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On Being Scared As Shit To Have The Life You Want.

WARNING! This post is full of videos, that may or may not contain (bad) dancing.

One year ago I was on a plane to Costa Rica. And one year ago a month ago, I decided to buy the ticket. It felt like it was the boldest thing I’d ever done at the time…deciding to move to another country for 5 weeks to run my business from the beach.

What if I don’t like it? I asked. (Which seems preposterous now…why WOULDN’T someone like working from the beach??) What if it doesn’t turn out the way I want it to? What if that apartment I just paid for via PayPal to a person I’d never met doesn’t actually exist? What if I can’t find my way around? What if the Internet doesn’t work and I can’t reach my clients? What if I go broke? What if I get kidnapped by a rogue gang of Ticos?

What if, what if, what if.

But yet, I bought the ticket.

Even though I felt sick to my stomach when thinking about it. Even though I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to make it work or that I wouldn’t like it. Even though I literally made myself sick right before I left.

One year ago I got on that plane and since then, every single thing in my life is different.

That ONE decision sent my world spinning on an entirely new axis. One of freedom, adventure, friendship, fulfillment, peace. Ever since then I’ve been living my life exactly the way I want to. Traveling when I want, being stationary when I want. I put what was left of my possessions in a storage unit. I lived in Austin, saw 26 of the US states via a 34’ RV, lived in another country, started a new business, discovered things about myself I never knew were there, and formed a friendship and partnership with someone who I know for sure will be in my life forever and ever. All in the course of one year.

My life’s goals have changed since then. I’m more me than I’ve ever been. Things are now happening in a way I couldn’t have dreamed up.

And I’m not saying this to brag. I’m saying this to show you what’s possible for you if you’re willing to take risks. If you’re willing to do the scary, yet exciting thing. When you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone and DECIDE to live life the way you want to.

I took a risk. I did things differently than I ever had in the past. I decided I wanted to do something and I did it. I walked into the unknown, scared as shit, but I went anyway. And I honestly feel sick to my stomach thinking about what my life would be like had I not gotten on that plane, one year ago.

So if you’re wondering if you should move to New York, quit your job, travel abroad, write that book, start a movement, find your long lost family member, move to California, become a dancer, the answer is an big fat YES. It’s the only way to live an extraordinary life. Do things that scare you. That force you to grow. That have been in the back of your mind. And I swear on my favorite cowboy boots that your life will open up to you in ways you couldn’t even dream up. DO IT. You can’t not. Your life is calling.

I can’t wait to hear from you a year from now.

What is it that you’ve been wanting to do? What dreams have you been stifling? Leave a comment below.

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31 Responses to On Being Scared As Shit To Have The Life You Want.

  1. Amen! I hear ya! In the summer of 08 I decided to kick my logical idea of attending law school to take a risk and study wine, then I took another risk by using all of this inheritance $ I received to live in France to study wine, then about a year and 4 months ago I made another risk and decided to turn my wine blog, Vinously Speaking, into a brand and a business, then about 6 months ago I took another crazy risk and bought a wine shop. I feel like my stomache has been in knots for the last 4 years, but in the BEST possible way. By throwing logic to the wind and flying on the gusts of passion do I feel scared, worried, fearful, overwhelmed, etc? But I wake up everyday LOVING what I do! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

    • Sallyhope says:

      And damn girl…what’s more important than THAT?! What’s more important than LOVING YOUR LIFE. Nothing in my book. As far as we know for sure, this is the only life we have. Why go to law school when you love wine? HELLS YEAH and a big fist bump to you for following your heart. Talk to you tomorrow. :)

  2. Nicky Hajal says:

    Sally, the blog looks great! I now understand where your dancing skills come from: tons of practice!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Oh yeah…it takes yearsssssss to hone skills that good. Watch out J Lo. There’s a new Fly Girl in town.

