Feel the fear, do it anyway

Feel the fear and do it anyways.

That was the cheesy saying on my car air freshener that I just bought from a lovely shop in Peachland: Feel the fear and do it anyways.

I loved it.

I was drawn to this elaborately decorated, highly scented piece of cardboard on a bouncy string. I have learned not to question my gut feelings too much – so I bought it and hung it up immediately.

Little did I know that within 24 hours I would be repeating that saying in my mind to get me through a nerve-wracking situation.

I recently joined the Okanagan Swim Masters Club. I’ve been swimming twice a week for about two months. Naturally, I considered myself ready to participate in the Across the Lake Swim — Rattlesnake Island. It’s a seven-kilometre journey from Peachland around Rattlesnake Island and back again.

You know that feeling of nervousness before a big event; you feel jumpy, distracted and tense. I was all those things before the start whistle sounded.

I had never swum in an open-water event.

I bought my wetsuit the week before from my friends at Fresh Air Experience along with a shiny new Swim Buddy (floatation device), unwrapped the evening before the big swim.

I was nervous, but mindset is everything. As Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

I always try to take the mindset of ‘I Can.’

I was about to experience a true test of that belief.

The whistle blew and off we all went. Thirty swimmers, each with a support paddler, so there were also 30 kayakers. All I could see around me was feet and hands and paddles… It took my breath away. Literally. I couldn’t breath.

Fewer than 100 metres into a 7,000-metre swim and I was going to call it off. My arms and legs felt like jelly, my heart was racing, and I couldn’t put my face in the water to do a proper stroke because I couldn’t catch my breath.

Swimmers anxiety is something I had heard about but never experienced. I thought I was mentally tough enough to be past that, but I wasn’t.

I was terrified.

As I was looking for my husband in a kayak to come pull me out of the water, the image of my car freshener flashed in my mind.

Feel the fear and do it anyways

Feel the fear and do it anyways….

I said it a few times to myself and tried to calm down.

I told myself to just go one kilometre.

I managed to find a rhythm of breathing after every stroke (the correct way is three strokes or more per breath). After I guessed a kilometre had passed, I repeated the phrase and I kept going.

The swimmers and boats had spread out, so the claustrophobic feelings were gone.

I kept going.

By the time I reached Rattlesnake Island, the fear had completely passed. I was back to proper strokes and made it back to Peachland in two hours and 39 minuets.

Feel the fear and do it anyways.

That phrase got me through the event.

At first, I was critical of myself for feeling afraid — It’s just swimming in a lake. What is so hard about that?

But everyone experiences fear and anxiety in different ways and at different times. There is nothing wrong with that – the only thing that matters is pushing on despite the fear.

Growth happens when push ourselves past our boundaries. Don’t limit yourself by giving in to the fear – and don’t judge others who are dealing with that fear.

Keep going, keep pushing yourself to new heights.

Feel the fear and do it anyways.   

Manifest your future

If someone told you you could influence your future through manifestation, would you do it?

Surprisingly, most people wouldn’t.

It is seen as a hocus-pocus process and often misunderstood as meaning you don’t have to take action steps —  just sit and envision what you want.

Manifestation is an action step and it isn’t mystical, as it is often made out to be.

Manifesting events or your future is simply aligning your thoughts with what you want so all your conscious and sub-conscious energy is working to get you there.

Why do people manifest?

Because it works.

I’ll explain the ‘How’ in a moment, but first I invite you to focus on the ‘Why.’

The process works because it forces you to be specific about what you want or don’t want.

Most of us (myself included) wander along a path of distractions. We fill our spare time with objects, technology or satisfying other people’s needs without ever looking inward to what makes us fulfilled.

Manifesting will force you to slow down and think about your needs as well, which often allows you to give even more to those you love.

As the saying goes: You can’t pour from an empty cup.

It will take time to narrow down what fulfils you. Many people start with what they don’t want; that is often easier than understanding what you do; That brings us to the ‘How.’

Manifesting can be done with various methods. This list starts with a basic technique and progresses.
I encourage you to work through them all slowly and with patience. 

Start with what you don’t want

This is where I started, and it was very enlightening because everything you don’t want will have an opposite, but you must be specific.

For example: “I don’t want to be in my current place of employment” … break that down to be more specific …

  • Is it that you don’t feel a sense of purpose?
  • Is it that you feel under paid or under valued?
  • Is it the environment?

Maybe it is more than one, so make a list and then state the opposite.

Lack of purpose = What would give you purpose.

Turn your list of wants into reminders

Now that you have your list of ‘wants,’ make yourself reminders and place them throughout your daily life.

This is a very personal process, so be as discreet as you need.

  • Chimes on your phone,
  • Notes in your lunch, your locker, on your screen saver

Do whatever it takes to keep your thoughts focused on your next path. This is going to make you hypersensitive to opportunities.

Our distracted lives often make us miss signs. If you are focusing your energy to align with your thoughts, opportunities will show themselves.

They may have always been there, but through the manifestation process, you will start to notice them.

Having a list of ‘wants’ will also serve as a guide for actions. Each ‘want’ will have associated activities to stop or start.

An example: if you determined community involvement would give you a sense of purpose, you might stop spending your Saturday mornings watching TV and start volunteering at a local not for profit, which will increase opportunities to pursue that life path.

Meditate on it

Meditation takes a lot of patience and practice. However, if you are at this stage, there's a great guided meditation for manifestation by Dr. Joe Dispenza on Apple Tunes called Morning Meditation.

It is 23:53 minutes long. I do this meditation two of three times a week. If you enjoy it, I also highly recommend his books.

That leaves us with the ‘what.’ What can happen through manifestation?

Your world will get rocked. You will be faced with tough choices as the opportunities you manifested are presented to you. You might feel overwhelmed.

