Does fear keep you from pursuing your dreams?

If you or loved ones were affected by Superstorm Sandy last week, my heart goes out to you.

We narrowly escaped her here on Martha’s Vineyard with only a minor inconvenience of no power for several hours.  Seeing the damage to our beaches, dunes and trees was terrible enough.

Superstorm Sandy flattened the dunes and transformed the once smooth and wide Lucy Vincent Beach on Martha’s Vineyard into a bed of rocks and stones.

So I can’t imagine the devastation and toll on so many on the East Coast.  Please let us know if you are suffering in any way because of the storm.

Last week we were preparing for the storm and I had just returned from the Women on Fire Retreat in Chicago. I promised to share from our Women on Fire weekend for those of you who weren’t able to attend.

In thinking about it this past week, something important stood out from the Retreat.  For me, it was the courage and strength that women coming together in an atmosphere of love, acceptance and encouragement provided for each other.

And, that is one of the best reasons to attend a Women on Fire event.  You’ve heard me say many times “a rising tide lifts all boats” and never was that truer than at the Retreat when so many women found the support to move toward their dreams.

Many of you spoke — both publicly at the Retreat and to me privately — about your fear to step up and step out to pursue your dreams.

It’s time. The world needs what you have to offer.

Woman on Fire Ellen Wingard bravely spoke to us during the Retreat with such eloquence.  For years, she has led from behind, she said. And now it is her time to lead from the front!  She has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Listening to the inspiring Ellen Wingard speak at the Women on Fire Retreat (Photo by Rob Berkley)

How is it for you?  What stops you from standing up tall and taking the lead to go after and share your dreams with the world?

Fear? Not knowing exactly what to do?

The latter is easy:  please ask for help.  And, if that’s hard for you, start to practice in small ways to ask for help.

If it is fear that stops you, you need support.  You need “your people,” those who believe in you, eagerly cheer you on and keep you on track, to see you through to your dreams.

And, you need double or triple the support you think you might need, so you have a surplus when the going gets tough!

When I started Women on Fire nine years ago, I was terrified.  What if I fail? What if no one’s interested? What if I’m a terrible leader?

But I knew in my soul that there needed to be a community where women could find inspiration, strategies and support for their dreams — and there was no other community that I knew of that provided what I dreamed of.

Many angels — both men and women — have whispered to me through the year to  “keep going.”  And, I needed every single soul who provided comforting words and support.

Out of ignorance, there will always be people who don’t get our dreams, don’t get our business model, don’t believe what we have to offer is worthy of pursuit.

Nanna nanna boo boo to them.

If you believe your family, your community, your world will benefit from your dream, do not let anyone or anything stop you.  Most of all, don’t YOU stop your dream.

Fear, as you may have heard, is False Evidence Appearing Real.  Next week we’ll discuss some strategies for conquering our fears.

For now, your job is to figure out all the reasons you are not living full out and pursuing your dream.  And, hint?  Money is not one of them.

I was reminded just yesterday of how little money has to do with pursuit of our dreams.  I’m reading Bruce Springsteen’s new biography Bruce (Amazon link) by Peter Ames Carlin.

America’s most famous rock ‘n’ roll star was so poor while pursuing his dream to share his music that when he finally got a record contract, he had to read it by candlelight because his electricity had been shut off.

Safe to say his world unfolded beyond his wildest dreams … and lack of money never stopped him.

See you here next week and feel free to send me your list of what stops you from pursuing your dreams!