  3. I think anytime you launch something new or different, it can be intimidating.

    Hell, right now, I’m looking at some 200 copies of a DVD, with matching posters I thought I’d fly through by Christmas. I’m just finding new ways to make sure people know about it.

    I don’t think anyone could look at anything I do professionally and think, “Damn, that’s ballsy…to go and risk it all trying to do something new. I wouldn’t be able to stand playing the game any other way, because if I settled into doing something that everyone else did, then I wouldn’t be the leading player that I am. I could “just” do one thing, but it’s the rewards you get when you take that risk.

    Sure, you know what you’re getting into, and sometimes, $h!t happens, but there’s no better feeling than accomplishment!

    • Sallyhope says:

      I could not agree more. Especially with the rewards part. The risk is ALWAYS worth the reward. And usually, the reward is so much more amazing than we could have imagined. ROCK ON BROTHER.

  4. Joanie White says:

    Love love love it! ( and Costa Rica is one of my favorite places in the world). I SO needed to hear this today.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Miss Joanie!! I’m so glad it resonated with you. What is something you’ve been wanting to do???

  5. Michael Nowak aka-phoenix mike says:

    Wow Sally! Very cool stuff you are doing with your life these days. Your Costa Rica trip reminds me “kinda” of my driving to Hollywood on a whim to see you guys as Poets, or when I took the last 5000 dollars out I had in savings and bought two super bowl tickets on E-Bay to take Sue to Florida in 09 as our Arizona Cardinals were there with the Steelers. I thought I was nuts, spending 3200 dollars on two football tickets. As it turned out, we took a week off work and drove to Florida for it as the air fare was so jacked up. We had the best time, stopped off in Alabama and saw my daughter and grand daughter too. Going to a super bowl was on Sue’s bucket list so I had to do it for her. Oh yeah, I had a great time as well. I could go on and on… “you know me, blabbermouth…haha. Let my just say that you are a truly inspirational friend and I feel fortunate to know you. I wish you peace, love and adventure in your travels. Hugs, mike

    • Sallyhope says:

      Mike…YES!! It’s exactly the same thing. We just feel like we need to do something, it seems or feels kind of irrational, and it ends up being exactly what we needed in so many ways. So amazing that you just roll with it! And I’m so happy I’ve been able to literally witness it, having you at shows and hanging out and having all your support. SO COOL.

  6. Here’s a risk for you:

    I recently inherited a condo. Now, the estate is administered by someone who is kind of a control freak, and wants everything to favour her. So, the lawyer is kind of a crook.

    As is my legal right, I can demand an accounting for the Estate, to see how it was managed, and make sure everything is according to the will. Now, I had an option to take the condo as part of my share of the Estate, but in order to do that, I would have to abandon my claim for a complete accounting of the Estate and sign that I would promise not to sue the attorney and the Executor. In exchange, I would get $12K.

    I elected to REJECT that, demanding a complete accounting, and I paid for the condo in cash. $90K, which is less than the appraised value, but still not insignificant.

    THAT is risk. Walking away from $12K, and a house free and clear, and all I have to do is give up my legal rights. Now, I could theoretically stand to get far less than the $12K, but I also get my full accounting, and from there, decide what to do with the accounting (I could challenge the handling of the Estate and also the attorney’s charges).

    I don’t think everyone gets $12K a day and has to make the choice to walk away and take the easy road, or to risk receiving FAR less by challenging that amount in the hopes of greater reward.

    You want scared as shit? Try walking away from a TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLAR cheque, knowing you may get less if you do walk away.

    I’ve taken risks all my life, joining the Marine Corps, running marathons, starting my own company, walking away from jobs…this is THE risk. The Ultimate Risk so far in my life. No other risk I have taken in my life compares with the butterflies from this risk.

    • Sallyhope says:

      WOW. You never cease to amaze me. With your bravery and courage. It’s like you are constantly walking up to the wall of fire and saying “SCREW IT! I’m going in!!” I absolutely adore you and your presence here on this site and support throughout the years. You rockstar, you.

