Letting go of fear to be your best self

Fear. One tiny little word with HUGE implications. When we give into this one emotion, we can inadvertently miss out on so much in our lives.

Have you ever lost out on an opportunity because you allowed fear to creep in and cause self-doubt?

Many people have fear because they “just want it to be perfect,” it being a relationship, a business, a project, your body, whatever other scenario that may apply. In life, nothing is really ever perfect! It’s our ability to accept this idea and press onwards despite the fact we know there will be annoyances and letdowns in our relationships, mistakes in our work lives, and that “accidental” indulgence in Aunt Ima’s cookies because dammit, they are just so good!

Before making a big decision I encourage you to ask yourself the question, is this a decision that I’m basing out of confidence…or FEAR? If the answer is fear, then further exploration of root cause must occur.

Real life check in: You absolutely cannot stand your current place of employment and constantly check the Indeed website until you’ve memorized the postings yet feel paralyzed in whether or not you should take the next move. Now is the time to ask yourself what the hold up is.

Make lists on what your biggest fears are in applying for a new position and or leaving your current place of employment. You can easily apply the list making technique to leaving a relationship, starting a relationship, going to the gym, etc. Organize in your mind (and on paper!) what those fears are, be very honest with yourself.

Young woman thinking with pen while working / studying at her desk

If you come to the conclusion that you are basing a decision off of fear or self-doubt, ask yourself what is causing you to doubt yourself, because ultimately when we choose to allow a great opportunity to pass us by, the common denominator in the equation is well.. us.

What could be going on with you deep down in your core that is causing self-doubt to creep in?

Could it be worry of not being good enough? Worry that you will fail? Or is the fear a result of negative messages or lack of affirmation you received while growing up? When we do not receive positive validation of self and unconditional love while growing up, our ability to realize these things for ourselves can be a bit stunted. The task of affirming self becomes our own responsibility which is absolutely possible, but may feel a bit foreign!

To affirm yourself and start the process of ridding yourself of self-doubt and fear-based decisions:

Take your thinking a step deeper. Examine your self-talk. Are you prone to having negative, self-defeating thoughts? Did you receive negative messages from caretakers when you were young? Did you just not receive validation or affirmation at all and now you are lacking your own ability to self-sooth and validate yourself?

Consider your achievements in life thus far despite your past negative experiences. Did your family tell you you would never amount to much? Did a past relationship cause you to question your ability to love and feel valuable?

If the answer is yes to these questions, then you, dear one, are in need of a thought makeover! The first step in any change however, is recognition. So the next time you go to make a decision, pay attention to your thoughts. Practice replacing negative thoughts with more realistic thoughts.

For example, you reallllly want to give things a try with what seems to be a very eligible bachelor, but deep down you feel fear shrouded in self-doubt. Wondering things like “what if he finds out who I truly am? He’s such a catch and I’m only_______(insert ugly thought) or I really am horrible at ________(insert other ugly thought”. Replace those negative, ugly self-deprecating thoughts with ones that are either downright positive or if you feel like you’re not ready for that, thoughts that are more realistic.

Find one aspect of you that you truly hold dear. Find that ONE thing about yourself, your appearance, your overall being that you may not love, but you feel blessed to have. It is okay to view yourself positively and recognize what you bring to the world.

Woman Standing Near Body of Water 

Start your journey of self-love and release of fear slowly. Acknowledgement of self-deprecating thoughts is typically the first step, then comes the ability to begin to change them!

Life is not perfect. And that is completely okay! Your journey may look different than other people’s, however, it is unique to you. Practice self-care, buy the candle, get the haircut, do one small thing that makes you feel good. Build upon these experiences of realizing you ARE worthy of happiness and watch how your tolerance for the negative in your life begins change.

Encouraging you to be the happiest version of yourself today and everyday,

Rachel Ann


Humanitas Counseling and Consulting, LLC

816 Greenbrier Circle, Suite 209

Chesapeake, VA 23320



Renew your spirit with the start of the New Year

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The start of the New Year marks the ability to set the reset button on your life. We can “press the reset button” anytime, but there is something about the end of one year and beginning of a new year that just makes setting goals and evaluating our lives feel…so right.

Lately, I’ve been pushing a concept in my practice of renewing your spirit and reconnecting with self. Your spirit being that intangible part of yourself-the parts of you that make up your character, your emotions, your soul.  And yourself being, well who you are, who you used to be, and who you WANT to be.

Over time, our spirit can become a bit withered with negative life events and hurtful relationships. Our sense of self can become so foggy underneath the roles we have to assume in life that we feel unsure of who we are anymore.