Know that you are strong enough to handle it. You willed it and opened yourself to the possibilities.

All you must do is say ‘Yes,’ have gratitude and follow your heart.

Happy manifesting! 

Lessons from the World Cup

Taking a chance when the odds are against you 

Sometimes the odds are against you. Sometimes the likely outcome of failure is enough that most people wouldn’t even try or take the chance…

That is not true of successful people.

Successful people take that chance. No matter how small the glimmer of winning is, they play the odds and go for it.

This was evident in the final match of the World Cup of soccer. The match up of France and Croatia was exciting and full of shocking moments. It left me drawing comparisons to the approach of the Croatian team and people who are successful in life.

I’m not a soccer fan. I admire the athletes, but I never watch soccer until the World Cup comes on. In fact, if I’m being truly honest (apologizes to soccer lovers reading this), I don’t even watch the World Cup until the final game.

Nothing about that changed this year. I got the highlights of who was winning from the news and friends but only tuned in for the final.

It was a great match to watch. Although France was the predicted winner, Croatia held their own for the first part of the game.

After the half, France came out with an abundance of energy and took a 4-1 lead. I thought that was it for the small country of beach lovers however, there was a final goal from a Croatian player that was brilliant display of how persistence can win.

The ball was kicked to the France goalie with no players around. The goalie, Lloris, took the ball into his control and looked for someone to kick or throw it to. All he had to do was pick it up.

A Croatia player came running at full sprint toward the goalie. Considering the average soccer player runs the equivalent of a marathon each game, one would think they would use moments like this to catch their breath. There was almost no point to running at the goalie when he obviously had full control of the ball.


Successful people will view an “almost no point in doing…” in the same light others view “Sure chance of win if you…”

They go for it.

The Croatian player, Mario Mandzukic, saw the possibility of that moment. He sprinted toward the goalie. Lloris was not expecting anyone to do so – he was calmly looking around when Mandzukic kicked the ball from under his nose and right into the net.

The moment was both exhilarating and shocking.

How many opportunities are missed in life because we don’t think we can succeed?

I’m positive that was not the only time a soccer player made that move against the odds and ended with the goalie simply picking up the ball. A pointless exercise that wasted valuable breath and energy – and yet the player persisted, knowing that one day, the goalie wouldn’t pick it up.

Are there opportunities every day for you to take a chance?

  • Maybe it’s suggesting a new approach for a problem to your leader at work 
  • Maybe it’s saying yes to the adventure you’ve been nervous about it
  • Maybe it’s as simple as trying a new hobby with your family.

It may not work out.

It may be a terrible experience.

Your family may not want to…

But what if they do? What if your leader is forever thankful for your suggestion and that event changes the course of your career?

What if the trip is the best experience you’ve ever had?

Taking a chance when the odds are against you could lead to the greatest moment of your life or a small fail that you’ll get over quickly.

Don’t let the possibility of the goalie picking up the ball stop you from the possibility of a huge success.

If you keep trying, one day you’ll kick the ball right into the net.   


Little tubes of death

They are around us every day – perhaps even in front of you at this moment. Little tubes of death that are seemingly innocent and yet cause mass devastation. 


Have you thought about straws? The unnecessary little plastic tubes that come in our drinks. Most of us take them right out and leave them on the table to be gathered and thrown out. 

There are some people who require them. There are some drinks that require them. However, for the most part, they are redundant (your lips were meant to do the job, right?). 

Straws are little, but think of every drink that comes with a straw in one day in one restaurant. Then compound that over 365 days. Times all the restaurants in our city. Over all cities in B.C… 

In the U.S,. 500 million straws are used each day. That is enough straws to fill 127 school buses every single day.

It’s estimated that three per cent of the trash covering Vancouver’s coastline is plastic straws and plastic stir sticks.

These little tubes of death end up in our oceans on our coastlines. Because of their size, animals mistake them for food. The straw that graced your drink a year ago could be the reason a turtle dies tomorrow. Or a bird. A dog running along the beach to fetch a ball and sees the colourful plastic straw in the surf. 

The truth is ugly, but there is a way for you to make a difference. 

In the spring, Vancouver became the first major city in Canada to fight straws. They introduced a “Single-use item reduction strategy” that restricts food vendors from automatically providing patrons with straws. 

Vancouver is also looking at ways to reduce usage of plastic cups, bags and other single-use items.

There has been some dialogue in the Okanagan about reducing straw usage, but you don’t need a city council report to start doing your part today. 

  • Tell your server you don’t need a straw. 
  • Servers ask your patrons if they need one. 
  • Restaurant owners put a label in your menu asking customers to let their server know if they require a straw. 

This is a challenge dropped to every Okanagan citizen to do their part: 

The fourth Friday in February is National Skip the Straw Day. Let’s start today so that by February, there are no straws to skip.

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About the Author

Like most people, Christy has taken many paths. On the officially documented life list, she is a certified yoga teacher, an advanced open water diver, a financial adviser, a Harley rider and owner, an author, a community advocate.

She has been trained in coaching, negotiations and communication studies. She competed at a provincial level in competitive swimming and now has a passion for overall fitness.

On the un-documented list, Christy’s diverse experience is both positive and full of pot holes. She is the founder and CEO of a start-up company that never made it past the start-up phase. She has enough tattoos to classify as a walking adult colouring book. 

She has gone through all the identity phases at different times in her life: hippie, gothic, classy professional, biker... and is now a unique blend of them all. She a spiritual junkie and is addicted to adrenalin, learning and travel.

The bottom line: She is full of love and lessons with a hope that those who read this and connect with her will benefit from what she learned and be inspired to reach for the limitless possibilities of life.

Connect with her at:[email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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