As I sit here, thinking about the peeling back of the calendar, I feel antsy — like there’s something I need to do and quickly, to ensure that I get to the end of the year feeling accomplished. Fear is strong.

Can you relate?

Here’s what the fears sound like right now (if you can hear yours, please share in the comments)…

— Hurry up, it’s the end of January.

— See… look at you… you’re already failing

— Do something Now, Make it happen

— They’re going to see, and…

— You’re never going to live into your potential

What do your fears sound like right now? Is fear trying to push you into fretting, hurrying, and pushing yourself to prove that you’re not a failure?

Good! That’s fear’s job… to keep you alert and protected. Let’s all bow and say “thank you” to fear. It’s using our history to keep us safe. It needs to know that we are listening, and that we appreciate all of its efforts.

It doesn’t need us to do anything about it. Just listen, acknowledge, and appreciate, much the same as we do when our hands get too close to fire. Thank you, nervous system, for reminding us to keep our hands away from hot stuff.

“Thank you, fear, for reminding me about what I decided was important to me this year. I hear you, and we are going to keep doing the next underwhelming thing,” we might say to our fear.

Or, more specially for me right now—“Yep, fear I hear you. We used to have to push to be seen and heard… the lack of which felt like death. I hear you. And, today we are trying another way. We’re praying with a shovel in our hands. We use the shovel. We can trust this is enough.”

“Nope, we won’t die if no one reads what we write.”

It’s that simple, it’s just not that easy. It takes time to recalibrate our brains to the truth of the moment. In this moment, are you doing your best? Of course you are. Are you experiencing discomfort around a commitment you made to you? Maybe. Probably. Most of us set High expectations of ourselves, and then wind up disappointed.

The key is to underwhelm ourselves, not overwhelm. Small victories are way easier than big expectations, much the same as playing as the underdog is easier than playing as the favorite.

So, let’s not let disappointment steal our energy, attention, and creativity. Instead, let’s just recalibrate. Here’s what recalibrating looks like…

  1. What did I say mattered to me for 2024?
  2. Why does it matter?
  3. What’s one underwhelming step I can take today?
  4. Take the one step.
  5. Repeat.

Remember, fear dances like truth, but it’s not the truth. What’s true is that our dreams matter and we have within us the resources necessary to achieve each one. What’s true is that our timelines are not always the same as the Universe’s plan, and that plan is always way better than we can imagine.

So… let’s remember… We cannot control…

— other people’s schedules

— stuff that goes wrong with technology.

— illness, or the time it takes to recover.

— how many people listen, sign up, or whether or not we get the promotion that we think we need.

— grief. For God’s sake, grief.

— whether other people like us.

— the weather.

— or fear, just to name a few.

What Can we control?

— the time we take to listen to and question our self-talk

— the way we respond to fear

— whether we ask for help

— whether we rest when we’re sick or grieving

— how we treat ourselves

— time spent remembering why we want the things we want

— time spent in gratitude for all we already have

— time spent remembering that just as the sun is the exact distance from the earth to allow us to be warmed without being burned, there is a higher plan for our lives… and we can trust in this plan and ourselves to show up for it.

Frustration, fear, and agitation are not emotions that are conducive to insights, inspiration, or clarity. Frustration is problem-centric and fear-based. It’s not helpful. What is helpful is to see how things are already working in our favor.

One client pushed back a talk by two weeks. Thank God because I’m sick and now my website person has what they need to make progress with posting events on my page.

Even though fear is telling me that something bad is going to happen if I don’t fix something, or chastise myself, I refuse to react. Here’s why…

2024 is my year of Trust and Stillness. I trust my body, my heart, the excitement of each dream, and I trust that I will be guided to exactly where I need to go. I also know that I may not like the path or the pace in the moment. That’s ok too. I don’t need to like all of life, but I do wish to trust it.

How about you? Are you making the progress you wanted to make?

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister

Misti Burmeister helps companies and leaders motivate and inspire excellence. For nearly 20 years, she has facilitated communication that results in trust, increasing engagement and productivity across generations. Make sure your communication is coming across the way you intend, visit