A toast in honor of doing scary-exciting things

A few of you mentioned that last week’s email landed in your spam folder.  Not sure why that happened but just in case you missed my exciting announcement of naming the blog “this genuine life,” you can read it here.


bday edit


It was such a rush of excitement that led to finally declaring the new blog title!  It was nerve wracking but exciting, so I took the leap.  And the next morning I woke up wondering if I’d made a terrible mistake.


Perhaps this has happened to you.


That certain situation where you get caught up in the whirlwind of the moment until reality sets in, leaving you with a pit in your stomach the size of the grand canyon and no idea how it got there.


It’s the same way I felt the day after I brought Dino home from the Oregon Humane Society.  And bringing him home turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  So if you’ve had this experience too, I think we might be onto something.  We are looking alive and we are playing the game. {three claps}


And that’s something to celebrate!


So what’s behind the magic here?  Just plain exciting might not be enough of a leap.  And just plain scary might mean you’re headed for a path through a never-ending, deep, dark forest.  But the combination, a captivating blend of both, creates a surge of power that will propel you forward into living the most extraordinary life that you are capable of living.


And the best part is that it doesn’t matter how the scary-exciting thing you decide to try turns out.  Everything we do now helps lay the foundation for what is to come.  So even if the action you choose today doesn’t pan out the way you think it will or you change your mind, it will still lead you somewhere new.  Somewhere with a  unique vantage point.


The thing you pick may not be the thing that ultimately sticks, but it may be the very thing that will lead you to something that does.


And the something it leads you to could be the most incredibly wonderful thing that ever happens to you.  Something you wouldn’t have been able to discover without first taking the leap onto the first stepping stone of the path.


And it’s that perfect blend of scary and exciting that lets you know you’re going in the right direction.


{ fear + excitement = right path }


So what feels scary-exciting to you today?  What dream do you have that is thrilling or feels like such a reach that you’d either be scared if it came true or you’d be too scared to even try?


Now pick one teeny tiny turtle step you can take in the direction of that dream this week.


I already wrote this blog post so now it’s your turn. ;)  I’d love to hear all about your dreams and turtle steps in the comments below!


Here’s to the beautiful and continuous unfolding of our dreams! {clink, clink}



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This entry was posted in BEAUTY.


  1. Diann Foster says:

    Good to hear from you, this has been a tough month, looking forward to October! Now through the first year! Always great to hear what you’re up to….
    Prayers & blessing wished for you….

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      Yes, I so honor your experience and how you’ve made it this far. I, too, remember that feeling of it being an accomplishment to have survived the first year. Sending such love and comfort your way. And thanks for commenting to say hi!

  2. Zoe says:

    Love fear +excitement = right path!

    For me today it’s definitely reminding myself that no matter what is going on for other people right, my life is for living and its down to me to do it!

    Loved your post!

  3. Val says:

    My husband and I are managing a brand new food stand at a huge pumpkin patch in October. I know I can do it but it’s less than 2 weeks now. FREAKING OUT MAN! lol It’s going to be awesome, fun and a ton of work. Just have to get over that first weekend and get the nerves out.

    We always know there will be issues so I think I’m most nervous about figuring out what is going to go wrong so I can fix it and move on lolol

  4. Erica Brooks says:

    Not a dream per se but I have been wanting to learn to swim. I enjoy going to beaches, lakes, pools, etc but have a fear of putting my head in the water which has stopped me from doing things I’d like to try like snorkeling, canoeing (in case I fell in). So I’m getting ready to take a swim class soon.

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      I think that totally counts as a dream! Or maybe even more than one because of all the things you’d like to try! ;) Either way, major congrats on taking the leap to try a swimming class, brave soul! And I wish you gentleness along with your courage, taking it just a little bit at a time. I would LOVE to hear how it goes if you feel like reporting back! I feel so jazzed by your bravery! Thanks for sharing and inspiring everyone.

