I recently watched this TEDx Talk by Caroline McHugh that got me thinking. She had a lot to say on being yourself but the one question that struck me was a provocative one: “If you were the woman of your dreams, who would you be?”

Then the obvious follow-up question you have to ask after answering the first is, “What’s keeping me from being that person?”


If you were the woman of your dreams, who would you be?

They’re great questions but it’s not like they’re particularly new. I don’t know about you, but I often ask myself questions like these. Maybe it was her lilting Scottish accent or it could just be the calm confidence she emanated, but there’s something about this talk that had me feeling deeply pensive.

Sometimes we just need to be in the right frame of mind to really hear things.

What’s keeping you from being that person?

So what’s your answer? For me, it doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s fear. Fear of:

  • Failure
  • Making a bad choice
  • Of what others think of me
  • Being rejected
  • Being vulnerable
  • Looking stupid

But you know what? I also have a fear of stagnation and of being useless– perhaps my greatest fear. That’s the fear that pushes me forward despite the ball in my chest and my shaking limbs. That’s my Why. I always want to be growing and making the world better as a result.

So these are two contradicting fears. The fear in my lizard brain basically ensures my greatest fear is a reality. So what’s an “evolved” girl to do?


Our lizard brains make sure our greatest fears become our reality.

Well, in my opinion, it’s to pull your shoulders back, put on a kick-ass playlist, and take consistent, daily steps in the direction of your dreams because action is the key to punching fear in the face. Action is the key to courage.


Action is the key to courage.

What about you? Is your lizard brain ensuring your failure to reach your dreams? Is fear stopping you from being your badass self? What are you going to do about it?

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