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How to Push Through Your Fears to Gain a More Fulfilling Life

Have you ever been faced with a life changing opportunity that scares you? Here’s how to Push Through Your Fears to Gain a More Fulfilling Life.

When we start talking about how to push through your fears, let’s start at the beginning with my own story.

My nerves over took me. As I climbed up those steps and sat into the somewhat comfortable boot, bouncy seat, I looked around at all the gears that I would be managing in this huge machine that somebody entrusted me to take control of.

I felt sort of helpless at first

But as I just closed my eyes and thought for a minute, it all came back to me. My husband saw that I was nervous, climbed up the steps, and we went over it all again. One last time.

Finally he climbed down and he asked, “You got this?” I unsurely nodded my head, but as I put the combine into gear and backed up in reverse, I started to feel a little more self control. I drove the combine to the field for the very, very first time and that feeling still sits on my heart today.

For the very first time after 10 years of being a farmer, I was finally sitting on the combine by myself driving to the field, getting ready to cut some soybeans. And I was SCARED TO DEATH.

In this post, I’m going to:

– Share my experience so you can learn how to push through your fears to gain a more fulfilling life.
– Give you four steps to achieving a way to be involved and included.
– Encourage you to keep pushing through those fears you have that can be a huge drawback!

Listen to the Episode:

How to Push Through Your Fears to Gain a More Fulfilling Life

A Little Bit About Me

I’m a millennial farmer, entrepreneur and stay at home mom and now officially a combine driver. I’m going to share with you my very first experience running the combine and cutting soybeans and how I pushed through that extreme fear I had to keep going. There’s definitely a lesson for you for how to push through your fears.

My husband and I began farming right out of college but this was the very first time of me sitting in the combine. I’ve been interested in the process of harvesting but never really jumped on board until now. And I’ve never been this afraid to try a new job on the farm than I was driving the combine. It was definitely a new experience for me I wasn’t expecting.

I grew up with livestock and my grandpa grew alfalfa and brome.

I do not come from a crop background.

When I became an Extension agent, that’s when I kind of got thrown into the crop industry because of where we live in our area of Northeast Kansas. There are very heavily crop based farming systems all around us. There’s not a lot of pasture. If you drive around Northeast Kansas, you’ll see a vast array of crop farms, not so much livestock. So it’s sort of ironic that I would get thrown in as an at new Extension agent, where I was supposed to be an expert.

I did learn a LOT and I was able to help many farmers by helping them find the right resources they needed to be able to run their farms better. But when it came to our own farm crops, I stayed home.

I Went Through Every Emotion A Farm Wife Goes Through

Over the past several years I’ve seen a lot of farm wives and RO women talking about being harvest widows. And I say that with quoted fingers. I have felt that way too. I felt that way very first few years because I didn’t want anything to do with harvest.

And I went through a lots of different emotions. Some of which you may have had being a farm wife if you are one or just kind of being left on the sidelines during harvest. I’ve felt angry, sad, lonely, scared and happy all at through the years! But loneliness more than anything.

And I’ve been staying home with our kids and the livestock up until a few years ago when something pushed me to start asking. I’m not gonna lie and my husband and I have talked about this – I totally didn’t understand harvest at all. I didn’t understand how easy it was that combines broke down, how you had to wait for a certain time, certain moisture to even cut.

And I was so naive to all of these things for so long

But as I started actually listening and learning more, I started asking more. I started to understand a little bit more about what’s actually went into all of this. There’s just a lot of factors. Until you actually take the time to watch and actually ask questions and not get mad, you’re not going to know exactly what’s going on there.

Listen and be patient. Understanding how things work is going to be the first step in learning how to push through your fears.

So I want to share my story with you so that you can also know how to push through your fears. Also, I want to give you some hopefully tips that’ll help you to get off the sidelines yourself and maybe become more involved in whatever your farm harvest might look like.

I Felt A Strong Need To Be In The Field

So I started wanting to be more involved in the farming was when I started my businesses and started to find a little more purpose. I was being a little more happy with myself, kind of emerging out of my postpartum depression after having my kids.

I started to feel a little more happy with life and the life that I was living out here.

And on the other side of that, my husband started inviting me to ride along. Now you have to understand that the combine he has used is very small. It’s an 850 Massey Ferguson. An 850 Massey is very small, has no buddy seat. So when I ride along I have to stand beside him while he combines in the cab. So it’s like we’re in a small box. We’re very, very close quarters.