  5. MonicaP says:

    The big dream was to leave my corporate job, which became a reality in March 2015. The next step is for me to learn more about nutrition and take a few online courses and here’s where the turtle steps come in .. lol. Of course, online education is expensive, so I’m hesitant to make the investment if I can’t gain something out of it. The knowledge will be great, but can I start a business as a nutritional coach? Hence the turtle steps :-)


    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      That sounds fantastic, Monica! Congratulations on being able to leave your corporate job; that’s huge! And yes, investments can be super scary…especially on things that are expensive when you don’t know what kind of return you’ll get. BUT investing in something that you’re curious about and genuinely interested in learning about has the potential to reward you with numerous different outcomes…for example, even if you decide not to go the nutrition coach route, what you learn from investing in your curiosity could lead you to a different way of applying what you learned that you love even MORE! I’m excited about all the possibilities for you! (Not to give unsolicited advice, especially when I don’t know your situation, but I just thought I’d throw some ideas out there!) I’m sure whatever you decide will be just right for YOU. And I’ll keep turtle stepping along with you! ;)

  6. Heather says:

    What a beautiful place you’ve created here! I have had a blog and mostly vacant website for years and now am mustering courage to speak for myself, choose words to honor and claim my energy, and share it with others. (I love your blog name! All your words flow so truthfully. This most certainly is a cozy refuge of healing, courage, happiness, and expression.) My teeny tiny step is to write a short updated bio for an upcoming performance/event. I want to find words that feel good to my heart and reveal my accomplishments. I want to open to receive and trust the goodness I am cultivating.

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      Thank you so much, Heather! You are so kind! I LOVE what you say about finding the courage to speak for yourself and of honoring and claiming…there’s such power there! And that is exactly part of the purpose that the blog serves, in regards to my personal growth, finding my voice and honoring my perspective. And sharing is always a leap but it’s SO energizing when things reach and resonate with others. It’s fun! :) Way to go on your turtle step of writing an updated bio! Let me know if you’d like a second set of eyes to help in playing around with the words. I love that kind of thing and would be happy to help! ;) I’m sure it will be fantastic!

      • Heather says:

        Thank you Caitlin! I really could use the extra set of eyes from time to time – I will take you up on that! I did write the mini bio, and it should be posted within the next couple of days. I went ahead and allowed it to contain my accomplishments instead of what I had posted previously with a lot of jokes. I am finding my own style and trusting my own wit will shine through as I stick to the basics.

        With appreciation and love,

  7. Jacqulyn Munns says:

    I felt exactly the same when I started blogging a few months ago. I had been talking about it for months. I just kept putting it off waiting for everything to fall perfectly into place. One night I realized that was never going to happen. So, I just took the leap. It has been fun so far, if only, to be able to express my opinions.
    Best of luck and I think you title is fabulous.

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      Thank you so much for sharing you’re story; you’re exactly right! And what a perfect illustration of going for it and following your dreams. I’m smiling so big for you! :) And thanks so much for the encouragement on the title! ;)

  8. April G says:

    I’m looking forward to the fall. I’m looking forward to things slowing down a little bit. I know I need to make some major moves and am hesitating. Good for you going for it

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      Thank you SO much, Reelika!! I’d love to hear more about your big decisions so feel free to email me anytime. And in the meantime, I’m sending you major congrats with MUCH excitement! :)

  9. Grace says:

    I so appreciate your encouraging and positive message. I love how you mention that things may not turn out the way you hoped, but they still lead somewhere. I also wrote something similar in a recent post about how if you find that you’re uncomfortable (in that excited/scared way), then you’re probably doing what you should be doing.

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      Thank you, Grace! Yes, I think there is great freedom to be found in not focusing solely on the outcome, or I guess, to being open minded about the various forms a positive outcome might take. And how cool that you wrote something similar–glad to be on the same page! :)

  10. Pam says:

    My life is pretty steady and content at this point and I don’t have big dreams or scary steps. I am of an age where nothing unnerves me too much any more. 5 years ago, at the age of 55, I decided to retire from a 33 year Nursing career and that was scary exciting to me at the time. I am so glad that I did at the time. The last 5 years have been wonderful.

  11. Shalama says:

    As far as doing scary and exciting things, I am training for my first figure bodybuilding competition. I am super excited about it but at the same time I am scared as hell. It is more than a challenge but am plowing forward regardless. Show day is Nov 7 and I am moving forward. And I totally agree with you that the perfect blend of scary and exciting that lets you know you’re going in the right direction.

