smaller plant grows through fear and vulnerability, protected by the larger leaves that surround it

How To Move Forward When You Are Scared Out of Your Mind

Sometimes, We’re Scared and Fearful

Humans are funny creatures, aren’t we? We often wonder how to move forward when scared. It’s a valid and comical concern simultaneously. 

We often spend a lot of time focusing on how to evolve and grow, how to make an impact and truly transform our lives; we take courses, we read self help books, we listen to podcasts. But most of the time, we focus on the theory and don’t actually integrate the changes!

It’s often a matter of what we say VS what we do

Cognitive Dissonance: “the state of having thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes that are inconsistent to your actions or behavioral attitudes.”


Generally… fear. Fear forms the basis of most human woes! It’s the reason you hold yourself back from doing something you’ve always wanted to tick off the bucket list or move to another country or start a business doing something you love

Even when not really consciously aware of it, the human species is generally functioning under a low-level fear for survival. 

There’s a school of thought that early humans were much more abundant and balanced than modern humans, despite their existence seeming much more primitive. 

For example, they would spend a few days a month hunting and preparing food, then spend the rest of the month in contemplation and rest, simply observing, enjoying and connecting with nature. Which sounds to me, like heaven! 

Disconnection Can Create Fear; Scared Feelings Can Abound

Now, there is such a disconnect from nature, from the knowledge that we can gain from nature and the mutually beneficial relationship nature shows us how to create. We live in fear that if our modern ability to buy the basic needs of life suddenly disappeared, we might not be able to survive.  

The good news, though, is that when facing something scary, there are simple ways to move through the fear. It often takes resilience and learning how to utilize the resources available. 

It’s a matter of switching mindset with some clever tools. 

You could find a support network. Nature offers lots of ways to get back in touch with that part of yourself that finds what it needs to feel safe. Simply by integrating small actions of connection into your day, like resting a hand on a tree or standing barefoot in the grass for a few moments, you can begin to integrate back that sense of personal trust and confidence our ancient ancestors had. 

There are many things that evoke fear:

  • Embarrassment or judgement
  • Not knowing what to expect
  • Lack of control
  • Sudden change
  • Failure

When it comes to mitigating fear and moving forward, plants have an incredible balance between a firm, safe base and a flexible attitude to adapt to whatever circumstances get thrown at them! In fact, they often work with their changing environment to create something even better than expected!

Take for example, an apple tree. I was recently told a story I have to share. 

A colleague was telling me how she has this beautiful apple tree in her yard that was thriving. 

Until… a tree from the neighboring yard grew taller and blocked the sunlight ki received. 

The tree, not having access to a valuable resource needed to produce ki’s best quality fruit, of course stopped producing for a time. But… ki continued to grow. The tree changed the direction ki grew in, growing branches in the direction of the sun, curving around the span of the larger tree to access this missing resource. In the process, branching out to become even more beautiful.

Although the tree did stop producing fruit for a while, it wasn’t permanent. What ki did was: paused, evaluated the new circumstances, and lowered production to conserve energy while ki worked out a game plan. 

Lessons We Learn From Plants Around Fear and Resilience

What does this teach you? Spend your energy where it’s most important at the right time in order to get the best overall outcome while considering the big picture, end goal, and global ecosystem. Usually, your fear is not the best place to be spending your energy

Once the tree started growing in ki’s new direction, ki started producing delicious apples again. Rather than see the bigger tree as competition and take an action to overpower it or give up and die back, the apple tree realized that all plants have a role and therefore worked with these new circumstances, instead of against them. 

Use your circumstances as a positive! Simply switching your mindset can help you to find a way forward, even through the unexpected! 

If you think about it, plants are incredibly intelligent in the way they face the unexpected. Rather than react without a strategy, which let’s face it, human emotion often means we do the opposite, plants pause and take time to observe the changes in their environment, decide what they should do considering the resources and community available to them and then, find a way forward.

It might be in the way that a weed cracks through the sidewalk in the city in search of brighter horizons. 

It might be in the way the Dandelion chooses to spread its seeds en masse. 

There are ways you can implement plant resilience in your life, too. 

For example:

  • You might be like the weed on the sidewalk, making sure to find the perfect place on the busy street to put your marketing so it gets full attention.
  • Or a cut plant that chooses to grow back even more vibrantly after suffering a setback in your personal life.
  • It might be creating a support ecosystem that sees you establish a mentor relationship with someone who understands and supports the ethos of the business you’ve just started. 

My Own Fear and Growth

I remember when I first started speaking professionally. Fear definitely inhibited my abilities! But, once I felt extended enough out of my comfort zone to grow, I realized that if I was genuine and passionate people would understand my message and want to learn more from me, even if my presentation wasn’t technically perfect! 

Nature by its very essence improves through adapting and failing. So if you are facing a situation that seems scary, ask yourself: “What have I got to lose?” and take action! 

The truth is, you might fail or not get the outcome that you wanted. Then again, you could have a huge success. The only way to know is to try. And should something go wrong, you can learn from the experience in order to adapt for success next time. 

Remember, connecting with nature, even in the most simple ways—it doesn’t need to be as complicated as a week long camping trip or driving for hours to find a great hiking trail—will always help to remind you of your own True Nature and bring you the calm you need to move forward… even if when you’re scared out of your mind! 

Here are a few free resources that provide you with more tips on allaying the fear in your life:

When You’re Scared Out of Your Mind!

Plants as Mentors: Women’s Eco-Friendly Business Summit

Interview with Erica Lester & Tigrilla Gardenia

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2 Responses

  1. Beautifully stated. Dark times like these need positive responses or the darkness becomes overwhelming. Peace and love to you.

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