15/01/2015 06:50 GMT | Updated 17/03/2015 05:59 GMT

Feeling the Fear but Doing It Anyway

I'd always been someone who planned my life away. "Old before her years" they said - and I could never understand why.

At 22 I had graduated from University, moved in with my boyfriend and begun a role in a world-renowned organisation. I had it all mapped out; climbing the career ladder, eventually taking my career to London, putting down a mortgage on a house and having lots of babies.

Oh, the dream.

Except; the moment one of those crucial blocks is removed, the whole thing comes crashing down.

The catastrophic collapse happened for me in summer last year. After a week staying with my boyfriend's parents, he proceeded to tell me he didn't love me any more on the train home. Such a nice guy, right?

And in a whirlwind of sleepless nights, financial disarray and mental breakdowns, we both moved out from our home and pretended the past three years had never happened. Suddenly, I was faced with this sense of chaos. If I didn't have my plan, what did I have?

I read a brilliant quote recently: "You find out who you are by figuring out whom and what you're not." And man, isn't that true? After years of thinking I was this straight-forward girl with all the answers, all of a sudden (with the mirror held firmly up to my face) I could see I was not.

I realised I wasn't someone who was supposed to work in a corporate, cut-throat role. I realised I wasn't someone who was meant to settle down and commit myself entirely to a man. I realised I wasn't someone who should stay in one place without exploring the many beauties of the world.

So, I decided I had to change it. The light bulb sprung into life and all of a sudden I knew; I needed to challenge myself. I needed to climb out of my comfort zone and leave everything behind to really discover who I wanted... who I needed to be.

I moved to Italy; Florence, to be exact. Miraculously I managed to find a job before I left, so I gave in my notice, packed my bags and boarded a flight to Italy.

And I was absolutely terrified. I have never been so scared of anything in my life.

Because I had never travelled - hell, the most I had seen was the inside of a villa in Tunisia. I had never committed to anything so reckless; so full of risk.

I didn't speak the language. I didn't know anyone there. I had never even been to Italy before.

But that moment, the moment I allowed myself to be guided by fear and curiosity, I knew it was the right thing to do.

Feeling the fear is important. Fear shows us we care. It drives us forward and allows us to access parts of ourselves we didn't even know existed.

We need to listen to the fear. We need to embrace it.

Now, it all makes sense. By no means is life easy here, but it's right for me. I love my job, I love my apartment and I love my new friends. I feel content. My soul feels like it has finally found its home.

Let this be the year where we follow our intuition. If we can't live longer, let's live deeply. Do you want to jack in your job and build a freelance career? Do it. Unsure whether you've got the balls to pack a bag and travel the world? Why the hell not? Worried your safe and responsible career isn't fulfilling you or adding anything to your life? Change it.

The way I (now) see it is this; we only get one life. Why waste it erring on the side of caution? Take a risk and run with it; do whatever it takes to drive you towards that higher level of happiness... to the place you know you deserve to be.

Amber Bell

Read more of Amber's work at Buttercup Belle.

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