Several years ago, I made a bold decision to pursue training in integrative medicine.

It’s a field vastly different from my career in emergency medicine. My own personal life experiences forced me to become aware of who I was and who I wanted to be. I left a stable job, a nice income and the prestige I felt holding many leadership positions at the hospital. I replaced it with a practice that feeds my soul and an art of medicine that I truly know helps people live healthier, more balanced lives.

Two days ago, the thing I call FEAR re-surfaced. It is a routine occurrence, sometimes hitting me in my early waking hours, other-times during a lull in the afternoon. I feel the doubts about my choices, worry that my new business will fail, worry that I won’t make a difference in anyone’s life. I call it self-sabotage. All around me I have signs and messages that I am doing the right thing, but FEAR keeps knocking at my minds door over and over again.

I am familiar with this now, I have learned to recognize this FEAR not as a roadblock, but as a reminder that I need to stay the course and live my mission. Every day, I help people with their own personal transformations. As is usually the way things work, my personal experiences continue to guide me to help my patients overcome their own obstacles and FEARs.

The following are several things I have learned as I continue to face FEAR.

When FEAR looks you in the face:

  • LEARN TO RECOGNIZE FEAR. Fear is negative thoughts. Fear is self-doubt, self-loathing. Fear is guilt, negativity and lack of joy. Acknowledge the fear and realize that it is not you, it is not your personal truth.
  • LOOK TO THE LIGHT. When fear or negative thoughts surface, and they always will, simply acknowledge them and redirect to a positive thought. When I sense my own fear, I literally start saying small prayers of gratitude. I redirect my thoughts to what I am thankful for…my healthy children, my loving and accepting husband, my beautiful home. I don’t deny the fear; I simply ignore it and inevitably it fades away.
  • MEDITATE. Spend time daily in meditation
  • PRAY. When all else fails, I always win with prayer. Two days ago, when the fear felt very strong, I said a simple prayer. I asked God to give me a little nudge to know I was going in the right direction. In the past 48 hours, I have literally received over 10 messages either in person, through social media or via email, all giving me positive feedback on my food program or my integrative medicine clinic. People telling me I have changed their lives. Thank you GOD!
  • CARE FOR YOUR VESSEL. The times when fear hits me the hardest are the times when I am not caring for my vessel, my body. A body that is weakened by unhealthy eating, over-drinking, lack of movement or too much stress is a body asking for negative thoughts and fear to grip tightly.

We all need to follow our own path, develop our mission and live a life that speaks to that mission. Join me in this journey, and when fear looks you in the face, use some of these simple tools to acknowledge it, let it pass and continue moving forward.

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