The Fear of Following Your Passion

It seems fitting to make the first post of the year one of reflection, while also looking towards the future. Almost five years have passed since I first began this blog. When I first started writing, I was afraid to share my knowledge with the world.

I was afraid of being visible, vulnerable, and considered a quack. I feared sharing my knowledge and my voice because I was afraid of ruffling feathers. I was also afraid of burning bridges to working in the corporate world. You name it, I was afraid of it!

I even wrote a blog post about this fear when I first started sharing Traditional Chinese Reflexology with the world. The me who wrote that post seems so different than who I am today because those old fears are gone.

And my “little” blog has grown immensely with over a half million pageviews in 2015, and over ten thousand subscribers to my free newsletter. To think, it all began when I was a full-time mom (and I still am one) and my son was not much older than you see in this video. Here’s my son taking his first gleeful steps when he was less than a year old.

This blog got its start because I had come down with a really bad cold when my son was a toddler. I had to look after him by myself so I was desperate and tried massaging a handful of Chinese Reflexology points to help me survive the day. The points worked so well that I figured other moms would benefit from learning them, too. So I wrote up an article in my “spare time” over the course of two weeks and posted it online.

Then I forgot about it. Several months later, I logged onto my website and was surprised to see that my article on how to get over of a cold was attracting almost 500 pageviews a month, with no promotion or advertising on my part—it was purely through search engines and word of mouth.

I realized people were seeking this information. The article was making a difference in their lives, which was why they were sharing it with their friends and family.

So I started writing more articles, but being a full-time mom, I wrote about once every three months. But the site kept on growing. And as my son grew older and began attending preschool, I had a little more time. So I wrote a few more articles, started a newsletter, and put more love, energy, and intention into my blog.

Those nights working at the kitchen table after my son went to bed—all of that energy and productivity in 90-minute blocks—it all added up to the site you see today. Oh, and did I mention the book deal? Yeah, I got a publishing contract with Hay House and my book, Sole Guidance: Ancient Secrets of Chinese Reflexology to Heal the Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit, will be released in summer of this year.

The reason why I wanted to share this story with you is because if you’re reading this article, I know that inside YOU is a passion to share your brilliance with the world. You might not yet know what form it will take or how you’ll get it out into the world, but the desire is within you. And you can do this.

From my humble beginnings as a sleep-deprived mom struggling with a cold, this blog was born. And I wasn’t even aware of what a special gift I had to share. It was almost accidental. Many times, I quit, got distracted, and seriously considered going back to work in high tech. But because I made the commitment to listen to my heart, I kept returning to this website and sharing Traditional Chinese Reflexology with the world.

Eventually, I went all in. I burned the last bridges to ever working in high tech again by sharing how it made me sick—quite literally. In my book, I describe my old career as sucking the life out of me. A potential employer simply has to Google that, and I’ll never get an interview again.

It was scary to make the leap, but if I can do it, you can, too!

I’ll let you in on a little secret that most people don’t tell you when sharing their success stories: The fear is always there.

Your old fears will be replaced with new fears as you reach new levels of success. You’ll always experience fear. I’d put the ratio at 75% fear and 25% celebrating your success. I’m still afraid!

So why am I telling you this? Because someone has to tell the truth about success and following your passion. If you didn’t know about the fear ahead of time, you might wonder if there’s something wrong with you or if you’re on the wrong track because you’re feeling scared.

If you’re afraid, it’s a good thing. When there is no fear, you’re stagnating or simply operating out of your comfort zone. To make your dreams come true, you have to step outside of your comfort zone. You don’t have to quit your day job, but you do have to try new things that scare you, or do things differently in ways that make you uncomfortable or afraid.

Use fear as your guide and head straight towards it. It’s okay to step into the unfamiliar—I highly encourage it. You’ll figure things out as you go along. I’ve found that usually only the next step is visible to me, so you can expect that your path won’t be clear until AFTER you’ve walked it. But each step you take will take you closer to manifesting your dreams, and sharing your brilliance with the world.

Be bold. Be afraid, but don’t let fear stop you.

Happy New Year!

12 thoughts on “The Fear of Following Your Passion”

  1. Good Morning Holly
    Thank you for the top of the foot chart. I already dove in and started massaging…ouch!
    This may sound like a dumb question but are all the points the same on the right foot?

    Hurry up with your new book, I can hardly wait to own a copy, it will be my new body mantra and treasure.

    Have a wonderful day ! Don’t let fear lead you but the promise of your own strength and determination. I’m so happy for you…


    1. Thank you Cynthia. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement! Good question. I tried to answer it on the chart, but I guess the text was too tiny to be noticeable :). Yes, the points for the tops and sides are the same for both feet.

  2. Virginia Moreno Gutiérrez

    Thank you Holly for all your free information. I live in Mexico and can not travel or pay in dollars. But if you ever plan a workshop in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico please let me know for I would love to assist. I do alot of reflexology already but here in Mexico I can only find short courses , there is no certification for reflexologists yet. Once again thank you very much., Virginia

  3. How interesting to see your post about the reality of fear and the encouragement to overcome it. It really resonates for me, especially because I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” which explores the same topic in some depth. Thanks for your charts.

  4. I am interested in taking Reflexology but have noticed the only courses available when I live (Canada) is Western Reflexology. Can this be adapted to Chinese Reflexology. Take the course and then add the information from you to it?

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your book release.

    1. The styles are different in their approach. Here’s an article that explains some of the key differences:

      I’ve had students from all over the world (Canada, Australia, Greece, all over the U.S.) take my online courses. They’ve all told me that they loved the format of my courses and it was very easy to learn online. More importantly, they successfully applied what they learned to improve their health and that of their loved ones, too.

    1. Hello Sumaiazuzu,

      Unfortunately, I’m not able to help with heel pain. Chinese Reflexology is about balancing the body as a whole, similar to acupuncture, only without the needles. The focus is on reflexology points in the feet to balance the body’s energy meridians. Ironically, it does not help with structural issues in the feet. Perhaps you could see a podiatrist?

  5. Valerie Allred

    hello! I cannot find the form to sign up for the foot chart. When I click on the link it takes me to the home page. At the bottom of the home page it says to click on the form at the bottom of the page. There is not a form. I am very interested in finding these points. Thank you very much for all of the information on reflexology that I have already read!

    1. Thank you for your interest in Chinese Reflexology. Yeah, there are some buggy elements for signing up. I do my best to keep things running smoothly, but unfortunately, technology is never 100% working all of the time. I’d recommend visiting the homepage and trying the form that is right next to my picture. Thanks!

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