I’m basically on top of him without being on top of him and riding around like that for hours. It’s nice for the first hour or so. But after that it’s a little bit uncomfortable.

Okay. A lot uncomfortable.

I’m not going to lie very uncomfortable. So I kind of started bugging him for a bigger tractor, you know, not a new one, but maybe like a newer one that would have, that would be bigger and have a buddy seat. And this has gone on for a couple years now.

Do you know what he did? Instead of getting a newer combine with a buddy, see for me to ride along in, he goes and buys me my own combine.

How to Push Through Your Fears to Gain a More Fulfilling Life

I Never Thought I Would Ever Run The Combine

As an Ag Extension Agent, I only saw harvest from a distance. And when I would ride in the combines with the farmers, I would watch and ask questions about the systems and and that and go to workshops and tried to learn all I could about it. So for seven years I did learn about cropping systems of corn and soybeans and cover cropping systems and all of that type of stuff. But when I was home, my husband would go to the field during harvest and I would just stay home because I really had not that much interest. I honestly, I didn’t think that the cropping side would be for me.

I was VERY HAPPY riding along.

Never did I see myself actually being that involved in the crop side of our farm.

You know, I’m a livestock girl, I run the livestock side of our business and the garden side. But I never thought that I would be the one running a machine cutting our crop. But to be honest with you, I was feeling that loneliness that many of you feel when you’re left behind.

And that’s where you feel like the {hashtag finger quotes} harvest widow. I know that feeling and that’s why I was both ecstatic AND scared to become a bigger part of harvest with my own combine. But…my first instinct of fear was to say NO.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember involve me and I learned.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

I Didn’t Want Anything To Do With My New Combine.

At first I asked him: “Why in the world would you do that?” And he’s like, “Well now you can run your own combine and go right along with me.”

At first at my first thought was, Oh, I can’t, I can’t do that. I don’t have the experience to do that. There’s no way. There’s no way that I will ever be able to, to run my own combine. No way ever. Well, that was last fall, right after harvest got over his, when he bought this new combine for me and over the winter he kept teasing me.

He kept saying: “You have to go see your combine. Your combine is not going to know you. You gotta go see your combine.” But I refused to go see the combine.

I Was Scared

I didn’t want anything to do with the combine. But time heals your hearts and I truly believe that God pushes you in the right direction of where you’re supposed to go.

And I believe that He is behind all of this madness of me having my own combine. I hope that you’ve found situation yourself in situations like this where you just laugh, but it all kind of works out in the end. But I’m going to be quite honest with you, even to this moment here, I’m sitting here scared to death of that combine.

My First Experience as a Combine Driver Wasn’t Easy

The day before we began harvest, I got my combine ready with the assistance of my husband and thankfully the combine was in really good shape. It didn’t taken that much extra time to get a second combine ready to go.

The first day of harvest, we did really well. There were no problems – just nerves – and we were over halfway done with beans the first day.

But the second day I was faced with some challenges. I got into some really, good beans and I got to going a little too fast I think. And to make a long story short, the combine ended up plugging on the inside of the head. And I didn’t catch it until it was a little bit too late.

So I put it in a neutral, got out and tried to unplug it. And it was very, very, very plugged like book beyond like beyond.

It was already getting dusk

There was no way that I was going to get it unplugged. I worked for a while with it. But I was done cutting for the day and I was so mad because we were doing really well. We only had a few more patches to go. And we here in Northeast Kansas, we farm with the terraces. We combined the terraces and then we combine the patches around in between. And so I was really, really frustrated and I thought my husband was going to be mad that I plugged it so bad.

I Was Afraid My Husband Would Be Angry and Fire Me.

But, he was very understanding and said it happens. He assured me he plugged combines lots of times and he also said that his first time running the combine did not go well either. So that made me feel a little bit better too, that all I have is time.

Not only did I plug the combine, but one of the chains broke also. That’s going to need to be fixed. This is one thing I’m going to try to do myself without my husband’s help. So overall my combining experience for the first time, if I were to give it a grade, I would give it probably a B just because it did go pretty well and I feel so empowered after doing is. I feel scared to death, but I still feel empowered.

It’s going to take time.

