Face Your Fears, Feed Your Dreams.
Updated: Jan 18, 2018
Through my social media platforms, I often like to touch on where I came from. I truly feel that each small town has its own mentality attached to it. This mentality shapes you much differently than if you were living in a large city, and caused me to grow up very underexposed to the outside world. My family and I lived a very simple and beautiful life that was all about being in nature and using your imagination. I did not watch much TV as very few channels would reach our town and I don’t think we got the internet until about 2007. My video game use was limited and if a movie was rated PG-13 I had to wait until I was 13 years old to watch it. The only knowledge I got about the outside world was through books I would read at school or soundbites I would hear from others. Despite always using my imagination, I never truly knew what it was like to dream or “to have a dream.” I didn’t think that leaving my small town was even an option when I grew up, as my entire family lives at the longest a seven minute drive from my parents’ house. For me, the outside world was a dangerous and scary place of the unknown.
Everything changed one day at a friend’s house when I was exposed to the world of the internet. Myspace, MSN, YouTube… my mind was blown away by the vast pools of information that were at my well-manicured fingertips. The internet became my cocoon and I was addicted to it. I would spend hours just connecting and learning about how different the world was outside of my little hometown. I realized that being a man does not need to have one singular definition; gender identities could be fluid and self-expression could be seen as a strength. The more and more information I digested, the more questions and ideas entered my mind. I was buzzing with stimulation, it was like my soul had finally been found despite so many years of looking for it within myself. In my whole life, I had never felt myself change so quickly both mentally and physically. My home on the top of a hill surrounded by willow trees in my tiny town was not big enough for me and my new thoughts. I needed more exposure. I needed more space to grow with all of this new information. My body was telling me exactly what I needed but instead of excitement, I was hit with the crippling emotion of fear.
This fear has recurred many times throughout my journey and has three main triggers.
I recall vividly a time I doubted my self-worth. The fear emerged from wanting to submit my photos to a modelling agency. I was so afraid that they would reject me or simply not respond that it made me intensely insecure that I was not worthy or beautiful enough. I questioned everything about myself; Was my skin too red and acne-prone? Was I too skinny and feminine? There I reached a point that I could not take it anymore. I could not spend the remainder of my life wondering “what if”. I clicked the send button and within a few hours I had a meeting with a modelling agency and was signed. Why was I so afraid when the outcome I had dreamed of happened so easily?
I felt the fear of change present itself was when I realized I needed to move from Nova Scotia to Toronto. I felt as though my career as a model and makeup artist in the East Coast had plateaued, and I needed more room to grow and be challenged. I was so comfortable with the creative group that surrounded me, it was devastating for me to even think about leaving them. I worried what would happen if I was never booked for more work. Would I be satisfied continuing on as a big fish in a small pond? I told myself that I could not sacrifice personal growth for stagnant stability, that my dreams were worth the risk. Two weeks later I moved to Toronto.
I felt the fear of failure present itself to me was after living in Toronto for one year. The struggle was real. I had moved to Toronto with $300 in my bank account and finding a job in my field was almost impossible. I had been sexually assaulted by a taxi driver and could barely afford to eat properly. I was working four jobs at one point just to survive, many of which were not in my field of makeup and modelling. I could not get a modelling agent in Toronto and the doors of opportunity were being slammed in my face. I thought I had made the worst decision of my life moving to Toronto. Despite the rejection, I used that pain to push myself even harder. My perseverance paid off when I went to a casting for Fashion Art Toronto later that year, and my modelling career went viral.
Nine years have passed since I lived in my tiny hometown and my entire life has changed in the most beautiful ways possible. At 25, I have accomplished every damn dream I had set out to accomplish and I realize now that it is time to set my bar even higher. Despite all of my achievements and growth, I can still feel the fear living inside me. Every time I know I need to make a change to my everyday routine it comes creeping back into my heart and mind. Why did it take me a whole year just to launch this blog? I was so afraid of failing that I kept putting it off later and longer. Everything I have learned in my life so far has taught me to not give into fear and always push past it, so why was I doing the opposite? Why do I still have to ask myself why the fear of failure never seems to fade within me?
No matter how many things I can accomplish there will always be a small part of myself that feels I am not worthy or good enough.
Why is that sentence so rooted in my soul? I grew up with super-supportive parents that would do anything to make me happy. Where within my childhood does this trauma stem from? I have come to the conclusion that it has been individuals from my past and present who have projected their own fears onto my dreams and put me down. Sometimes they use words to tell me I’m not good enough. Sometimes it is just the look in their eyes when I tell them about something amazing that is happening in my life. I have somehow internalized these projections so that every time I have wanted to grow, the pain and fear came flooding back in.
I truly believe that if we can make ourselves aware of these triggers, we are able to smite fear and move forward much more quickly. We need to let go of living for the thoughts and opinions of others and live for ourselves first. At the end of the day, despite all circumstances we have to do what’s best for ourselves before we can make a positive impact on others in our lives and surroundings. We need to convert our own insecurities and use them as a drive to motivate ourselves. We all have dreams inside us. Some are easier to find than others, but when we do find them, the journey will always end in such a high vibration of happiness. I am so grateful every day that I am working in a field that challenges, inspires and brings me so much joy instead of living in a bubble of comfort and not growing as an individual. Whether or not you accomplish what you set out to, you're always going to learn and gain from failure and success,