Facing Fears : 4 Salt Sisters share their stories
Fears. We all have them, some big, some small. Some are holding us back from really reaching our potential, others can make our everyday lives that little more challenging. Whatever your fears are, be it surfing bigger waves, trying a new yoga class, going for the dream job, or heck, realising it sucks and starting from scratch, we all have them. In a way, they are good. They make us realise our finite existence, our weaknesses, and our strengths. It's the way we live with our fears that define our lives and who we are.
Below, 4 Salt Sisters share their experience on fear, and how they overcame it -- or are even still overcoming it today. From starting your own business, quitting the 9-5 to pursue a freelance life, raising two kids and traveling the world, or photographing mako sharks in the depths of the sea, these women have learnt something about themselves and how they want to live their lives.
Brave, adventurous, untamed and endlessly elegant. Connected by their love of the ocean and the possibility of a full, limitless life. These are their stories. They are yours, too.
The Fear of The Unknown: JEN YIH
Jen left the 9-5 daily grind to travel the world and live her passion of writing and traveling.
JEN YIH : Freelance Travel Writer @jenniferyih
The scariest thing about trading my stable life to chase a very unconventional one was the accountability. I knew deep down that if I did it, I had no one or thing to blame but myself if things went wrong. The scarier thing was that the sky really was the limit, I wasn’t following a set guidelines or road map. I was totally winging it. I had nothing to follow but my intuition & hope that it was right. Turns out, it was. But, the scariest part of it all to me wasn’t so much quitting & traveling, it was staying in my previous role doing the same ol’ same ol’ everyday. I knew that life wasn’t for me & I had realised very clearly that I was at a decision-making moment as to what the rest of my life might look like.
Facing your fears takes a lot of practice. That sounds weird, but the more frequently you face frightening situations, the better you get at it. From something as small as facing your fear of heights, lean over the edge & let your nerves run crazy. Step away, take a breath, and try it again. The resilience is a practice. What’s on the other side of facing your fears is trust. You have to learn to trust yourself in every moment, especially the rough ones. Once you trust yourself, you learn to trust others, your environment, and so on and so on.
Fear of Being Uncomfortable: Amber Jones
As a surf and underwater photographer, Amber gets really close, and really personal, photographing the most beautiful creatures of the sea. Mako sharks, blue whales, dolphins and turtles among many others.
Amber Jones Photographer & Storyteller @amberandfriends_photography
The most obvious fear I always have to swallow is the small reality that if these magnificent creatures really wanted to rip me to shreds, they absolutely could at any given moment. Which is why having spent time on the boat observing (partner = Shark scientist) Riley interact with them has been key to gaining the knowledge & confidence to get in & photograph them. There is no way I would be able to do that without his shared knowledge of these fascinating creatures and is probably the most humble learnings I have taken on as there’s nothing quite like Mother Nature’s lessons to put you in your place in this world.
Humans are much scarier animals than sharks and our actions have far greater repercussions on a global scale.
The Fear Of Failure : Elaine Abonal
Elaine Abonal, Surfer & Entrepreneur @Elaineabonal, Launched her very own surf school, Surfista Travels in Siargao, Philippines
My fear was that I would fail. That nobody would sign up, nobody would like what I did or had to offer, and that my business would not work out.
All I ever really was was a surfer girl who liked going on surf trips and meeting new people and sharing what I loved about surfing. I knew nothing about business, owning my own brand or marketing. I was just doing it all for fun. My parents worked for other companies their whole lives and the whole idea of being an entrepreneur was still new to everyone at that time. Making it "official" seemed scary and daunting.
When I started or just even announced my concept of Surfista Travels, I had so much support from my friends and family. That encouraged me and showed me that I could do all the little things I wanted to do. Making those little steps made me learn that I was stronger, braver and more capable than I actually thought I was. And getting out of my comfort zone and sharing myself and my business out there actually inspired a lot of people to be braver too. All just by taking that first step. All because I tried and did it!
Fear of not being enough : Casey Cordoba
Yoga teacher, mom of two, and co-founder of The H.E.L.P Experience @thehelpexperience, with her husband Josh. Casey travels the world with her beautiful family, leading yoga retreats and raising her kids in places like Byron Bay and Bali. I did my yoga teacher training with Casey, and she has a special place in my heart. I secretly want her to adopt me, because her family is basically #goals.
My self doubt was crippling (and sometimes still is). I work hard to manage this. Entrepreneurship is riddled with obstacles, stress and hard work - as is weaving a marriage and two children into the mix. There is no magic wand - I fuck up occasionally - but I think it’s important to be honest with ourselves, our kids and our partners. But mostly it’s important to find comfort in the not-knowing.
As soon as I came to the revelation this was everyone’s worry, the fear diminished. I am not alone! Even hyper-achieving legends struggle with feelings of unworthiness and which tools to use to overcome it. This is a nearly universal thing that’s very rarely talked about, and it’s super important that you put your own strategies in place to keep it from sabotaging your success.
I needed to be a ‘grown up’ and decide for myself, as well as completely redefine my idea of success. I had to decide what it was that I truely wanted for myself and my family - a life experienced with freedom, vulnerability and honest love.
Honour your humility. Sometimes you need help - know your strengths but also know your weaknesses. There is far greater than ourself into who we can become, who others can become, and how much more we can do and be.
Be courageous and don't be scared to look messy - people like messy!