But not only do I feel empowered, but I feel very involved. But it just takes time as my husband put it. He’s had 10 years of experience running the combine and I had two days and I can’t judge my whole experience on the past two days. I feel a lot more involved than I ever have before with the farm, helping with the crop side.

All because I showed interest and gave my husband a little push to get me more involved in that too. He believed in me and really stepped out to and was an amazing teacher. I have him to thank for my future success as a combine driver.

I Could’ve Just Quit

But I didn’t. And I won’t.

I’ve discussed a few failures that I encountered in my first two days of my first harvest with the header plugging and the power chain breaking. I also had some trouble how low to the ground to keep the head while cutting. My old bean head does not have a sensor and so I had to be really careful with all the rain we’ve gotten over the past summer. We had a lot of ditches where it washed out and I had to be really careful with those ditches.

Along with that, I pulled something in my right hand. Along with moving the header up and down, my right hand is so numb from gripping that handle. There’s the handle that moves the combine back and forth and it also moves the header up and down. To make a long story short, I had a death grip on that handle cause I was so dang nervous. Still today, I can’t grip a pencil.

It’s in a lot of like numbing pain today. I hope it doesn’t produce a further problem down the road. I’m stretching it and rubbing it. Hopefully I can get some feeling back in that pretty soon.

All of this happened in my second day of combining.

I really fought and I felt like quitting halfway through just because it just seemed like I couldn’t, I didn’t feel comfortable with it. I didn’t get it right. It was a huge struggle and I felt like I didn’t want to be there at all and that wasn’t the right attitude to have.

I don’t know if it would have helped too, to just stop and take a breather, but I just kept going even though I was so afraid that I was gonna mess up. I was so afraid between the fear and the inexperience that I have, it just kind of overtook me.

And I think that was God’s way of saying you’re done for today.

Even though it made me really mad. I’m really at peace today thinking that was he his hand in that, too. Overall, it wasn’t a hugely bad experience and it only needs to go up from there.

I’ve been asked before what makes a successful farm run smoothly and a lot of people would answer: Good records, good books, of course good ground, good equipment, you know, maybe all of those things. But to be completely honest and fair, I really truly believe that happiness is the underlying boulder that really helps farms run smoothly and to be happy.

The Happiest People Are The Most Successful

I believe the main factors that help people stay sane is their team. Everybody being on the same page, good communication. But along with that, the willingness of everyone on the team to learn and be included.

We have a huge team because not only is it just my husband and I, but we have two little girls as well. And obviously they don’t ride in the tractors and combines in the field because we don’t have a buddy seat. It’s not safe for them.

So we do leave our girls with his parents a lot when we’re harvesting. If we don’t have a babysitter, one of us has to just take a time out and stay home or be there at the farm watching and making sure everything’s going well. You know, taking turns. It’s, it’s a happy medium.

It has to be a two way street there to make everything work.

That’s why I truly say that communication, teamwork, the willingness to make sacrifices is what really, really makes for a successful farm.

You know you could have the best farm ground in the whole United States and you can have the best equipment – the best of everything. But if you don’t have good team under you or good friends, family to support, you are going to be a miserable mess. It’s going to be harder for you to learn how to push through your fears.

And along with that team is all of your crop consultants, your insurance provider, whatever it takes for you to grow the crops, a seed salesman, all of that – it’s gonna be a hard road if you don’t have your team. So that’s why I tell people happiness, happiness is the key.

I should know.

Because I was so unhappy for so long when I first moved here, I didn’t really have a purpose yet. But I didn’t have my place and now I feel totally fulfilled. And it’s a really, really great feeling to find that place.

Along with that, I have, I have such a vision for growing everything that we have and that growth of the farm is what’s gonna make our farm successful. So about the underlying factor of all of that is, is happiness, of course. That’s why I always say happiness. And you can achieve that once you learn how to push through your fears.

How to Become More Involved in the Farm

So what is in this for you? Okay. So I want to encourage everybody listening today to get involved. If you already are, that’s great.

So, I want to know how you are involved. What is your job on your farm, whether on the crop side or maybe there’s a side that you aren’t involved with yet. Can you let me know?

Here are the ways:

– If you go over to iTunes, you can leave it in a review.
– You can leave it in the comments down below.
– Send me an email: [email protected]

I would really love to know what your job is and or what, what job find you most most fulfilled. Let me know how you learned how to push through your fears.

