"Thinking Big" on the Take Care Podcast

Listen to Episode 2 of Sierra's new show on the McKissick Health Podcast Network.

Sierra J. McKissick


Are you letting fear outweigh your dream?
Are you too ambitious?

In this episode, I invite my email subscribers to finally admit their fears, name what they are fighting for, consider what they must sacrifice to meet their goals and create a mantra to stay on track.

If you are ready to get serious about owning your sh*t and zoning in on what’s holding you back, this episode is for you.

Things I mention in this episode:

I have no rights to the audio in the intro and outro; its use is only for education. This audio includes: “Lotus Pond” song by Aakash Gandhi; a compilation of Maya Angelou interviews (The Paris Review as The Art of Fiction №119⁠ and Bill Moyers Journal 1973); Midge’s Late Night TV Set Finale from the filmThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino and produced by Amazon Studios, Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, and Picrow.


I dare you.
I triple-dog dare you.

We all know when we're being called out. You know what I'm talking about. The indication of danger surges through your body in seconds.
It feels like your stomach is trapped in your throat, and if you are cornered, your brain floods with possible escape routes that you know you can't take without being called a coward, and you'll never survive the embarrassment you will likely face for backing down.

After we talked last week, I felt someone wasn't quite ready to be a Gladiator.

So, this week, I'm not calling names, but I am calling you out.

You're a coward.
Yeah, I said it.

And there have been times when I was a coward.

Not on the playground. But sometimes, I decided to play it safe instead of being bold and taking charge.

If you listened until the end of last week's episode, you heard a clip from the filmThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino and produced by Amazon Studios, Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, and Picrow.

I included the link in the description. The video is also on the smxcoaching YouTube page, where you can watch episodes and other development videos on demand.

In the scene, Midge performs a monologue. She wants to live a 'big life' where she can experience everything and break every rule. She uses her comedic edge to refute the belief that an ambitious woman is unattractive. Instead, she explains inaction as the most unattractive trait and couples it with being a coward, too afraid to go after the life they want. My favorite line is: "Being a coward is only cute in The Wizard of Oz."

When we discussed being responsible for our emotional and physical needs, we agreed we'd get into the arena, sit with our fears, heartbreak, and disappointments, and grieve our losses.

Have you strapped on your Gladiator armor, or are you stalling?
Evan Hansen in “Waving Through A Window,” are you afraid of the life you want?
Are you trapped in fear?
Do you believe the life you want, the life you imagine, is out of reach?
Too ambitious?

If this sounds like you, I'm calling you out.

Why are you letting fear outweigh your dream?
Why is comfort more important than the life you want?
There is a reason you are hesitating and why you haven't done it already.
If you are honest with yourself, you can admit it and move forward.

I'll go first.

I used to have a fear of humiliating myself. I was in several oratorical contests in high school, and I crashed and burned every time.
Here is why.

I'm terrible at memorizing long passages.
I will paraphrase the hell out of a piece of writing and give you everything you need. But, a direct quote…oh no, baby.

I won second place in a contest because my essay alone scored higher than the other contestants; I just sucked at the performance. I knew the temporary stage fright was bullsh*t because I could nail other public speaking performances.

Did I mention I used to act?

Yes, my on-stage characters relied heavily on comedic timing, which gave the lines a rhythmic nature, but still, I struggled to stick to the script. However, my loose interpretation and improvisation still captured the writer's message even when memory retrieval failed.

How did I get past it?
I didn't. I still can't memorize long works worth sh*t.
I'm reading a script right now so I don't end up saying things that aren't in the notes and ruin the transcript drafted for the episode. — FYI, you can look in the show notes for the link to the blog post with a full transcript of the episode and links.

But I don't let my struggle to memorize things hold me back from anything.
Whether it's a speech or lecture, I take notes and let the spirit guide me through improv.

Facing our fears doesn't guarantee success or perfection. It's a lesson in building confidence, innovation, and endurance. If you try new experiences or take chances and it goes wrong, it's okay.

