Heart Sparks | A Lesson in Being Scared

A Lesson in Being Scared

A Lesson in Being Scared

Posted by Johanna in Fear, Life 28 Apr 2014

I have wanted to start a blog for a while now.  If I’m totally honest, it has been a really long while.  I even started my own blogging site around six years ago and proudly named it “Jo’s Place”.  Just seeing a dedicated online space for my writing left me on a happiness-overload for the rest of the week.


I published a grand total of zero blog posts on that site and, to be honest, in recent years I completely forgot that I created it.  I googled it just now for interest’s sake – it doesn’t seem to exist anymore.


These days I am building the Heart Sparks online sanctuary with love, working with a fabulous graphic designer (her contact will be on the love list soon), and learning, learning, fumbling, learning.  All of these things I have done passionately, thoughtfully, and with a heart full of delight.


But even with a new website (complete with blog and introductory post) ready for launch, there was one thing that I still failed to do: put fingers to keyboard and create that first, true post.  As the months rolled on I built a list of things I desperately want to have a conversation with you about.  Despite my excitement and hope, there I stopped – after hours of sitting at the computer screen – with little more than a well-loved list (pink paper, blue pen, tattered corners) and a flashing cursor forever mocking me on a blank word document.  Way to make a girl doubt her ability.

Three days ago the truth struck me: I wasn’t having some blogging virgin’s case of writer’s block.  I was scared.


And then followed the deep realisation that this isn’t the first time fear has gotten in the way of a personal beginning.  I can think of several times over the years that I have chosen not to leap – into that school subject that was unpopular, into that competition that would have challenged me to my core, into that new relationship that just might have been incredible (I’m sorry), into that new role at work, into a place, space, lifestyle that could have changed everything, made everything, been everything – because I was scared to start.  Because I was scared to fail. Is this you too?


The thing about fear is that when we strip it right back, it is little more than a biological response.  A mechanism that is instinctively with us to keep us safe.  A reminder to be cautious.  Animal stuff.  An adrenalin trigger for our fight-or-flight response.


We attach such negativity and helplessness to it, but beautiful, what if we didn’t?


What if being scared to start something actually taught us more about what we should be doing, rather than what we shouldn’t?


What if it confirmed for us how much we really want something, and how much we truly care about it?


What if it was a sign that the direction we were considering for ourself is the absolute right one?


What if it was a celebration of stepping outside of our comfort zone and bravely growing ourself?


What if despite feeling scared to start we moved forward anyway?  Right now for me, simply posting this post.  And for you …?


When it comes to fear we have a choice as to how much we will let it get in the way of us being who we are meant to be and feeling the way we most want to feel.


I choose for it to end here.  Fear, you are most welcome in my home.  I will greet you politely and have a spot set for you at the dinner table.  But please don’t feel hard done-by when I walk out on you before dessert.  I have other plans.



  • Stewart April 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm / Reply

    Fantastic post, Jo! Inspirational and thought-provoking. Keep up the great work.

  • Ebony April 28, 2014 at 9:28 pm / Reply

    What’s that quote.. ‘If it’s both terrifying & amazing then you should definitely pursue it’. I don’t remember by who wrote it but the things we put off the longest are usually the things we most need to do, which is far easier said than done! Well written & very true!

    • Johanna
      Johanna April 28, 2014 at 10:03 pm / Reply

      Lovely to see you here, Ebony! I haven’t heard that quote before, thank you for sharing it! x

  • Clare (Top Five Movement) April 28, 2014 at 9:23 pm / Reply

    Well written Johanna! All great questions and you’ve certainly fired me up to get my second blog post out after a very lengthy break following the first one. Thanks for the inspiration as always and looking forward to your next post already!

    • Johanna
      Johanna April 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm / Reply

      Thank you dear Clare. I have seen the wonderful things that happen when you are fired up – can’t wait to see the result! x

  • Katy April 28, 2014 at 6:36 pm / Reply

    Beautifully written Jo and so true. Many times I have been put off pressing that “publish” button on my little blog; the seed of fear suddenly has a growth spurt and turns into a massive forest …
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I cannot wait to read more!

    • Johanna
      Johanna April 28, 2014 at 8:38 pm / Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement lovely Katy. And a seed to a forest – what a great analogy of the snowballing effect that fear can have! Your blog is a much enjoyed read of mine, I am so glad that you continue to press that button! x

  • Aimee April 28, 2014 at 10:42 am / Reply

    I am staring at my blog screen with the same problem!! This is defiantly something I am dealing with at the moment – feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Actually this is the second bit of writing that has crossed my path about it so I should just follow your lead 🙂

    • Johanna
      Johanna April 28, 2014 at 8:32 pm / Reply

      What an exciting time for you Aimee! I can’t wait to read your blog, and good on you for recognising fear and acting anyway. All the very best with that first post – I know it will be wonderful x

  • Thanks Jo.. looking fwd to your next gem.

    Cheers glen x

  • Jo April 28, 2014 at 10:17 am / Reply

    Well done you! Great blog … succinct message that really hit the spot for me today. So first step done, now you just keep walking! Big hugs xxxx

    • Johanna
      Johanna April 28, 2014 at 8:29 pm / Reply

      How wonderful to see you here, Jo! Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Big hugs straight back to you x

  • Tiana April 28, 2014 at 7:37 am / Reply

    Jo, this rings so loud & clear in how true it resonates in my life. I LOVE the mental repositioning of using fear as an indicator of how meaningful something is. It completely strips fear of its power! Thank you for this post, it’s inspiration is so timely xx

    • Johanna
      Johanna April 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm / Reply

      I am so glad that it spoke to you Ti, and you absolutely deserve to kick your fear to the curb – you have truly amazing things in store for you! x

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