I write for a living. I own and author a lifestyle blog that aims to embrace and normalize the less-than-Pinterest side of life, all while keeping a strong sense of humor.

But would you believe me if I told you that it took me 23 years to muster up the courage to share my writing with anyone?

I am complimented on my haircut nearly every single time I go out in public. Getting a pixie cut is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

But would you believe that it took me almost five years (and a Xanax) to finally bite the bullet and go for it?


I spent most of my life in an ever-losing battle with the mirror. I thought the only way to feel beautiful was to restrict and obsess over what I ate.

But would you believe that I was 19-years-old when I stepped into a gym for the first time, and subsequently, fell in love with being healthy?


I don’t care if it’s something as superficial as a haircut or addressing something as deep seated as an unhealthy body image – I’m here to give you 5 reasons why you should try that thing that scares you.


1. You’ll learn something.

Every time you try something that scares you, you learn something new. For example, I recently learned that taking a baby on a 10-hour road trip from Virginia to Cape Cod is not for the faint of heart, it requires an overnight stop, and you should never (under any circumstances) travel without a wine opener.

Every time you try something that scares you, you learn something new.


2. You’ll get uncomfortable.

Remind yourself that there is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone. The first time I tried a spin class, I was certain I was hurting in places that no woman should ever hurt (this was pre-baby, obviously) and walking around for the next two days was super uncomfortable. But you know what? I ended up loving it (and developing an odd callus)

There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone.


3. It won’t kill you.

Unless of course, your “thing” is jumping out of an airplane or joining a gang; then of course, I offer no such guarantee. But taking that public speaking course? I totally didn’t die (as I anticipated I would.)

4. You could be happier.

Quitting my 9-5 job in order to write and stay at home with my new son full time was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. While it certainly has it’s hard days and growing pains, I’m genuinely happier than I ever thought possible.


5. YOLO.

Okay, I just gagged typing that, but the sentiment is genuine. You really do only get one life to live, and if you decide to let fear be your guide, you have a 100% chance of missing out on some of the amazing (and initially scary) things that life has to offer.


If you let fear be your guide you have 100% chance of missing out on something amazing.

Looking to try something new?

Join our One Hour a Month alumni ambassador program - earn exclusive Longwood gear and reconnect with your alma mater in a whole new way:

  • Dress your kids up in Lancer gear and send us the picture along with names and ages of children to alumni@longwood.edu

  • Suggest a job opening at your company to a fellow Lancer by emailing or messaging them the link in Linkedin or The Longwood Network
  • Visit, follow and share a recent post from the Longwood Office of Alumni and Career Services Facebook account
  • And many more easy ways to get involved!


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About the Author

Colleen Nichols Headshot

Colleen Whitney Nichols '10

Colleen Nichols loves everything about Longwood. Before graduating in 2010 with a degree in psychology, she was involved on campus as an Alpha Delta Pi, Peer Mentor, and a Longwood Ambassador. She met her husband during her first weekend at Longwood, they became "official" that October after a CHI walk, and he proposed on her graduation day in front of Ruffner. Following graduation, Colleen earned her Master's Degree in Counseling from George Mason University, and is the proud owner of a coaching and consulting business. Colleen is also an established blogger, freelance writer, and a new mom. Not a Saturday goes by that she doesn't long for D-Hall brunch. - See more at: http://www.longwood.edu/alumni/articles/2016/how-my-degree-prepared-me-to-be-a-sahm/#sthash.u6yryNHc.dpuf

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