Sadie Robertson is probably best known for her role on Duck Dynasty and her appearance in Season 19 of Dancing With the Stars in 2014 (where she landed in second place). While her life in the public eye might seem to indicate Robertson is brave and courageous, the 20-year-old says that is far from the truth, or at least it wasn't until recently.
In Robertson's new book, Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion and Purpose, Robertson shares the secrets she learned, to emerge from a life of constant fear and anxiety, to finding freedom to pursue the very things that made her afraid.
"I wrote this book because I went through a long period in my life where I was so afraid of everything," Robertson tells PopCulture.com. "I struggle with anxiety very strongly. Panic attacks, the whole nine yards, anything that has to do with fear had a grip on me. I struggled with that very publicly, because it was during the same time as Dancing with the Stars, during the same time I spoke at [Christian Music Festival] Winter Jam, all these different things, where I was in a lot of people's faces."
Robertson credits her mother, Korie Robertson, with giving her the courage to do things like DWTS, even when she found them terrifying.
"My mom would always say to me, 'Do it afraid. Just do it afraid,'" Roberston recalls. "The thing with that, which I wrote about this in the book, is about being a friend to fear. There's a way you go about it. A lot of friends, whenever their friends are dealing with fear, the easiest thing to do is to just justify it, and to just be like, 'Oh, it's OK. I get it. I understand.' My mom, she called it out, but she called it out, and she walked through it with me. She said, 'You're just going to have to do it afraid.' She didn't let fear be my excuse, ever. I didn't want to do Dancing with the Stars."
The words, "Do it afraid," became Robertson's mantra, helping her overcome her crippling anxiety.
"I had so much fear going into [Dancing With the Stars], but the minute I got onstage, and the second I'm done dancing, I'm like, 'I did it!' A lot of fear is just the unknown. Once you do it, and you know you can do it, you're really not afraid anymore ... A study came out years ago, and it talked about how people who have already been in a shark attack are no longer afraid of sharks. That's why you notice people will still get in the ocean. You're like, 'How is that possible?' Because when you survive something, you feel like you've conquered it, so you're not really afraid of it anymore."
Robertson wrote Live Fearless to share what she learned by facing her fears with others.
"Through my story, and through my journey, I told it in a way of really allowing people to step into their journey of finding freedom," explains Robertson. "It's really just a book to even ground you, and show why you don't have to fear, even though we do live in the generation of fear. That was my inspiration behind writing it, and the timing is everything. I'm really excited. Truthfully, I just think it's so much more than a book. I think it really is. It is a journey to freedom."