What My Hairstylist Taught Me About Fear

Security, stability, health, well being, fear of missing out (FOMO), fear of losing things to risk, and perhaps our biggest fear: failure. Everyone knows fear. Everyone feels it. Daily.

Well, almost everyone.

Lara Sawaya-Norman is a hair stylist & aesthetician in Simcoe, Ontario. She and I have become very close friends, confidants, even partners in a local women’s empowerment group called “FemFolk” (you may have heard me talk about…?!). And she’s the only person in the world I’ve ever met who doesn’t feel fear.

And for someone who left a full-time career and sold her house to build a salon and launch her own business – including marketing, administration, finding new clients etc. – all while raising 2 kids under 3 years old…that takes guts. Seriously, that would have scared the crap out of me. But when she retells the story, she admits she never felt scared throughout that whole process.

You can hear Lara tell that entire story on this episode of the #EmpowerUp podcast.

Here’s what I learned from Lara about how she manages to avoid fear:

 balancing a young family, building a salon and launching a business means very little extra time. Solution: taking an entire day to pre-cook meals for two weeks. Think about the amount of time & hassle saved not having to cook anything for two weeks?

Not over-scheduling: Everyone wants a piece of your time (especially when you have two adorable kids). Solution: Say no to things and don’t feel bad about it. Be mindful of your time and how it’s best spent on you.

Self care: We all fall victim to not eating or exercising when things get hectic. And let’s face it, we all suck when we’re tired and hungry. Solution: back to pre-planning – have water & snacks at the ready at all times. And even a tiny amount of daily activity works wonders for mind, body & soul. A short walk, or a few minutes of stretching, meditating, journalling is all it takes. (Lara has some awesome self-care hacks in the podcast!)

Support system: As go-getters, we want to do everything ourselves. Solution: don’t. Babysitters, spouses & your closest people are happy to support you. Honour THEIR willingness to help you out.

Gratitude: Be more specific than “thank you for my health”. When you fill up thankfulness for the truly SMALL things, like a tasty cup of coffee or your 2 year old putting his snow pants on without throwing a tantrum, you become less fixated on the bigger things that perhaps aren’t coming your way yet.

FOMO: We talk about saying “no” to things to make space…but what if they sound amazing? Solution: turn jealousy into excitement for others. Turn “I wish I could do that” into “I’m so happy my friends get to do that!” FOMO is really about jealousy, and jealousy is self-destructive. FOMO is junk, ladies.

Lara is seriously the only person I’ve ever met who doesn’t experience FOMO. Like, NEVER. Basically, she boils it down to “If it doesn’t hold value for your life, why are you holding space for it?” Those small gratefulness practices: you’d be amazed how much MORE grateful you are for a cozy coffee that sets the tone for a great day than you will ever be for having forked out $600 for Elton John tickets.

Now, if you’re reading this thinking “But I’m not as organized as Lara”…or “But for me, not seeing Elton John IS missing out!” Lara is the first to admit, her lack of fear isn’t completely natural. It was developed over many years, and with the help of a coach who helped her tune into what worked best for HER. It basically came down to putting her energy into what served her most. All the other little hangups are what drag us down, deplete us, and cause all those little roadblocks which inevitably cause fear.