After helping my daughter Roxy move into housing at USC last week, I did not take the requisite selfie with her father holding an empty nest. We are divorced, and I’ve been raising Roxy on my own for the last six years. She has been my focus, my friend and my travel companion. And I’m being challenged to find a way forward without her.
Letting go is never easy. Whether it’s a job, a project, a client, a child, or a spouse, we’re always struggling with some new fear or vulnerability. All of us. It’s human. We all have fear. But, what would your life would look like if you weren’t in fear? Here’s how I’m dealing with the fear of being alone, letting go and moving on to what’s next.
Trust Your Intuition
Now is the time to tune-in to your inner voice and access that second brain that knows exactly where your talents and passions lie, and can lead you to your true purpose. Whether it’s humbling yourself, and asking for a new job or position or finally leaving your post and amassing money for a venture, going back to school or fearlessly trying out a new hobby (I’m picking up the guitar and starting singing lessons), start to say “yes” to every gut instinct and invitation. You’ll find that there’s a rich second life inside you just waiting to get out, and get on with it.
Align Your Actions With Your Desires
I want you to imagine pushing through any fears you’re having right now and pull out a note pad. Close your eyes and write down what you desire in your personal life, what you desire in your career, and what you desire in your community. Now list under each desire the actions you’ll be taking to get there. Live by those actions and you’ll move yourself closer to your dreams.
Find Champions Who Value You
If you’re needing to let go and move on (like me), now’s the time to go deeper in your female relationships. I am so lucky I have girlfriends that get me and clients who are among my closest friends and confidants. We know everything about each other’s lives– our children, the trials and tribulations of our love lives, the ups and downs of our careers. To recognize women who have your back and can be a champion for you, use your intuition. Gather them and keep them close because these relationships can form the foundation of your career, and give joy to your life. Whether you’re an executive, professional, entrepreneur, consultant, or philanthropist, your network of women are going to see you through.
Share With God Went Well Today
Every night before bed, I talk with God and reflect on what’s going well… what I’m proud of and what I’m grateful for. I could think about my endless to do list, but this simple practice in gratitude helps me get on with the day and sleep well at night. If you only take away one thing from what I’ve shared it’s this: having faith in yourself and something bigger than you, will keep you out of fear. That’s because if you’re in fear you can’t be in faith. If you’re in faith you can’t be in fear.
As I move into this new role of empty nester, I try to imagine a table set in the future. My daughter is there and the people that I love. Looking at it fearlessly, there are so many new possibilities for my relationship with Roxy. And all I have to do is let it unfold. I’ll do it by applying these no-fear strategies: trusting my intuition, aligning my actions with my desires, finding champions that value me, going deeper in my female relationships, and finally, sharing with God what went well each day.
In this new phase in my life, I will let the fear be there, but I won’t get stuck there. I’ll keep the focus on what matters and resist isolating or getting into obsessive thinking. To live fearlessly, I will practice this process every day. Won’t you join me?