      • I like your words, “bravery and courage” better than what some people call me. Usually “arrogant arsehole” is among several other choice adjectives. And that’s from people who LIKE me!! You should hear what my enemies say about me!

        The challenge, (and make no mistake, it is a challenge) is to go into potentially volatile, or unusual, or challenging situations, and really, it’s like the old “Twist-A-Plot” books. You examine what your options are, and figure out what’s best for your character. The difference is YOU are the character.

        I wouldn’t necessarily say I am always walking up to the wall of fire, but I am part Klingon, and adamant about my high standards of honour, and I do hold people to that, ensuring they conduct themselves with honour, as well. It’s not always very trendy to have high standards, as we discussed before with Katie.

        With regard to my post, I won’t lie, if I still had hair, it’d go in a full retreat from the stress this whole debacle is causing, and it does affect my ability to concentrate on my work at times. I’ve also had some doubts along the way on whether I was doing the right thing, or whether I was being just as greedy as I accuse The Executor of being, by demanding I receive these things, rather than just walk away, as I almost did once. However, after reflection, I realised, “If they didn’t have something to hide, they wouldn’t be acting in such a fashion”, and that clarified my purpose.

        I admit to liking to challenge myself. I’ve often said, any idiot (and I mean ANY idiot) can open another Starbucks, or McDonald’s, or whatever, and have the previously established brand and image there for you, but when everything is handed to you like that, there’s no challenge. Sure, it’s nice and safe, and yes, there are people that enjoy that. I don’t think I would be satisfied with “playing it safe”.

        There was an episode once of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” where Capt. Picard lamented his rowdy youth and how he had an artificial heart due to being stabbed through the heart during a brawl during those days to the Q entity, and how he wished he could have relived those days and been more cautious. So, Q takes Picard on a “Scrooge-esque” trip to see what his present would be like if he hadn’t taken those risks as a youth. Picard ended up being a lowly Lieutenant, working in science, because he never took the risks that would eventually earn him the Captain’s chair. Seeing the change his life would take had he not taken the risks, he wanted to live exactly as he did before, and was laughing as he was stabbed through the heart again, knowing that the risks and the challenges he faced when he was young prepared him to command a Ship later on in life.

        Risk taking is just that…a RISK. However, every day you live is taking a risk. You have to make the choice. Do I get up this morning, knowing that today could be the day the bus runs me over? The day I get in a car wreck? Or should I just stay in bed? Do you take the risk at work asking for the raise you feel you deserve?

        There will always be risks, but you learn to manage the risks you take with the potential rewards for those risks.

  7. Sarita says:

    “Quit your job, travel abroad, write that book, start a movement” — I feel like your wrote this blog for ME!!

    Love you lady, and couldn’t have done it (or, be in the process of DOING IT), without your help & guidance!

  8. Danielle says:

    So this isn’t things I want to do but things I’ve done that everyone thought I was CRAZY at the time but I am so glad I did (all sort of related to my career): go work for a DA’s office out of law school instead of go to a big law firm and make a ton of money because I wanted to live out my Law & Order dreams; quit the law for a year and try out Capitol Hill because I wanted to see if politics was as shady as it seemed (answer is yes); move across the country to CA because I wanted to be a federal prosecutor so badly and it was the only place I got a position; and then after I hated LA and it sucked; just moved back to DC and hoped everything would work out. And stranged IT ALL HAS. my career has been all over the map in 6 years but I don’t think I would change any of it,! Now I am looking for the next thing. Sally I LOVE what you do and keep writing!!! Xoxoxo

    • Sallyhope says:

      WOW dude. You have done some amazing things in your life and all by following what felt right. And it’s when you do that that things always just seem to work out. It’s like blind faith! Or rather, faith that when you’re following heart, that the Universe (or whatever you believe in) provides. SO DAMN COOL!!!!!!!!!

