Growing up in the South in the nineteen-seventies was a time and place in which I always felt out of place and alone. Without anyone I could trust myself to be honest and authentic with.  I knew my truth but kept it deeply hidden away for its inevitable discovery. I thought differently, had a thirst for knowledge, and had no fear of venturing out on my own to strange new places. I lived my life quietly on my own terms knowing that one day I would feel whole and at peace with myself.

I realized that I thought and came to solutions differently than anyone else that I knew. Often spending time alone and questioning my courage and authenticity. Most of the time I conformed and tried to fit in, but my rebellious spirit often took over. I knew that one day my truth would prevail, and my purpose would reveal itself.

Mostly, I sought to be left to my own devices and singular adventures. I knew in my soul that this was a place in which I had much to learn despite its daily challenges and obstacles. I pressed forward and knew that one day I would leave and create the life that I dreamed of.

I knew that I had only myself to trust and confide in. I was both happy and confused at times. I knew that my destiny wasn’t to be found in the narrow limitations of my childhood and longed to be an adult. I knew that the one person that I needed to trust was myself. Only I had the power to make my dreams become my destiny. Why did I spend so much time and effort hiding my sense of self-identity? I was no stranger to the cycle of regret that comes when we live in our unfounded fears and self-created negative emotions. I realized that I was the guide to my journey.

All humans possess certain innate powers that help us travel through the travails and highlights of life. Often these powers are even greater than we realize but lie dormant and paralyzed by fear and low self-esteem. Most of these self-created fears will never be realized, but nevertheless they keep us from moving forward.

Fear of the truth is the common denominator that makes most of us live less happier lives. A self-created imprisonment that can dominate the scope and direction of our existence. A lack of trust in our intention and intuition. A feeling that we’ll be safe if we take cover and foolishly try to hide. A self-created negative emotion that creates chaos and confusion. A feeling of fear that’s so irrational that it begins to define our way of living. A place where the truth is always lurking and waiting to be revealed.

As bad as fear can make us feel there’s always a solution that lies within. A spark of light and consciousness that’s been buried and almost forgotten. A piece of ourselves that we can hold on to find resilience and courage. A lifting of fear and revealing its deceptive promises.

The truth is that fear is as real as we make it, knowing when it’s too dangerous or unsafe to proceed. It’s our ability to reconcile our past and forgive ourselves that we are able to face fear head on and practice forgiveness for ourselves and others.

As The Happiness Warrior, I’ve always believed that happiness comes from within, and the truth will set us free. From a place that’s ingrained in our spirit.  An inalienable right and responsibility that’s ours alone to develop. A belief in ourselves and our right to feel purposeful and happy. The ability to give ourselves permission to be happy without need of approval from others. A way to create authenticity and autonomy in a world that’s set against us.  The act of forgiveness, and self-love that gives us permission to take control of our lives. No longer in need of the blessing or consent of others.


There have been times in my life when I’ve found myself in desperate and trying situations. Abusive relationships and broken promises with myself had damaged my spirit and altered my perspective. For a while it was quite overwhelming, and I retreated with a feeling of guilt and shame. Many years ago, there was a time when I felt I had hit rock bottom. Painful yet uplifting. A time when I was finally free of my burdens and re-gifted a new opportunity to rebuild my life. I gave myself an affirmation that fear would no longer play a role in my life. One that I say aloud with a strong tone whenever I need to hear it. A pass to go forward with courage and dignity. A life without fear where truth reigns is truly the basis of living a happier life.

Here are five life-affirming ways to leave fear and learn to trust ourselves to live honestly and authentically:

1.      Practice silence and feel ourselves reconnecting with our true intentions and desires. Start making decisions based on how happy they make us feel and learn to say no that is no longer creating joy. This helps us to build personal boundaries to keep our mental well-being balanced and make better decisions. Every day is a chance to renew and revitalize our spirit. Life is too short to let others make our choices and control our outcome.

2.      Learn the art of self-compassion and discover a new sense of self that is both life-affirming and forgiving. All humans make mistakes and there’s no such thing as absolute perfection. Everybody needs a break and a chance to start over. Self-compassion is the art of self-love. Try it and see how it feels in practice!

3.      Set reasonable goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Goals that are set too high and require more than we are capable of will set our mindset to failure and disappointment. I’m a big believer in incremental change and momentum. One step creates an exponential equation for success.

4.      In this hectic fast-changing world of ours it can feel like a challenge to find time to be alone and re-engage with our thoughts and promises. Spending time alone can be difficult at first but take it in stages and see how it goes. Most likely it’ll be the most productive time of our entire day. This is the time to be mindful and check in with our emotions and resolve questions and fears.

5.      Practice greater self-efficacy and the ability to perform tasks and achieve our goals. Be good at something and master the skill and gather more knowledge and wisdom. This is how we grow strong and build a warrior-like mindset. This is the picture of happiness personified in our output and actions.  A way to find gratitude and happiness and fulfillment in our daily activities.

Too often in life we become distracted with things that don’t matter that waste our time and energy. No one is perfect and the perceived faults and flaws of others are often those which we like least about ourselves. Too often our misery is entirely self-created and mired in fear and doubt. It’s time to look at ourselves in our authentic light and raise our vibration and spirit. Fear will disappear when we are able to live in authenticity and self-compassion.