Don't let the possibility of temporary humiliation stop you.
Try again. And you will get a little better or bolder every time you try.
Your dreams are worth throwing in everything you have to make it possible again and again.

Becoming a cowardly lion is not an option.
Only a fierce lioness leads a pride. And you, my friend, are fierce.

Don't let the life you deserve go to waste because you would rather be faithful to your fears and hold onto unrealistic expectations rather than fight for your dreams.

There are three things I want you to do this week.

  1. Nothing in life comes to us without a fight. Write down the top two things you are fighting for this year, big or small. It could be anything from practicing foreign language lessons on Duolingo every week to saving $10,000. What outcomes do you want?
  2. Achieving your goal will cost you something. List the sacrifices you will make to win this fight. Are you going to cancel your Netflix subscription so you can save $20 a month or have more time to practice your lesson? Any changes are entirely up to you.
  3. Rituals are embedded in everything we do. There is a sequence to it, a rhythm that we bond with–and even seek out–as we move through the world. If you want to win, you must bond with the outcome you are fighting for. Every fierce leader needs a ceremonial or war cry or a mantra. Take a moment to write your own. Ensure it is written and easily accessible to remind yourself to say it daily. If you are stuck when it comes to creating your own, try using the template I made and insert your reasons in the blank space.

“I fight for ____________________. I am like a Gladiator grounded in the arena, a lion/lioness patiently waiting for my turn to prowl. To fight means to accept that I am _____________________ and believe that I can become _____________________. I call on the hope of my inner child to dream again. I draw from the sorrows and joy of my ancestors to fill my bones with strength to act again. I pray for divine wisdom to search the paths before me and guide my tongue with words to speak again. I seek out peace to speak to my mind and calmly restore my spirit again. I will win my fight for _____________________. I will forever be free.”

Did you feel that? Whew, girl.

There is power in saying what you believe out loud. This is the last time I'm going to mention it. But now is the time to tap in and unlock the endless joy and abundance available.

Although we are just getting started, I will share some of what I learned in 2021 when I fought one of my most brutal fights in the arena.

Imagine me doing a two-hour meditation to access my heart chakra.
About 45 minutes into the meditation, I saw a young girl sitting alone in a room on the floor. As I surveyed the room, I wondered what it could mean.

The room seemed empty.
No toys.
No siblings.

Just the little girl sitting on the floor hugging her knees like she could barely contain herself.

Looking closely at her, I saw the girl's eyes were focused on something behind me. When I turned around to see what the little girl was looking at, I noticed the door was slightly cracked.

The anticipation on her face and her body fidgeting made me believe she was waiting for someone to arrive. I was curious to see what would happen.

So, I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited.

I sat meditating on the image of the little girl looking at the slightly cracked door until it finally occurred to me.
I was the little girl.
Like her, I was waiting.

But for what?
Who told me to wait?
Why was I physically containing and forcing myself to stay in a position that didn't seem natural or comfortable?
What was I waiting for?

I wouldn't have realized a part of me felt trapped inside my life, my body, living out a childish view of presence and power without getting into the arena. Moments like this taught me I am capable of more than I thought, and you are, too. I'll talk more about my story later.

But today, I want you to focus on what you are fighting for and why. Are you letting fear outweigh your dream?

Every week, our episodes will include an interactive question you can complete and, if you're really honest, share with me on social media.

I have a poll question: Did you create a vision board or plan for the year?

Share your answer in the poll on Spotify.
If you're reading this article on Medium, leave me a comment with your answer.

If you're listening via Apple Podcast, head to Instagram with a screenshot of the episode and tag me @smxcoaching to tell me your answer. I want to know. See you again next week for another episode, until then.
Take care.

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Sierra J. McKissick

I’m a writer and educator. I write about behavioral and spiritual health choices and inclusive creative strategies. @iamsierrajecre