But if you are not yet involved and feeling lonely, I have a couple of tips for how to push through your fears to achieve this. I’ve already kind of mentioned all of these in my own story of kind of how I became more involved on the crop side. But if there’s a way that you can start showing some interest and then also show up, show up and watch, eventually you’ll get thrown into a job and that will be both eyeopening and terrifying at the same time.

Step 1: Show Some Interest

So number one is to show interest because maybe you have other people involved in the farm, such as some in-laws or maybe some owners if you’re renting. I don’t know what your situation is, but perhaps there’s other people involved and that’s maybe the reason why you haven’t gotten involved.

But I want to encourage you to take that opportunity that you are called to become interested in. The first step is to show interest and show up.

I know for years my husband was always saying: “you never come over. You don’t have any interest in this. You never even come over and watch.”

And that was kind of my first inkling that he really does want me there. I guess I thought he doesn’t want me around during harvest. I felt in my heart that I’d just be in the way. And that’s honestly, I think what I felt, and I think that’s what a lot of you feel too. But if you take an interest and show up, that’s, that’s really what they want. That’s a big step in learning how to push through your fears.

They, they may never say it, but that is what they want. They want you there, they enjoy your company. And maybe maybe bring them a snack and, and be like, Hey, can I ride along or can I watch?

Step 2: Show Up & Watch

Number two is to watch and learn. We’re going right into it. Keep your eyes open and really pay attention. You know, if you just show up and you’re on your phone all the time or taking a nap in the truck or whatever, you’re not paying attention and you’re not gonna know.

But if you really watch and really soak it all in, pay attention, that is going to help you move on to the next step a lot more quicker. You’re going to feel the need to ask questions. That’s number three.

Step 3: Start Asking Questions

Start asking questions. And that’s kind of where I got thrown into the combine because I started asking, “Oh, how does this work? What, why do you do do it that way?” And you know, he became more of a teacher type. He started thinking, well maybe she would be really good at combining. So maybe I just need to get her her own.

So I really think that was his thought process there, which is crazy. It’s still crazy to me. But you know, in five years it won’t be as crazy, but it is right now. And then lastly, when you do get that job, just keep learning how to push through your fears .

How to Push Through Your Fears to Gain a More Fulfilling Life

Step 4: Keep Doing The Thing Anyways

No matter how much you fail, no matter how many tires you blow, how many headers you plug, how many chains you break. Keep going, keep doing it. I wanted to quit five times on the second day of combining and something pushed me to keep going, keep going, do not quit. And at the end of the day I told my husband, “I really don’t think that I’m good at this.” And he said, “I wasn’t good the first time either. But it just takes time and you just gotta learn how to push through your fears . You just got to keep doing it.”

And so I’m going to keep doing it.

I’m going to fix the chain and get the combine ready for the next round. I’m going to move on, shake it off, get my thick skin on and keep going because that is how you become good to great. Keep going, keep learning how to push through your fears, keep your eyes open and push on.

Now I know you as a Ruralite and a farm woman, that small town gal that is so smart and so courageous, I know that you can do it too. Nothing ever great was ever perfect and perfection comes at a cost and the best things in life come to those who are willing to put in the time. That’s what I’m encouraging you to do is to put in the time, once I master the art of combining, I expect my husband to teach me how to run the grain truck.

Our grain truck seems really complicated and that scares me even more than the combine and it scares him too. That’s why he has not taught me yet. But I think that that’s next on my bucket list – to learn how to drive the grain truck and to get really good at that as well.

Friend, I just want to encourage you to find your happy place.

To find what makes you happy. To learn how to push through your fears.

Being with my husband during harvest makes me happy. Getting my own combine terrified me, but deep down I was really excited that he was willing to let me be a bigger part of harvest. And while my first experience on that combine wasn’t 100% great or perfect, it was my first step in being really good at combining.

And I want to encourage you to find that in your life, on your farm or whatever it is that you strive to do and your journey. Start today working on how to push through your fears.

Practice Makes Perfect!

I want you to keep going and keep practicing and keep learning. Take the time. Keep learning everything that you can because you never ever stop. There’s always new opportunities and new ways to learn new things, especially how to push through your fears . Keep your heart and your mind open and believe in yourself that you can do great things. I know you can. You gotta believe it for yourself.

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Hone your dreams, own your life. And I’ll see you down the road.