  9. Ryan Leong says:

    What if you don’t know what it is you want to do? I should have a dream job but I can’t think of it at the moment and I’m not a spring chicken either.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey Ryan. A few thoughts came to me as I was reading your comment (thanks for sharing by the way).

      1) I have a feeling that it’s not that you don’t know what your dream is, but rather you have an idea of it (maybe something that’s been there for awhile, or something that you thought of a long time ago that keeps popping back in your mind and excites you to think about) but that you think it’s impossible to get or have for one reason or another (“i’m not a spring chicken,” “the economy is bad,” etc).

      2) It’s never too late, and you’re never too old to have the life you want.

      3) Let’s say you really don’t know what you want. Take the time to explore. Start doing things that excite and spark you. Follow the lead of what’s fun for you and explore that and give yourself time and be kind to yourself during the process. It’s ok to not know. Of course, basic needs (like rent and food) must be handled, and there are always ways to do that while you’re exploring.

      I think you know way more than you think you do. And I fully believe you can have what you want. Thanks for your comment and this discussion. I’m sure a lot of people feel these way.

      • Ryan Leong says:

        Thanks Sally, I sort of have an idea. I know working in sports media as I have for over a dozen years it’s a VERY competitive business and so many jobs have been eliminated and consolidated. The bigger problem is I’m not sure how much more I want to put up with the BS. I’ve gotten somewhat jaded and just am not as big a fan as I used to be. I will definitely do some soul searching and am already doing so.

  10. Liz says:

    Sally, you always inspire with your words and courage to live a bold life! A year from now, we’ll see… :)

  11. Coral says:

    Wow, that sounds absolutely amazing. I’m about to graduate UCSB in June and I don’t really know what to do from there. I just feel like I want to do everything, experience as much as possible, and do awesome things like buy a plane ticket to somewhere far away and just see how it goes. Thanks for being so inspiring!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Seriously lady…DO IT!!! Go with it. My mom told me the best advice when I was in college (UCSB…GO GAUCHOS!!). She said: Don’t worry about what your “job” is going to be. Just continue to do things that you love and a job will come out of that. It has never failed me. Cannot wait to hear about your journey.

  12. Gary says:


    THANK YOU FOR getting my mind off of a lot of things and making me smile and laugh. Great stuff. Not sure how I found your website …ha coincidence;)


    • Sallyhope says:

      No coincidences my dear!! :) Glad you’re here and that it resonated with you. Sign up for my mailing list to find out when new posts come out, and definitely keep in touch.


  13. Dani says:


    I love this post and especially the last video. I’m looking forward to your mojo and courage rubbing off on me some. :)

    This was a much needed reminder that sometimes it just takes one “crazy” decision (buying a ticket to Costa Rica) to propel you in a direction you didn’t even necessarily mean to go in but that you needed. I look forward to “buying a ticket” this year!

    I also am gonna share this with my bf moving to DC. I have a feeling she’ll love it!

    • Sallyhope says:

      Miss Dani! I’m so glad this resonated with you and I couldn’t agree more. It’s the “crazy” decisions that have ALWAYS changed my life for the better and in ways I never could have imagined or planned out. We never know what the future holds, we just have to keep doing what feels right. I look forward to seeing how this all unfolds for you. YEEEEEHAW!!!

  14. Congratulations for having the courage to fulfill your dream. Life is all about taking risks and without doing the first step, one would never know what would have happened had she taken it right? So I dare say one should be bold enough to take the plunge, trust your instincts and go right for it!

  15. Nathalie says:

    I LOVE this post… I am definitely in a sh** scared phase right now and KNOW that I need to just shout a big fat yes at opportunities that are coming my way! The comfort zone has become a little uncomfortably comfortable and even though scary, the excitement that also comes with it is quite something!!! Now, who helped set all this in motion…hmmm…I wonder… :-) xxx

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hahah! I totally get it. I think discomfort is the first sign that something great is happening in our lives. It pushes our fulfillment boundaries. It forces us to make choices for our betterment. I love it lady. :)

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