Conquer a Fear

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 2.23.31 AMGoal 14: Conquer a fear of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” -Les Brown

This year with the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, our 30 Goals Facebook community is voting on what some of the goals will be accomplishing. We are grabbing this from the list of goals from the previous 3 cycles. This year’s theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal will focus on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. The community voted for this goal a few weeks ago.

My Reflection

One of my favorite parts about accomplishing The 30 Goals Challenge this year with the community’s vote is that it gives me the opportunity to go back and revisit my initial thoughts on these goals. Conquer a Fear was goal 24 of the first cycle, which I originally blogged about on January 25th, 2010. These were my initial reflections. I was teaching in Germany at the time and had been blogging and on Twitter for less than a year:

I am not the bravest person. My insecurities continuously creep up. This year I agreed to do several presentations and have taken charge of being the forerunner of technology at my school. I have many fears that something might go wrong and I will be solely responsible for scaring my institution into never allowing technology in the center again. I fear people will regret asking me to present or provide a workshop. See, this year I have taken on the challenge of trying to help many educators and schools see the benefit of using technology, specifically web 2.0 tools. At the conferences I have attended I have seen many educators hostile to the mere suggestion. I am trying a different approach that I am hoping pays off but I am not sure. However, I realize I cannot let my fears paralyze me into missing an opportunity. Therefore, I plan to practice, practice, practice. Additionally, I plan to prepare myself mentally. In my experience, we sometimes psyche ourselves out mentally.

I found this reflection powerful and uplifting. Four years ago I was new to connecting online with educators. I was new to curating online projects. I was a teacher simply excited about the possibilities of where collaborating online could lead. Maybe I was so excited that I just decided to get over the fears and insecurities I had, because as this post shows I was terrified. I guess something in me outweighed my fears.
I think I define failure differently. I tend to think if I impacted one person then that is an accomplishment. I don’t see it as failure, but others have told me that if certain expectations or outcomes haven’t been achieved, they see this as failure.
I chose to curate several educational projects because I believe in possibilities and I know if you never try then you always wonder, “What if?”
I don’t have to worry about “what if,” because 4 years later, over 10,000 educators have participated in The 30 Goals Challenge, 1000s of teachers participate in #Edchat weekly (the online chat I co-founded with Tom Whitby and Steven Anderson), and over 75,000 teachers from 188 countries will have the opportunity to attend the free Reform Symposium Online Conference (which I co-founded with Kelly Tenkely and Chris Rogers).
I get to live my dream everyday. I get to collaborate with educators like you and I get to see the inspiring things you do with your students and/or staff. I get to meet you in person and sometimes stay with you/eat with you and work with your students. I get to interview you or invite you to present and show other teachers what you do. I get to help you curate your projects and see your dreams come to fruition.
I am extremely blessed and thankful.
At times, I wanted to quit. At times, I faced monsters that became my realities. I was told many times how I stepped on toes, how people didn’t like me for doing a project, or  how I get to do things because I’m a cute girl. Many times, I cried because I was tired, overwhelmed, hurt and lost.
I’m telling you this, because trying to conquer a fear is not easy. You might even face your worst nightmare and somedays you’ll question if it is worth it. In the end, these fears do not matter as much as the impact you make on lives. Each day, we have the opportunity to inspire and live our dreams. What you decide to not try has impact. Many lives won’t get to be blessed because of your passion or idea.
Short-term– Reflect on a fear you will try to conquer. Have your students reflect on their fears and face them.
Long-term– Plan to conquer a fear. This may relate to a previous goal, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone.


Reflect on a fear you will try to conquer. Have your students reflect on their fears and inspire them to face these fears.

Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.

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*Image above adapted. Sick Superheroes by Brian Dewey, CC, Flickr,

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