonaidlives
We know a bit about fear here at LemonAid HQ. Three years ago we were two ‘regular’ women, with four youngish children between us but each living with a pretty big secret. We both knew we were unhappy in our co-dependent, heterosexual relationships and we both knew we were gay. GASP!
Our story involves a ‘coming out’, and that might not be everyone’s experience - (although you’d be surprised how many women tell us they’ve considered it or want it too!) However, as our own lives began unravelling, we became aware of just how many other women in their late 30s/early 40s were feeling the same; beginning to take serious stock of their lives, noticing how many areas of their life felt out of kilter and starting to evaluate the decisions they’d made and consider what a different ‘happily ever after’ might look like.
Many of us (myself included) fall into the trap of everything becoming about the child/children, but as much as we love them we may feel resentful that our own identity seems to be disappearing fast.
When you make a big change, such as restarting your career or starting your own business, you begin to rediscover your identity. But the thrill of once again doing something for yourself is coupled with the crippling guilt that you’re even daring to do this and expand beyond the comfort (!!) zone of mummyhood, babydom and the expectations of others (parents, family and friends) that you should follow the conventional, well-trodden path instead of forging your own way that works best for you.
As you may imagine, coming out, creating a blended family AND starting a business venture together has been deemed as pretty unconventional and controversial amongst our family and friends, and sadly we’ve even lost some because of it.
So how do you overcome the very real fears when it comes to making a change in your life to do the things that YOU want?
Regret beats fear...
For us, it was quite a simple answer, really. We’d both reached the point where the fear of REGRET was bigger than the fear of making a change. And those regrets were not just about ourselves…
We didn’t want to regret not looking for and finding love that was fulfilling, nourishing, not codependent and truly intimate.
We didn’t want to regret or resent not following our own dreams out of some (mistaken) belief that our children would be forever damaged by our decisions.
There’s a film (Elena Undone) about a woman who chose to wait until her son had grown up before considering her own needs, at which point the son was devastated because he felt his childhood had been a lie and it was a massive weight of responsibility to have on his shoulders - that his parents happiness had been suspended and denied, for him, which he would never have chosen if he’d been asked.
Coupled with not wanting regrets was the desire for our children to have a model of what LOVE and a loving relationship between partners really looks like, for when they go out into the world - our relationships with their fathers didn’t look like that.
We also wanted to give our children a model of what following your dreams looks like; we didn’t want to be models of playing it safe and not using our own creative energy to build something that matters to us.
This has also influenced the kind of relationships we’ve helped to ensure our children have with their fathers. Encouraging them to step up and share responsibility on all fronts as well as us (me!) being able to let go - showing our children that parenting doesn’t need to be a gendered activity and that co-parenting can be a joint responsibility. With three girls and a boy, providing this kind of modelling feels vital for both genders.
Trust paves the way for commitment…
Now we don’t want to imply that making the leap into the great unknown wasn’t scary or that everything always went smoothly, but once we’d leapt, some of the things we were scared of just didn’t happen. Leaping involves trust and when you trust, you also pave the way for commitment. You’d be surprised how the Universe just clears a path for you once you’re ALL in.
So, if you’re considering a change, whatever that looks like for you, and whatever sections of the wheel of life it encompasses - career, relationships, children/dependents, health and wellness, love, sex and intimacy, personal development, contribution - (or in my case all of the above!) remember:
There are others who have trodden a similar path so be brave and reach out for support, whilst not losing sight that this is YOUR journey to define as YOU see fit.
That in making changes you will inevitably take some flak, but as Brene Brown says, “If they’re from people not showing up and being seen themselves they have no right to an opinion on how I show up”!
That you will become somebody else’s role model for being brave enough to forge your own path and dare to do something you REALLY want.
That you’re a mum, already ‘mumming’ it - winging it is in your blood!
We should know, we’ve been there, done it and now we sell the T Shirt...
“What If I Fall?” - “Oh But My Darling, What If You Fly?”
Here’s to flying!