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Friends who turn CAN’T into CAN
Dianna Bowes

Friends who turn CAN’T into CAN

“Friends come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”

We never know the purpose of a relationship when it first begins. I met my friend Fia-Lynn when we attended a marketing course, which lead to another and over the course of many courses; Fia-Lynn and I built a wonderful friendship. In student mode, our chat time was around goal setting and building business. As helpful as that was, it became clear that we were brought into relationship for another reason.  

We have a similar sense of playfulness and adventure. It was in this space of delightful synergy that we started acting on our desires to face fears. For instance, we both have heights/falling issues so when our fear said, “You can’t walk across a suspension bridge! You’re terrified of suspension bridges” as friends we said, “Hey, we can go together and walk across a suspension bridge.”  Maybe that doesn’t sound like an adventure to most people, but to us it was a big deal.  Encouraging each other as co-conspirators was the purpose of our friendship.

A sure sign that it was time to challenge ourselves was if one person said, “I can’t”.

“I can’t walk across that bridge.”  “I can’t do a ropes course in the trees.”  “I can’t go surfing. I’m scared of the ocean.” One of us was there to say, “Yes you can.” Or “Yes we can. Let’s do it!”

Together, Fia-Lynn and I motivated each other to face a number of our collective and individual fears: surfing, bridges, bungee jumping and climbing. I look forward to what’s yet to come!

Fear stops us from our own expansion: being spontaneous, reaching potential, creating success, embracing joy and expanding comfort zones. It impacts every area of our life.


 Here are 3 tips to facing fears and turning ‘can’t’ into ‘can’ that I learned from my relationship with Fia-Lynn.

1.     It’s OK to have a friend for a reason:  On the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, contestants are given lifelines.  A friend for a reason is a powerful lifeline; someone to call on for a purpose. Fia-Lynn is a like-minded, like-hearted lifeline in one area of my life even though we have big differences in other areas. We don’t live near each other. We’re years apart in age (I’m 50 and she’s in her early 30’s).  Almost everything in our physical lives is opposite so we don’t try and force our friendship to be something it’s not. Our relationship is fun and synergistic when we get together for playful, purposeful adventures and we love it that way! 

2.     Be a leader and a follower:  I believe strength and growth happens in this type of relationship when both people are comfortable taking the role of leader and follower, teacher and student, cheerleader and competitor, observer and participant.  Fia-Lynn stepped into strength when I was most fearful. It created the space for me to be strong. I also did that for her.  Sharing those roles with ease and grace helped both of us to expand. It’s magical.

3.     Create a rewards plan.  Rewards are more fun when shared.  Size doesn’t matter. Fia-Lynn and I went on a road trip to tackle a number of items on my bucket list, including some fear inducing activities. We culminated our adventures with a big reward: a night at a spa hotel for some delicious food and pampering.  Sometimes I get just as much reward from placing a big checkmark next to a challenging task on my to-do list. Whatever you choose, acknowledge yourself when you overcome a fear or navigate a hurdle.

Where do you find yourself saying, “I can’t”?

Who might be that ‘like- hearted friend for a reason’ who’ll challenge you to turn can’t into a can?

Make the connection and experience the magic!

Lisa Chell creates soulful adventure retreats for women in mid-life.  She’s your biggest cheerleader when you want to turn can’t into can with surfing, drumming, yoga and more. Join Lisa and a group of like-hearted women in Tofino from Oct 2-5 www.vitalwaveretreats.com All Fab at 50 women are eligible for savings. Ask Lisa how: lisa@ultimateclarity.com

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Dianna Bowes

Dianna BowesDianna Bowes

Dianna Bowes is the creative director of Fabulous@50 and editor of Be Fabulous! Dianna is also the author of The Fabulous@50 Re-Experience - Refresh your mind, body and spirit.

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Full biography

Dianna Bowes is the creative director of Fabulous@50 and editor of Be Fabulous! Dianna is also the author of The Fabulous@50 Re-Experience - Refresh your mind, body and spirit. Dianna Bowes is the creative director of Fabulous@50 and editor of Be Fabulous! Dianna is also the author of The Fabulous@50 Re-Experience - Refresh your mind, body and spirit.

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