live without fear

Five Steps To Living A Fearless Life

There is no quick fix or magic pill to move yourself forward from a fearful life to a fearless life.  Fear is a powerful glue and you have been stuck for a long time.  Getting free will be no easy task.

I went from fearful to fearless the year I turned fifty.  As I look back at the process I can identify five steps I took:  Healing, Letting Go, Forgiving, Self-Determination and Opening Up.  I now live a fearless life.  I love without hesitation.  I have started two businesses.  I jump out of airplanes.  I put myself out for the whole world to see. Gone is the notion that I am not good enough.

Fear was the shadow that casts a doubt on all aspects of my life: Fear of loss, fear of being out of control, fear of pain and fear of ridicule. 

Heal In Spite Of Your Pain

Take your pain and turn it into purpose.  I took the pain of a heartbreaking end to my second marriage and turned it into a purpose – writing.  Through my writing I healed and I inspired others.

The pain of loss can stop us dead in our tracks.  Either we put a lock on our heart and refuse to love and live or we become bitter and controlling.  Both paths are fear based.  Turning your pain into purpose is one way to start the healing process.  Make it a call for action.  Make a difference – find a purpose. 

Letting Go

It was only after I let go of the bitterness and hate did I began to feel the freedom of living life.  There has been so much pain in my life – beginning with my abusive father.   By holding on to hate you will not heal.  If you do not heal you cannot let go of the past.  You anger blinds you to the joy and pleasure of the present moment.  

One technique I used to let go of the past was finding healthy activities to fill up my life.  One item in particular was running.  I found a beginners running program and slowly but surely made my way to running eight miles at a time!  With all those endorphins from running my mind didn’t want to stew and simmer in hatred and negativity.   In addition, I was busy focusing on something good, instead of the “bad” in my life.

As I learned to fill my mind with healthy and positive thoughts I actually had a serious aversion to anything negative and unhealthy. 


Forgive yourself first.  I was angry with myself for the damage I did to my body and my mind over the previous two years.    I righted the wrongs I had done to myself, by healing and letting go.  Once I forgave myself I was able to forgive those who had harmed me.

Forgiveness does not mean allowing others to hurt you again or even having that person in your life.  There are many definitions of forgiveness.  My favorite is from the author, Marianne Williamson.  She says forgiveness is forgetting the bad and remembering the good.

Once you begin the process of living a fearless life you will find the past wrongdoings of others no longer have a place in your daily life.  They are there, in the background, but they are quiet.  The behaviors of others have impacted you, but they do not define you.  If you cannot allow room for forgiveness you will never heal and the transgressions of others will forever become your identity. 

 Self-Determination- Life On Your Own Terms

When we are fearful we look to others to make our decisions.  What we do and how we live our lives is based on how we appear to others or what they make think.

Healing, letting go and forgiveness allows you to control your destiny.  You are in charge of your life and of your decisions.  You can be responsible for your own happiness.  No longer are you controlled by the past or your pain.

Opening Up

Healing, letting go, forgiving and living life on our own terms allows you to open up your life and your heart to all the joy and love you could possibly want.   This is when it becomes easier, for it becomes the only way you can live life.  I can no longer imagine being angry instead of happy.  I can no longer imagine being afraid instead of fearless.

 You have plenty of room for the good now and the pain of the past is no longer an issue.   

Going through this process has made me stronger.  I look out over the landscape and no longer see pain and darkness.   I have become confident in my life knowing I can take what life throws at me, keeping what is good for me.

Be patient and love yourself through these times.  You will succeed!

Shelly is a personal development strategist and founder of The Rescue Yourself Project helping women over 40 step into their unique selves so they can create a life they love!  A few years ago, she found herself living a life that wasn’t of her making. Deciding that wasn’t what she wanted she ran away from home and spent eight months “re-branding” herself. Today Shelly helps women find their unique selves by becoming experts about their values, strengths, passions, goals and purpose so they can design a life they love.  

30 Responses to Five Steps To Living A Fearless Life

  1. Pingback: Five Steps To Living A Fearless Life - Break Tribune

  2. Dan Erickson says:

    This article is spot on. I turn fifty next Friday. For me, becoming fearless has been a process I’ve been going through for 25 years. Your points, healing in spite of your pain, letting go, forgiveness, and opening up are so true.

    I was the victim of a cult as a kid. I’ve been on a long journey of healing, forgiving and letting go. I started opening up a few years ago. I did it with writing. I wrote a book, “A Train Called Forgiveness,” about my own healing and forgiveness journey.

    It occurred to me that others could benefit from my story and process. So I started a blog: is a site about writing and writing as a form of therapy.

  3. Aaron Morton says:

    Hi Shelly,

    Thank you for your article and I would like to ask you, Can you see value in fear?


  4. Dan, that is fascinating!!!! I stopped by your blog and will most certainly take a peek at your books. You bday is just two days a head of mine. I hope turning 50 is as much fun for you as it was for me!

  5. Hi Aaron, you are welcome and yes I can see value in fear.

  6. Dan Erickson says:

    I’ve got to decide what I’m going to do on my b-day. I’ll have my eight-year old daughter with me, so it has to be kid friendly. I looked at your website and see that you and I have some things in common. It’s good to meet you, Shelly. And have a happy b-day, too.