Women Holding Space Gray Iphone X and Black Pen

Free stock photo of cold, snow, black-and-white, people

We can become so busy with life that we forget to take care of ourselves and as a result, we lose sight of who we are and forget to nurture ourselves. Women, by nature, are nurturers. We are the glue that holds a family together! Where do you think the phrase, “if momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” came from?

I give you permission to recognize that “holding it all together” and multitasking til the cows come home DOES come at a price—our emotional well-being. It can become so easy to think that we should be doing more and not give ourselves permission to say “I don’t feel happy!”

As women, we are certainly allowed to feel discontent but the important thing to remember is that we also hold our own key to feeling more empowered and self-aware of what we need at any given time. The process to becoming more self-aware just takes practice, especially if you have pushed emotions so deep down that you’re not even sure where they are at this point!

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So how do we renew our spirits and reconnect with who we are?

1.       Ask for help. At some point, we have to realize we do not have to keep all the tops spinning. You are allowed to ask for help from your husband, your colleagues, even your kids. Be clear in your communication of what you need, verbally naming what you need out loud. You need a hug? Name it. “I’m telling you that right now, I just need a hug”. You need your significant other to pick up the milk? Name it. “I need you to go to the store and pick up A, B, and C”. I know that most of us know we can ask for help, but I also know that women intrinsically start to take on more and more and before we know it, we feel overloaded and overburdened. So get into the practice of naming what you need before reaching the point of anger and emotional burnout.

2.       Practice self-care. Now I realize “self-care” has become a “trendy” concept over the years but taking care of you is of utmost priority in order to be the best version of yourself. Like I tell my clients, self-care is doing anything—no matter how big or small—that honors WHO you are and WHAT you need. Something as seemingly simple as lighting a candle, taking a bath, painting your nails, or listening to your favorite Pandora station can yield excellent benefits to your mental health and happiness because you are going back to fulfilling an important duty—taking care of you. These activities are not trivial despite what people may say! Little things add up to be big results. Do you appreciate beauty in your life? Then make your home office or kitchen an oasis for you. Wherever you are spending the majority of your time should have something in it that brings you joy. Sounds simple but honoring yourself is something we must actively choose, not passively hope will happen.

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Do it. Light the candles. Take a bath. Do one thing no matter how big or small that helps you feel calm and taken care of.

3.       Get in touch with your emotions. I see this time and time again. Women get married, have children, move up the ladder at work and all of a sudden, they wake up and realize “I don’t even know why I’m so upset these days, I just feel worn out!” Cue my therapy plug here— helping you get in touch with your emotions is what I do! If you are not at a place to call a counselor, then consciously identify what the biggest stressors are in your life. Ask yourself what purpose negative thoughts are serving you and then choose to consciously let them go. Family background can paint the picture for how we handle emotions so think about how your own parents handled stress and anger. The beauty of therapy is that you have a place to just be you. To have your outlet because everyone needs one! I encourage you to find a counselor that fits your style, where you feel complete acceptance, positive regard, and support.

4.       Consider who you are and who you want to be. Years of pacifying everyone else can cause a person to lose sight of goals and expectations of self. Use this new year as a way to start a journey of self-exploration. Whether you have always wanted to try yoga, attend a church group, or try you hand at painting, engaging in activities that bring us joy are keys to finding our life balance. Realize, however, that in order for reconnection with self and renewal of spirit to occur, we have to actively take charge and make these goals a priority.

Photo of Woman Wearing White Top, Blue Bottoms and Black Dslr Camera Holding White Textile While Facing the Ocean

So what will be your focus this new year? What is an area in your life where you want to “let the top stop spinning” and focus on your growth and reconnection with self?

If you have been programmed over the years of thinking that you have to do it all, this post may seem unrealistic. Yet I will tell you with 100% confidence that reconnecting with yourself and renewing your spirit CAN BE DONE because I help women do this everyday! You are not alone in feeling overburdened and drained by life. Start small. Tiny steps everyday where you actively do something that honors who you are and what you need—I know I’m being repetitive now, but this point is SO important for feeling and living a healthy life, both physically and mentally.

You are your own best expert, so consider what needs to change or be done differently to make 2018 a year of reconnection and renewal of self.

Set that reset button and make those healthy changes you’ve been wanting to, but have let sit on the back burner.

Wishing you a health and happiness today and everyday,

Rachel Ann

Humanitas Counseling and Consulting, LLC

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816 Greenbrier Circle, Suite 209

Chesapeake, VA 23320