Meet Ariana Proehl, creator of Know This! TV, a space for helping people see the beauty and importance in self knowledge for the betterment of themselves and the world around them. Ariana shared how she hugs her fear of becoming her best self. Lots of helpful resources here including the awesome quote by Marianne Williamson which was my inspiration for naming this interview. Let’s go!
V: How would you describe the goal or dream that you were afraid to go for?
A: I’m afraid of realizing my best self. When I look at the things I’ve taken on–starting my online show, putting together a 14-city U.S. talk show tour in two months, weathering start-up entrepreneurial storms–the dream itself and the risks involved with pursuing it haven’t really scared me. The dream of being successful and fulfilling my purpose is what scares me. The Marianne Williamson quote, “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure,” sums that up.
V: What about going for this dream made you afraid?
A: The root of my fear is that I know, undoubtedly, that I can be successful– really successful–if I focus every cell of my body and put the fullness of my mind and spirit into its possibility. I’ve also feared that if I showed up fully as the real me, that I wouldn’t be accepted or it wouldn’t be “good enough.” So I work hard, but I also hold back a little subconsciously because the idea that I’m worthy and deserving of all the joy and fulfillment my heart desires doesn’t align with the part of me who grew up with little self esteem and thought I didn’t matter much because when I was myself, people ran away from me or gave me crap. We tend to be scared of that which we’re not familiar, and feeling worthy of joy is not familiar. While I know mentally that it’s not about anybody else’s opinion, and I know I’m not that little kid anymore, it’s still triggering.
V: How did you experience the fear (ex. thoughts, physical sensations, etc)?
A: My mind starts racing with all sorts of untrue or untested thoughts about how people will react or what they’ll think about what I have to say and share.
V: What did you do or what happened to help you move through your fears?
A: For a while, when I would post a new video or article for example, I’d have to turn off the computer, get up, leave the room and start singing a song to myself or call somebody to distract myself from the anxiety and nerves of having put myself out there. Now I meditate daily to quiet all the “little hater” voices in my head as Jay Smooth calls them (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TpmJgSfZ_8), and get in touch with the part of me that knows anything is possible. I shoot for 15 minutes each morning, or try to get at least 5 minutes on busy days.
V: Has what you feared and how you handle fear changed since you’ve achieved this dream?
A: Yes, in that I can post my content now without having to run into another room to “hide” from the internet. I continue to have fear around that–around how my work will be received, but it’s easier to talk myself through it and just do it now. It’s a process, every day.
V: Do you have any quotes or books that helped you with fear?
A: “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” –Audre Lorde
Also, the poem “A Litany for Survival” by Audre Lorde
I watch this video clip of Maya Angelou on Super Soul Sunday: The Revelation That Changed Dr. Maya Angelou’s Life.
I glance at this .gif of Prince just being so boss, per usual.
V: What advice would you give to someone who has a dream, but thinks they can’t achieve it because they’re too afraid?
A: First I’d ask them: how bad do you want it? If they answer really bad (because you have to want it really bad!), I’d tell them to get to the root of what they’re actually afraid of: is it failure? Being broke? Is it a fear of success? Of being hurt? Disappointing someone? And then trace back to where that fear comes from. When you know the root, you can begin to gain power over it–it doesn’t necessarily disappear, but you see how it functions and you can master it and use it to fuel you forward instead of holding you back.
V: Any final thoughts?
A: Be intentional with your life, and with your dreams. There are so many external factors that affect us and can distract us daily, fueling our fears and having us just rolling through, accidentally making choices, waiting for life to happen and just playing it safe. Remember your life is not an accident, it has purpose, so show that purpose–or the search for that purpose–the intention it’s worthy of and deserves.
So, what did you think? I love all the helpful resources that Ariana shared with us, especially their variety: we had poetry, books, video and even a funny GIF.
I love how she moved from hiding after sharing her work with the world to being more and more comfortable with sharing it. Sometimes sharing yourself, your real self, and your creations can be so scary. But I think it’s worth it.
How have you hugged your fear to share yourself and your work with the world or even just a person close to you? What other things did this interview bring up for you?
If you liked this interview, you might also like:
Interview with Razwana Wahid – “When something is really scaring you, you have to do it.”
Interview with Duane de Four – Conquering a fear gives you momentum