  7. growthguided says:

    Thank you for a great post!
    I think one way to look at fear differently for the day is to make a “What If I die Tomorrow” list! Start writing down things that you would regret not doing if you died tomorrow! Helps to segregate what is really important !

    Check out the post I wrote yesterday about being happy with who you are!

  8. MaXiM says:

    Dan – thank you for all the time you put in sharing your experience. I know, sometimes is

  9. MaXiM says:

    Shelly, THANK YOU. The people working at this website are creating a virtual, but very much alive healing area for people sometimes tired of everyday pressure. Since I started reading your posts and added you on my facebook page, I realised how many things I have to change. And the first thing I did – I eliminate the shades of grey in my life and replaced them with colours. And yes, this is literally and not – I’m trying to let myself heal, forgive myself, allow me a space where I can be wrong and make mistakes. I guess in this days of Excell-driven statistics – we forget how precious, short and important a day is.

  10. Dan Erickson says:

    Thanks, MaXiM, but it’s my pleasure. I feel sharing my story is a natural part of living life and it’s something I was born to do.

  11. Shelly, I find so much value in your article – including the first sentence: “There is no quick fix or magic pill to move yourself forward from a fearful life to a fearless life.”

    The people I work with – widows – struggle with fear a lot. Your suggestion: “Take your pain and turn it into purpose.” is so meaningful in that context. The challenge is that especially when the pain is very fresh and raw (which it can be for a very long time), there is no sense of purpose at all. But that doesn’t have to prevent you from turning your pain into purpose. Perhaps this will help:

    I’m so impressed by the extent of the changes you have created in your life, Shelly – you’re an inspiration. Thank you!

  12. Arnaud says:

    In what sense ?

  13. Well first fear is good in truly dangerous situations. Secondly, fear can lead to change. For me the fear of forever being in the bad place I was physically and emotionally was a huge catalyst for my change.

  14. Hi Halina,

    I always like like it when you come by! :) I want people to understand that just reading about changing an aspect of their lives will not do much for them. It seems we expect a quick fix to everything. I realized that I had to actually work and work hard at making my life what I wanted. So now just about everything I write has the disclaimer that it won’t be easy or quick!

    I am glad you see me as an inspiration. I am told that a lot and have never really seen myself that way. I am just this gal that made a change. So, now I am in the process of figuring out how to help others, especially woman my age.

    I will take a look at the article you linked.


  15. Hey Shelly,

    Isn’t that how things often are from our own perspective?… What you master, or what is natural for you, or the way you are just this gal who just made that change… is very special and an inspiration for others. I’m glad your special inspiration is finding its way into the lives of others!

    All the best!

  16. You are welcome MaXim. Life is short and we do forget that. I am happy you find benefit in my writing. Be good to yourself, that is where the healing and forgiveness begins!

  17. David Goettsch says:

    Turning Pain into purpose, I love it! I tell people all the time, everything that happens is just energy, what you do with it is really what matters, and what will determine the outcome of your life. Great article, thanks for sharing!

    Dave (Personal Growth Project)

  18. Thanks Dave. I didn’t realize what I was doing until after I did it! I guess sometimes the best things are just haphazardly put together.

  19. Pingback: Five Steps To Living A Fearless Life - Breaking TribuneBreaking Tribune

  20. Uday says:

    Though I follow the Principle points you have mentioned here. I quite sometime go back to the past memories unknowingly. Of late I am not able to convince myself that I have forgiven someone in my life who betrayed me to the most! I keep tellin my self that I have forgiven but yet again I find myself being Angry on the same person.

    Tell me what I should do… How can I guarantee myself about this

  21. Gary says:

    Right said, its time to live for yourself. Past is gone and we don’t know what future holds for us, so why not enjoy our present that is a real gift. Our past teaches us quite a few things, so learn from your past and live your present. is one such program that will help you make your like beautiful and worth living!

  22. Kizi 10 says:

    Hum. What you put out is very interesting, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 steps really can be effective for your life choices as given article.

  23. You have to be genuine. Be honest to yourself. Forgiveness is not like a snap. There is a process and somehow may take time. Do not be a slave of your angry but let your angry be the slave. Hence, you have the authority to command yourself to have that person who betrayed you be forgiven. As this articles says: “You can be responsible for your own happiness. ” Be happy and love yourself!

    Hope it make sense.


  24. This article touched my heart and goes through my soul. I’ve been in a situation before where I almost lost my purpose. Thank you for posting this as it reminds me how luck i am that I had overcome it.

    Stay in light!



  25. chans1239 says:

    Hi Claude, I agree with what you have said, I am in control of my anger always, but I sometimes go through the past emotions and memories and that is exactly when I allow subconscious to take control of it. I keep telling this to my self that If only I get one more chance to confront the person and that is where i set stuck almost all the time…

    To go ahead in life you have release the unpleasant past memories I do know but I just keep wishing that I get one more chance…

  26. yepi 10 says:

    Five Steps To Living A Fearless Life!
    one share interesting! thank

  27. yepi says:

    wow! animals picture

  28. Pingback: Lessons Learned From Injuries | That Gal Who Runs

  29. Waled Awdi says:

    Transform the anger into something useful for yourself. (convert it) how he did with writing. if you keep tellin yourself that you forgive that doesnt mean its true…”broken cassette”. Be true to yourself and let your heart open for good. practice gratitude and good times will come.

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