I spent most of my life agonizing over the smallest decisions.

Was I making the right choice, what should I do, what if I fail, what if I succeed, what if, what if…? As if my entire life would crumble to dust if I made a mistake. I was so afraid of making the wrong decision I didn’t allow myself the experience of trying. In fact, I was so afraid to fail that I stopped taking risks. I didn’t follow my heart or try new things out of fear of judgment…and I lived that way for years. Then, it hit me….the only way to find out if you can fly is to jump.

Some of the biggest blessings in my life have come out of the scariest decisions.

My son, my career, following my passion to write and moving to California on an amazing spiritual journey all came from closing my eyes, having faith and taking the leap.

When I really got with the fact that I only get this life once, and I can do ANYTHING I want with it, my life started to change, because my outlook on life started to change!

Ever heard the saying, some people tip-toe through life just to safely arrive at death? That’s not the life I want to live. I want to love, try, succeed, fail and try again. I want wisdom and passion. I want sadness and fear. I want to experience anything and everything that comes from truly living. I don’t want to live in fear of people and the world…tucked away in a little corner safely protecting myself from being hurt. Pain will come and go…the experience will stay forever. We have the choice to turn any pain into a positive experience instead of allowing it to define us. That’s how I choose to see risk today.

I don’t make excuses for my own complacency today; and I don’t blame others.

I used to think I didn’t get to do things growing up because we were poor; it was my mom’s fault! I never learned to ski or take photography classes because my husband thought it was a waste of money. He was just too practical!

The truth is I made the decision to accept this thinking. I made these agreements with myself and gave control of my life to others. My life has always been mine to live; it was just easier to live in fear of trying than to step out of my comfort zone and risk ridicule or failure. Honestly, I think I lived in fear so long I believed the lies I told myself, and most of my life I didn’t put in the effort to get what I wanted. I cared more about what others thought of me than what I thought of myself.

I didn’t fully understand what faith was until I up and moved two states away.

I never really put much thought into my life or the decisions I made before I moved to California. I was just going through the motions and not really being present enough to feel. Although I would overthink everything, I never thought about how ignoring my needs would determine my happiness.  Maybe it was a defense mechanism…? All I know is it wasn’t until I started looking at the worst case scenario that it started to get easier to take risks. That might sound crazy, but when I think “what’s the worst that can happen?” it’s usually not that scary. The worst case scenario is always something I could bounce back from.

I often ask myself what I’ll think when I look back on this decision at 80 years old. Will I have regrets? Maybe I lose some financial freedom, have to make a geographical move or endure a little bit of instability for a while. Life is about living and feeling and I would rather go through another rebirth than never truly live. Really, the biggest hit would be to my ego and, I can tell you from experience, humble pie doesn’t taste THAT bad. It’s actually refreshing at times.

It’s not always about making the right decision. Sometimes it’s about just making a decision and trusting the outcome.

It’s about trusting that things will work out exactly how they should, even if it’s not how I wanted them to work out. I don’t have to worry about how I’ll look, or what people will think of me anymore. I don’t life my life out of fear of judgment (most of the time). Even if the end result isn’t what I wanted, I can use that experience to try again. Or, maybe I realize I didn’t really know what I wanted. Some of my past failures have been the best things to ever happen to me.

When people judge us, it’s usually because we’re doing something they’re afraid to do.

I try to remind myself that maybe doing what feels right to me will inspire someone else to follow their heart. I have people in my life today that support me in everything I do, but that’s not the case for everyone. Let’s stop telling each other we’ll never make it. Instead, let’s lead by example and inspire each other to be our best selves. Let’s inspire each other to reach for our dreams and support each other in the journey to success or failure. That way when we jump, we can trust that there will always be a soft landing if it’s not our time to fly.