A new group of participants just started at the Stanford nutrition study I am working at and after the first class, I received a handful of emails from a few newbies saying, “I am terrified to do this….but excited…I need help.”

When faced with the reality that they were going to commit to this study and be encouraged to drastically change their food and lifestyle habits, a wave of fear came over them.

This process is scary! Terrifying actually. One woman was shocked and relieved when I told her she has every right to feel scared! And I am so glad she let me know. It requires courage to take that step forward and make a change. When you take a step towards action, the path is not going to be perfect, and may be a bit different than you expect, but take it slow, embrace it and be proud of how brave you are.

I saw this article last week about a wonderful event called the “Courage Wall” – a set of giant blackboards with the words written “I wish I had the courage to…” People are writing all sorts of things as there is a lot that requires courage – what would you write?

We all have things we want to do but we are often too afraid. So afraid we may not even be able to admit that we feel fear. So often, the reason someone cannot move forward in improving their health – nutrition, exercise, stress – is due to fear of that first step. I know it is scary but please do it. One little baby step. One teensy, weensy yet extremely courageous step in the direction towards health and wellness.

Lastly, one of my favorite TED talks on the topic of courage.

Be brave! Be courageous! Take that one scary step.