Things You’d Do If You Weren’t Afraid

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Writing the scary things down is a wonderful exercise in facing and moving past our fears. Most of us fear: being ridiculed, disappointing ourselves or loved ones, or failing. Failure is rarely fatal, although I appreciate these book-ended quotes:

“Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.”
— Mike Ditka, former football coach
“Pretty much sums up the the difference between football and space exploration.”
— Susie Mauzy, former NASA employee

If you weren’t afraid, would you try singing in public, or exhibiting your art, or submitting a story to be published, or calling up an old friend you’d had a falling out with? If I weren’t afraid of ridicule/rejections, would I offer to sing at someone’s wedding, or knock on doors to promote a cause I care about, or (when I was single!), invite a man out for a coffee?


The shower is where I do my best singing. Source.

We can practice not being afraid by talking to ourselves in a calm, realistic way. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen, and how bad it that?” It’s usually a few moments of mild embarrassment, even if everything goes sideways. We can survive embarrassment by relying on an underpinning of courage and humor. And don’t forget to ask, “What if it goes really well, and I accomplish something amazing?” (My secret weapon question is: “How would Oprah approach this?”)

Getting dressed can be an adventure in overcoming anxiety, too. If you weren’t afraid of anything style-wise, what might you try?

Wearing your colorful maxi dress to the supermarket and feeling beautiful.

Here’s the gorgeous Vix, dressed to run some errands downtown.

Getting rid of some pieces that you’ve just never loved. They’re blocking the space in your closet for something you do love. You won’t miss them, promise.

Mixing two off-beat prints and walking around like you own the place.


A Blondie tee and African-print skirt, why not?

Adding funky floral boots to a feminine outfit.

Wearing mismatched earrings. I love this look. My pierced earring holes have closed up, but I plan to have them re-done this year.

I love this easy fashion tweak. Source

Letting a friend pick your outfit for the day. It helps us step outside our comfort zone, and see what others might appreciate about us.

Have no fear, stay fabulous, and have fun with your closet, xo,

Here’s some great pieces to browse:

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  1. Yay! That’s me!
    What a great post. I don’t let anything hold me back, sometimes I’m a bit too rash – like ordering a pair of the most incredible handmade wellies because i can’t stop thinking about them! xxx

  2. I have had my ears pierced since I was 13 (now 52) and barely has a day gone by without me wearing earrings – even if it is just simple studs. I really feel naked without any earrings. Maybe I will give the mismatched look a go – I do have some orphans in my drawer. Lise

  3. I have always loved the mix of something more fancy with something more casual. Funky boots with a dress/ a funky t-shirt with a skirt.
    Do you have any recommendations on where to find cool/funky t-shirts?

  4. I think that just asking ourselves about these questions make a difference. Fear becomes weaker and weaker when you can analize it!
    I’m not courageous nor brave, so I have to manage my fears all the time and it’s sometimes overwhelming. I try to negotiate one at a time!
    And I love your Blondie t.shirt, it looks fab with the african print skirt!

  5. I’m in the midst of facing some fears around the technical illustration work I do–a new client with a tremendously difficult project with a high possibility of failure. (Realize, the only client I’ve had for 18 years is my husband.) Can I do it? Will I meet the deadline? Will they be pleased? Will I fail utterly? The thrill of trying pushes me forward but I admit my heart is pounding with fear and doubt and I’ve lost some sleep about it.

    That thrill is such a seductive force, though. I never thought of myself this way but I must be a thrill-seeker. It’s what got me to start my blog, pushed me out of style invisibility, gets me excited about learning new skills, like sewing, makes me dream about the possibility of an amazing video production…. Once tasted, it’s hard not to keep seeking it out.

    It’s funny that you, Suzanne, and I have un-pierced ears. Mine closed up years ago too! I’m not eager to sign back up for earrings, even though they are a great accessory. My lack of desire is more out of laziness to add one more thing to my routine. But if it’s important to you and Suzanne, it sounds like a cool idea for you to redo them together as she suggested. Maybe during our next meetup? 🙂

    Hugs and Gratitude for your Posts Because They Always Connect with Real Life,

    • How exciting to be tackling a big project, Sherry. You’re having a mix of pride and enthusiasm, and anxiety, natch! I had to LOL at your remark about pierced ears – it has been a fun, lazy thing for me to do, to skip earrings. xoxo

  6. Excellent advice. My daughter sometimes asks to choose my outfits for me, and it’s always interesting and enlightening that she doesn’t even register things I consider defects but worries about other things I hadn’t thought of.

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