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  • Laura Brandes

    Laura Brandes is a Certified Life and Business Coach, entrepreneur, book author and speaker, with over 20 years of experience as business strategist, leading projects around the world for multinational organizations. Through her healing journey and successful career, Laura became an expert in mastering self-awareness, releasing fear and shame, and using her strengths to create a roadmap for a beautiful future. Laura is on a mission to empower women to ignite their inner power, repurpose their lives and shine.
3 Steps to Break Free from Fear and Live Out Your Full Potential

3 Steps to Break Free from Fear and Live Out Your Full Potential

For over three decades, I was a prisoner of my fears. Desperately seeking acceptance and a sense of belonging, I built my own prison, locked myself inside and let my fears take the driver’s seat. I chose to be a passenger in my own life -- playing small, trying to be invisible and pretending I had everything under control. I was walking down a path I had never imagined for myself. 3 Steps to Break Free from Fear and Live Out Your Full Potential We all begin to make our changes in the right time, space, and sequence for us. -- Louise Hay I still think about how much energy I lost every day, constantly afraid of what others might say, trying to fit in and feeling I was not worthy of love. Always tired and weak, I inflicted unnecessary pain on myself while blaming everything and everyone else. As a child, my time in school was painful. I didn’t have many friends and could never fit in; I constantly felt lonely. By the time I became a teenager, I chose addiction and shallow relationships to numb the loneliness and fear of not being loved. In my darkest days, I thought I was going to die. I would pray I could get another chance to fix things up, only to succumb to my addiction, because it was too difficult to deal with the pain. READ: How to Support a Recovering Addict on the Road to Sobriety I put an enormous amount of energy hiding my addiction from my family. How could I possibly explain it to my parents? I couldn’t face the idea of so much shame. At some point in my early adult years, I was finally able to find the strength to get rid of drugs. But I was still craving acceptance, so I just moved to a different type of addiction, spending several years in an abusive relationship. And although I was totally clean from drugs, my partner would make sure, every single day, to remind me of how it was embarrassing for him to deal with my past. Even still going through all this, I was putting the pieces of my life together. I built a successful career in marketing, but deep inside fear was still consuming me. What if my boss, my new friends, my family, find out about my past? I am sure they will leave me. They will hate me... So I played small. If I just stayed quiet, did my work and said the right things, I thought, then everything would be fine. This seemed to be a great plan. Except for the fact that I was spending an enormous amount of energy trying to be perfect all the time, pretending my fears were no longer around. It was exhausting. READ: The Risky Road to Connection: Why You Must Dare to Be Yourself Finally I made a decision to break free. Through my personal journey of self-love and personal empowerment, I discovered my true strength, the power within. I was able to break free from my self-imposed fears. My transformational journey happened in three steps: Step 1: Put an end to the toxic relationships I left my partner and started a new chapter. Though there was so much pain and resentment to heal, my desire to reclaim my life and happiness was bigger than anything else. I made a commitment to do the work and face my fears so I could free myself. READ: 6 Steps to Letting Go of Toxic Relationships I realized the prison I built with my fears had no key, because the gate was never locked. It had been open all this time. Step 2: Learn compassion and forgiveness On my spiritual journey, I saw how we choose the lessons we want to learn, on a soul level, before coming to this life. The Universe will bring people and situations into our lives to help us to learn these lessons, including the families we are born into. READ: Do It for You: Reflect, Forgive, and Begin the Healing I began to take 100% responsibility for my own decisions and stopped blaming others. While I had secretly blamed my parents, I came to understand that they did the best they could with what they had at that time. As I was forgiving more and more, life was becoming lighter, I was feeling better, more empowered, reclaiming ownership of all the decisions I had taken so far. At some point, I could also forgive my former partner. Day after day I was shedding light into my fears, seeing what had triggered them in the first place. Step by step, I was moving into the freedom that had been always mine. Step 3: Embrace darkness and light On my healing journey I learned that my past, with all its darkness and light, has beautifully created who I am today, with my strengths and talents. So there is nothing to be ashamed of -- it was all part of the transformation I am meant to gift to this world. We are all made of darkness and light. When we accept our darkness and break free from fear, we can live out our full potential. Today I can quickly identify my fears. I know I can accept them and ask the question, “What am I learning now?” With every fear comes the opportunity for us to learn and grow. READ: Your Fears Will Set You Free, but Only if You Free Them First As I write this, I do it with courage and love in my heart, unapologetic about my truth. I am what I am, empowered to own all my darkness and my light. I am a senior executive for a major multinational corporation and a successful entrepreneur, very proud of my achievements. I created my own apparel brand and started a coaching business. I am a speaker, helping others to discover their freedom and empowerment on the other side of fear. I travel the globe, meeting wonderful people and doing what I love. I opened myself for a life full of beautiful possibilities. I made peace with my past, claimed my personal power, and today my clients and the world benefit from that. My heart found true love and I enjoy every day of my life. Do you also have a story of transformation, when you broke free of your fears to find a new life? I would love to hear from you!