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      WOW!! What a huge and awesome leap you’re taking and it sounds like you’re doing it with such gumption! Talk about inspiring. :) Thank you so much for sharing and I wish you all of the strength and grace in the world! And of course, I’d love to hear how it goes!!! ;)

  12. Jere says:

    I love your blog title. I too changed my blog title some time back and so happy I did. My scary-exciting thing is just becoming an empty nester. I am learning to live with just my husband again after 22 years. It’s all good but sometimes with a heavy heart. Life is just an adventure.

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      Thanks so much! I like your new(ish) blog title too! And wow, it definitely sounds like you’re in the middle of a big transition. I like that you use the word adventure; that’s so true. Just all various stages of different kinds of waves. I’m wishing you a super strong surf board for the ride! ;)

  13. Adrienne says:

    Caitlin, I love your post! The scary-exciting thing I’m working on is my second book! I’m almost done with the first in the series. (I’m doing Kindle Shorts and then will be combining them into one book for Kindle and print.) I am excited to have another title under my belt. I’m scared with the unknown (just like with my first one) of how well people will like it. Thank you for the motivation to keep on keeping on! ~Adrienne

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      Absolutely! Thanks so much for the kind words and oh my goodness, how exciting about your second book! I can only imagine how nerve-wracking that must be! I am wishing you a smooth process and for the book to be a hit! ;)

  14. Angela says:

    I really do like this Blog. I love the encouragement that your site offers. I have found many great tips and will be seeking them out as I am in a time within my own life that has seem to have gotten out of control. I know that these situations come along so I can build character, but when I feel I have no time to take a deep breath it can get overwhelming. I thank you as I was able to sit back and learn to embrace all that is coming my way.

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      I have so much compassion for you, Angela. Absolutely, tough circumstances help us to build character and to grow BUT that definitely doesn’t change how hard they feel sometimes. Thank you for sharing your experience. May you have the space to take full, deep breaths in all situations and in each moment to help ease the overwhelm. Thanks for inspiring me to take some deep breaths now, too! ;)

  15. Kimberly Gauthier says:

    Well, have fun with Dino!

    I like to celebrate things like this too. I was recently published in Dogs Naturally Magazine and I was so excited. I was terrified for months prior, afraid that they wouldn’t be interested in a post from me. But they were and it’s live. I celebrated sending off the post and again when it went live.

    I think I’ll celebrate again.

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      I absolutely LOVE the way you celebrate at different stages! I think it’s awesome for us to celebrate the fact that we did something challenging or put ourselves out there first instead of waiting for a certain response or level of success before celebrating. Celebrate on, my friend! And now, of course, I have the song stuck in my head, “Ce-le-brate good times, come on!” Haha!

  16. Malorie says:

    I a huge fan of doing scary-exciting things!!! I’ve been avoiding doing youtube videos to grow my business for years, but I’m actually working on the first video that I plan to post this week. This scary for me, but it’s also exciting to push myself into trying new things. Great post!!!

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      Ah! How exciting to hear that you’re working on a video! I’m guessing that since it’s taken me long enough to get to your comment that it’s already published. How did it go?! Smoothly and joyfully, I hope. ;)

  17. Dena says:

    Turtle steps – LOL – very nice picture. It beats being dragged into things behind a NASCAR vehicle. For this month, my turtle step goal is to take time for myself once per day. ROFL – with a house with a tween, teen and toddler – that will be a real trick! Congrats on your goals and achieving them!

    • Caitlin Sanders says:

      Haha, YES, it definitely beats being dragged…but life will do that, too! It sounds like quite a full house you have over there and I’m so thrilled to hear of your goal. How did it go? Wishing you many moments of quiet and ease.

