What Would You Do if you Weren’t Afraid?

Rachelle Gardner

Blogger: Rachelle Gardner

Lately I’ve been thinking about this question:

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

It’s a good question, meant to inspire us to dream beyond our boundaries, to “think big,” to pursue our goals. But I think we tend to hear it and then brush it off, not really spending time with it.

Maybe we think we’re not afraid of much. Or the opposite — thinking about our fears overwhelms us. Maybe we don’t have time for such silly exercises.

I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the point of the question. And I found myself getting defensive, if only in my mind. I’m doing the best I can. Why must I feel bad for not doing MORE?

But then I decided to honestly consider the question.

What would I do if I weren’t afraid?


  • Maybe I would take a week at a spa all by myself…if I weren’t afraid of upsetting my family and falling behind on client work.
  • Maybe I would write my memoir… if I weren’t afraid of how much work it would be and the time it would take.
  • Maybe I would stop all social media—no blogging, Twitter, Facebook, anything… if I weren’t afraid of the results of being invisible.
  • Maybe I would speak up about politics on Facebook… if I weren’t afraid of the fallout.

By going through this process, I realized something important:

The point of the question is to discover our hidden goals, dreams and desires—the truths that are down so deep, we might not even realize they are there.

And in this discovery, we might figure out how to begin pursuing those desires in a way that circumvents the fears.

I doubt I’ll take a spa week by myself. But simply allowing that desire to surface showed me that perhaps I am weary and have a deep need for rest. Is there a way I can find rest in a non-scary way?

Every time we answer the question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” we come into contact with important information about ourselves. We can look beneath our answers to find our deepest truths. We can also confront our fears, and assess whether they are worth heeding, or if we should charge ahead right through the fear.

  • If you weren’t afraid of rejection, would you be sending out more queries to agents?
  • If you weren’t afraid of being vulnerable, would you write your books more truthfully?
  • If you weren’t afraid of technological challenges, would you have self-published that book already?

Tell us:

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

And what can you learn about yourself by answering the question?

Image copyright: epicstockmedia / 123RF Stock Photo

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