Never Be Defined By Your Past

Fear is like the Wizard of Oz, projecting itself onto the screen, frightening you with how powerful it is.  When in reality, it is a small man behind the curtain. Don’t be afraid to move the curtain and expose the fear. Finding the blessing in the fear, is the opportunity to open your heart and mind to the idea of change and reinvention.

“Sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn’t think we needed to know” – Unknown

Lessons show up in painful situations.  Sometimes you consciously choose to change, because you have taken the time to realize something isn’t working and why. Other times you stumble upon ( notice the word stumble) an opportunity.

Sometimes you trip over something and you catch yourself before the fall, hopping across the floor as you try to regain your balance. Other times you can trip over something that face plants you on the ground, and has you digging rocks off your skin. Either way there are still choices to make.

“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change”  – Unknown
“No matter who tries to teach you lessons about life, you won’t understand it until you go through it on your own”  Unknown

The classic opportunities for reinvention tend to come from two things. With a heartbreak such as; losing a job, ending a relationship, the death of a close friend or family member.

The classic “good but scary” opportunities for reinvention are you go away to college, you move to a new town with a new job, you get the really big promotion such as those COO, CEO, CFO types of promotions or the best of all, you decide to be an entrepreneur and your own boss.

In today’s world, your fill in the blank might be related to the changing world from Covid-19.  It might be you are living in a war zone.  It might be that you are reaching out to help with refugees in your town.  It might be a medical problem with yourself or a family member.  It might be trying to figure out what’s next in your career or family life.

“There are things in life we don’t want to happen, but have to accept; things we don’t want to know but have to learn; and people we can’t live without, but have to let go”  – Unknown

In today’s world lots of businesses are rethinking how they do business.  They are trying to see the gaps and create opportunities to bridge them. Bringing an idea to life is hard work. You can expect it to cost you more personally, financially, and maybe even reputational than you thought it would. There are sleepless nights. You become a master of second guessing your choice to make this move.

“Disney taught me to never stop 
believing in my dreams
Harry Potter taught me that love and friendship
dominates all kind of evil
Narnia taught me that we must all grown up 
& leave our childhood behind,
but must never forget it
Percy Jackson taught me that there’s
a hero in every one of us
Glee taught me that no matter how different we are,
there’s always that one thing we have in common”  – Unknown

But to be truly committed you need to “burn the boats”.  This expression is a “point of no return”, where you have destroyed all other choices, and you are left with no options but the intention you started with.  It comes from a famous incident when a Spanish Explorer landing in Mexico ordered their ships to be burned.  They either would conquer the country or be killed, because they had no way to return home.

So take away plan b, eliminate the lifeline.  Go all out for what you are passionate about. Follow your bliss. Look at what is working and not working. What you love to do and hate to do. The key is to get immersed in what you are passionate about and hire help for the rest.

“Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality, and likes that turned into loves”  – Unknown
Ways to make it easier:
  • Surround yourself with people who love to learn, share and build.
  • Join or create a mastermind group with people who are putting their ideas into action.
  • Seek out those in your community who solve problems and ask for suggestions.
  • Create that special group of people who will be your cheerleaders, helping you to remain positive and take the risks that need to be taken, instead of holding yourself back.

And remember the three most important words in your fear busting vocabulary: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.