  18. Natalie says:

    Congrats on your new title! I too get caught up in second guessing myself and worrying about if I am making the right choices about things. I think the thing scaring me a little lately is wanting to branch out into freelance writing, and it just feels scary that I feel like I’m a fraud. I can’t possibly be a writer…not me.. But then I think, why not try? :)

  19. Lana says:

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been thinking of teaching yoga for a few years now, went through the teaching training, but 2 years later still didn’t make that final step of actually teaching! I keep constantly studying, but seeing and experiencing myself how you can be hurt in a yoga class, scares me, so I just can’t make myself take that step! At this point I am into Yoga therapy, and maybe the time has come to go and share my knowledge, but it just feels scary…I think your post is a sign for me to move forward!

  20. Melody says:

    Well I’m having my first ever bloggers meetup tomorrow.I’m teaching a blogging workshop on the side and I’ve never thought I will be teaching on a continuous basis with something that I actually love doing.Sometimes I feel like pinching myself but then I remember the first time I post happy I started a blogging I will filled with feeling scared of judgement.Happiness cave in after all the fear and like you said Excitement win:P


  21. Sam Sly says:

    Hmmm… I am not sure what currently applies from my life. I did recently learn to swim as an adult and fear was definitely the biggest barrier (and still is a little). I guess starting my blog was a little scary as well since I wasn’t sure how open and vulnerable I was willing to be. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Jebbica says:

    I really like your blog! The layout is quite lovely! That cake looks amazing too. :D My scary-exciting thing is my husband recently became jobless. At first it was great because it was like, “hooray, stay-at-home-husband means I don’t have to clean anymore!”, but then it started to sink in: “OMG, we cannot pay all our bills on what I make”. So now it’s so scary as we work on moving into the next chapter of life, but I am hoping and praying it all works out for the best!

  23. Jill says:

    I have a lot of dreams and feel like I am barely making turtle steps with any of them…. Right now I would have to say I am making turtle steps with trying to figure out how to run my website/blog. It is like starting a new job, everything seems so overwhelming at first and then after awhile you realize it is not that bad….its just the learning curve that is so hard!

  24. Lindi Mogale says:

    Scary things I what makes life exciting and I think they should definitely be celebrated. I am at a cross roads at the moment and I know my next jump will be a scary one but I will celebrate the fact that I made it anyway

  25. Jen says:

    Hmmm…scary-exciting right now would be my decision to rebrand my graphic design business. I started out with such a broad audience that it was hard to know who exactly my audience was! It was time to narrow things down to find that niche. After much thought and going back and forth, I’ve decided to focus my design in the travel, tourism & hospitality industries. Of course I’m still open to other industries, but this will be my main audience. Now all I have to do rebrand from the ground up…yikes! Let the fun begin! :)

    BTW, I love the new name of your blog – “This Genuine Life”!

  26. Debbie Thompson says:

    Oh yes, I’ve experienced this so many times! I haven’t decided whether my “filter” for knowing what smart vs. impulsive risks are… so sometimes I hold back or plunge forward and then regret it. But I guess in the end it’s really true that biggest regrets in life are all the things we wish we would’ve done but were too afraid. Good for you on the new blog name and best wishes!

  27. Karen says:

    Congratulations for taking the plunge, it’s a great title! I just bought a new theme for one of my blogs, and it’s scary to try and set it up (I’m so not technical), but exciting with the possibilities it holds!

  28. Shashi at RunninSrilankan says:

    I love how you describe the combination of exciting and scary as creating “a surge of power that will propel you forward into living the most extraordinary life that you are capable of living” – and I couldn’t agree more. Lovely post!

  29. The Levantess says:

    I find that the scariest part of a new idea or endeavor is to talk about it. Speaking it out loud makes it real, and holds you accountable, in a way. I have started forcing myself to do that, instead of ruminating on my own.

  30. anne says:

    I think everything that happens to us happens for a reason. If we don’t try things out, we will always wonder what if. I love the positive spin on fear – so true!

  31. Aimee says:

    I agree wholeheartedly…when we do things that are both scary and exciting we are able to accomplish great things! Congratulations on finding the perfect blog title! :)

  32. Rachel says:

    My turtles step dreams are finishing the challenges that I have set out for myself. Like growing my blog, connecting with local businesses, training for a run and reading my Bible daily. Everyday is a baby step, but it’s an ongoing process at being the best me. I like your blog name. We need more genuine people in this world. :)

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