One thing that holds people back from living a life they want to live or pursuing a dream is the fear of failure.

If I were to ask you. Do you truly love your current job? Or ask. Are you living life on your terms? Or Do you have the freedom to do what you want when you want? I would anticipate the answer of the vast majority would be a BIG NO.

If you totally love your job, your lifestyle and you do have that freedom to do what you want when you want, congratulations you are in a rare group of about 5% of people.

Would you rather be at school attending your child’s sports day? Or be at your job?

I think you get the idea about what I mean by living on your own terms.

Without meaning to be morbid, palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware wrote a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Before looking at the next line what do you think the number 1 regret of the dying is?

The answer:
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Does this come back to fear?

Frightened employee hiding under the desk






  • The fear of success
  • Fear of, “what are people going to think?”
  • The fear of failure
  • The fear of going against what society teachers us. Go to school, get a job, work for 50 years and then retire

And then do you convince yourself by saying, “I don’t have time to cultivate the life I truly desire.”

If you had a choice between:
1. Working for someone and being told what to do
2. Living on your terms and doing what you want and when you want

What would you choose?

If you have a goal, if you want to chase a dream, if you want to live on your terms I would like to share a different angle on overcoming fear.

The issue is not that successful people (in this case I am defining success as living a life true to themselves) are smarter than anyone else, the real issue is that they have a strong WHY. A strong WHY they want to create a lifestyle they want to live. They set goals, they set time lines on when they are going to achieve their goals and they plan out daily actions on what they will do to reach their goals.

By the way my WHY for creating Growing With Gratitude is to create the next generation of grateful, happy and flourishing children. With the aim of preventing/reducing childhood mental health issues.

People creating a lifestyle on their terms understand if they do fail, it could always be worse. Failing in achieving your dreams isn’t going to kill you. That is why they have the courage to work towards cultivating a life that is true to them. This is a perfect segue into how gratitude fits in with over coming fear.

What does gratitude have to do with overcoming fear?

A lot!

Successful people share this mindset. “Well if I fail, I still have lots to be grateful for. I still have my loved ones; I still have water to drink; I have still have food to nourish me.”

More often than not you will succeed if you go in with this kind of attitude.

The reason why I am sharing this is because I can relate to it. I took a risk in producing Growing With Gratitude. My fear was. “What if people don’t like it? What if no schools register?

Something went off in my mind that said. “Well, what’s the worst thing that can happen? I still have family who loves me, which I am grateful for, I still will have a roof over my head,  I still can read and write, all these things I am grateful for.”

Another thing that bothered me was. “What if I don’t create Growing With Gratitude?” “Kids across the globe may miss out on learning such positive habits.” It also occurred to me that if I didn’t create it, it would be selfish of me, as it’s a powerful program for schools, teachers, parents and most importantly the students/children.


Great. You are fired up to live a life on your terms, that is true to yourself.

So how do you start? How do you find a vehicle that will enable you to live on your terms?

This would need to be covered in an entirely different post. However, I’ll share a few examples.

I recently heard of a woman in her 50’s who loved to dance and travel. What she did was she created a Salsa Dance tour to South America. She combined two things she loved to do and shared with people who also shared her love. The result? A lifestyle she loves.

One more example is Leah & Naz who created a community called RYPL. Naz is a former police officer and Leah is from the corporate world and both loving Mother’s.

This text is directly from their ABOUT page on their website:
“It is not your fault.  You have been unknowingly caught in a system that keeps you trapped. Keeps you small. Keeps you paralysed and imprisoned. We know. We have been there. We did all the ‘right’ things that ‘they’ said would make us happy. We both conscientiously followed the traditional path.  Being good daughters, achieving at school and then university, getting the well paying jobs, the husbands, the children, the mortgages for the houses with white picket fences.  You know the deal!

And then it hit us! Like a tonne of bricks.  None of this ‘stuff’ brought us happiness, fulfillment or the aliveness that we truly were seeking.

The reality of a life unlived hit us both around the same time.  We looked into the eyes of our innocent children when they were around six months old and we realised there was something really, really wrong with this scenario.  There was something missing in the equation.  Something deep.  Something BIG.

This was supposed to be the happiest time of our lives.  We had made it to the pinnacle, hadn’t we? We had done it!  Checked off everything on the to-do list for a perfect life. But happiness was not what we had.  There was a deep sense of loss and confusion.

“I woke up each morning feeling like I was dead inside” – Naz

How could this be?  You followed the rules.  You did what others had told you to do…

It took us a wondrous glance into our little peoples innocent eyes to snap us out of the lie. It doesn’t have to be that way for you. You see, we had been slowly dying for years yet couldn’t find the courage to do what needed to be done to really live the life we were meant to. The first step was simply choosing.  Choosing for yourself that this is NOT the way you want to live your life.  That there is a better way.  Choosing that you have so much more to give.  Choosing to do whatever it takes.”

 The best part is it is never too late to go about creating a life that is truly meaningful to you. I can tell you something that works and I learnt this through a book every teenager and adult on the planet should read. It’s called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. The book talks about daily action leading to success over time. It took me 18 months to fully establish Growing With Gratitude. I did this while working full-time. We tested it, we changed it, we did a lot to get it to a truly life changing state. Not once did I feel exhausted or overwhelmed. Why?

From the day I started 2 years ago to this day, I have never had a day off working on Growing With Gratitude. Some days I only worked for 5 – 10 minutes, but it was daily action. And overtime it all adds up. It works in the exact same way as compound interest.

But I Don’t Have Time

A tip: wake up earlier. Put 30 – 60 minutes of work in before others get up. At work, in a lunch break do 10 – 15 minutes. Before bed do 30 minutes and if you get more time, great.

You don’t have to and the chances are you won’t cultivate a life true to yourself in 3 weeks, but overtime, in 1, 2, 3 years you will. Just don’t give up.

The reward? Living a life on your terms.

SIDE NOTE: I have recently discovered a vehicle besides Growing With Gratitude that is allowing me to create a lifestyle true to me and is allowing me to achieve my WHY’s in life. Feel free to email me if you would like to find out more [email protected]

It won’t happen over night but it will happen with a strong enough WHY. WHY meaning why you want to create a lifestyle that is true to you?

At the end of the day, be grateful for having all the essentials such as water, food, shelter and people who love you and go out there and achieve a life that you want, not what other people expect.

Ask yourself.
What is the worst thing that can happen?
More importantly ask yourself.
What is the best thing that can happen?

I believe it is important to model this belief to your children / students. Encourage them and show them you can live a life by doing what you truly love through being grateful for the things we often take for granted.

I would love to start a conversation on this topic. Please leave a comment below. I would love to help people get started and help in anyway possible.

If you know someone who would benefit from this article feel free to share… click to share.

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Growing With Gratitude Blog
Twitter: @grow_gratitude
Email: [email protected]

PS: If You Want To Teach Your Children/Students Habits Of Happiness In A Fun And Engaging Way  – CLICK HERE

PPS: We currently have schools, teachers and families from 43 countries join the Growing With Gratitude community. Our quest is 50 by the end of 2015.

PPPS: Book your free 30 minute consultation. We’ll talk about your classroom or home, your questions, the program itself, and the best way to implement it in your specific circumstances.